When the Arctic Monkeys sang “I want to sleep in a city that never wakes up, and revel in nostalgia”, they may as well have been singing about London. Our love of reliving the golden years resurfaces at Little Nan’s Bar - the time-travelling 90’s pop-up is serving drinks with a dose of reminiscence at their summer resident slot at Dalston’s Rio Cinema.
Deep in the vaults of Dalston’s Rio cinema, movie posters and leopard print pay homage to the era of pedal pushers and Peter Andre. The name of the bar is descriptive of the decor, with antiques and armchairs crowded around doily-covered coffee tables to recreate your grandma’s front room. Decorative plates and Diana memorabilia is included as standard, along with stuffed animals and the fold-up seat you only bring out when there’s one family member too many for Sunday lunch. Seating arrangements are often shared but pre-booked, so prepare to get to know your neighbours.
The Food and Drink
Grab a mug on your way in as drinks of choice at Little Nan’s are teapot cocktails - of which you can enjoy an unlimited amount over a two hour slot with a ticket booking (£10 per ticket to book in, £29 final bill at the venue per person). The concoctions on offer are as entertaining and equally lethal as Granny after her third Christmas sherry. Split into spirit sections, mixes include the gin-based debonaire Lady Bet Lynch and the Queen Cilla Black - a tequila tipple as strong as its namesake’s Scouse accent. Movie-style popcorn and pick and mix served on mismatched crockery make up Little Nan’s bar snacks, so you can ride their resident rocking horse on a sugar high.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
Little Nan’s Bar attracts a varied audience, from hipsters to hen parties. What they all have in common is an affinity with cocktails served alongside chintz and Celine Dion. Calmer than other Saturday night’s you see elsewhere in the city, you can hold a conversation over the classic compilation of Oasis and 5ive. Among the Disney ‘95 annuals and overstuffed cushions you’ll find dates and mates alike enjoying the retro surroundings that you’re sure to make mates with over a duet of Wannabe. When drinking slots end, running-man your way to the post-drinking play area for dressing-up props and a GIF photobooth to snap memories of your night in 90’s heaven.
With wall-to-wall kitsch and unlimited cocktails, Little Nan’s Bar shows that throwbacks shouldn’t be limited to #tbt. The 90’s are back and are even better than before - only this time we’ve swapped teenage acne for alcohol.