It was a close call, but just when it looked as if the abandoned Sebright Arms was set to become no more than a Cockney memory, an influx of new brooms – and the eastwards sweep of Shoreditch gentrification – saved this old backstreet boozer for a new generation of appreciative drinkers. Skinny jeans, 1960s geography-teacher spectacles and fascinating facial topiary are the look, while ‘roll-out-the-barrel nouveau’ describes the decor. Meanwhile, beers from the capital’s new-wave microbreweries (Sambrook’s, Brodie’s, London Fields, Meantime et al) slake the thirst, alongside cask cider. Once attached to a Victorian music hall, the venue’s soundtrack is nowadays supplied by guest DJs and live bands in the basement, while comedy nights and life-drawing classes also have their fans. Food is currently in the meaty hands of burger barons Lucky Chip, whose 1950s American-style trailer is a much-loved East End fixture.
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