Frank's Café & Campari Bar

10th Floor, Multi-Story Carpark , London, SE15 4ST

2 reviews

Bars Peckham

  • Frank s Cafe   Campari Bar
  • Frank s Cafe   Campari Bar
  • Frank s Cafe   Campari Bar

SquareMeal Review of Frank's Café & Campari Bar

Now open until late September, Peckham's seasonal sensation will once again be serving Campari every which way throughout the summer. Daiquiris, spritzes, sours, mules, Picpoul and Prosecco are also on offer, but first you’ll have to find the place. Sitting atop a vaguely menacing car park that could double as a set for a grim TV crime drama, this cool social space is a fun-loving mix of music, art, spontaneous happenings and board games. There’s also a splendid view of the Emerald City (aka Canary Wharf) twinkling on the evening horizon. Got the Munchkins? Order Frank’s wizard street food, salads, cured meats and meaty mains. If you can brave the post-holocaust surrounds (particularly intimidating at night) you’ll not only be rewarded with great cityscapes but also a chilled boho crowd having a blissed-out time.

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4.5

Food & Drink: 7.5

Service: 6.5

Atmosphere: 4.5

Value: 7.0

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

The Cheese platinum reviewer 23 October 2015

When the Crystal Maze returns to our screens, I do hope an all-new ‘Peckham’ zone joins Aztec, Medieval… and whatever the others were. Contestants could rattle around a grim multi-story, searching for light at the end of the tunnel in the form of Frank's Campari bar. Ordinarily a room (or roof) with a view comes with sky-high prices and/or a roaring mass of tourists, but not Frank's. As you will have gathered, it’s a bit different. Given you genuinely have to negotiate the seedy underbelly of a carpark (including unreliable, less-than-fragrant lifts and several flights of stairs), it’s hardly the most accessible place. When you emerge, the premise is basic: picnic tables, a makeshift chef shack, canopies that lash wildly on a blustery day, a notable security presence and shedloads of hip young things. The atmosphere is upbeat of a late afternoon (even for old timers like me) and drinks are a pleasant surprise, with plenty of change from a tenner for a rustic (read: generously boozy) cocktail. There’s food too, and it’s not bad. Specials like succotash or globe artichoke are oh-so ‘new Peckham’ but also unexpectedly tasty. Fish of the day (sardines with tricolour tomatoes, for instance) is sometimes worthy of top-notch restaurants, albeit served on paper plates and occasionally tepid having battled the elements to reach the table. So far so good, but - as per the last reviewer - approach the loos with caution. At first glance, the rickety-split doors have a Huck Finn vibe. On closer inspection, you’ll clock the monstrous corrugated plastic urinal and unisex set up… Captain Corelli it ain’t. Unlike the vicarious pleasure of a country pee, at Frank's you can expect to be primed in terror of passers-by over 5ft 7 because only the feeblest splinter of a door separates you from the masses. Tip: make a dash for the end cubicle to avoid accidental peeping toms. Scratch that… just hold it in. (I do wonder whether future generations will question our penchant for congregating in pee-strewn car parks for kicks, but hey). Despite this, Franks is a bit of a local institution during the warmer months, or at least a novelty worth considering with adventurous (and limber) friends. Simply make a beeline for seats on the bar’s northerly side for a spectacular and oddly serene view across the city, then head elsewhere for a comfort break. Frank's season may be over for 2015, but I'll be popping by next summer on a cool, overcast (and therefore less rammed) afternoon to see what the latest revival brings.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 3.0

Libby B. 27 July 2010

Franks Cafe is a pretty unusual place, not least because it's the only time you will be surrounded by a couple of hundred people in Peckham and only see white faces. It attracts a pretty cool crowd who look like they came on a fleet of scooters from Hoxton, which may lead you to think it will be overpriced, but surprisingly it isn't. Drinks are reasonably priced and the food is good value and good stuff. Grilled sardines, tomatoes on toast, corn on the cob – basic bbq stuff but tasty. The views are pretty amazing – with a panoramic skyline across London that is even better at sunset. So what's not to like? The toilets, that's what. Possibly the worst I've encountered in London, and probably worse than most festival toilets. They are really just buckets, and after a while… well I shan't go on about sewage, but it is not pretty. There isn't an option on this review site for ‘facilities’ so I marked them down for atmosphere – which is not inaccurate, because at the table where we were sat it smelt like being downwind from the toilet block at Glastonbury. Maybe the cool kids are used to it, with a summer of festivals fresh in their olfactory memories, but what really bothered me though was seeing the chefs coming out of them in their aprons, which is why I won't be going back.

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Frank's Café & Campari Bar is included in the following SquareMeal lists