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A gnarly old Great Depression-era ‘gas’ pump in its picture window announces The General Store café-bar. Within, the bleached-out Edward Hopper-esque interior – humdrum diner booths, black leatherette, brown Formica, a zinc-topped counter – could be a 1950s pit stop for Greyhound bus passengers bound for Memphis. Mugs of steaming coffee, pastries and snacks are supplemented by craft ales including American-brewed Left Hand Milk Stout and Two Roads Lil’ Heaven IPA. Orchard Pig provides the ciders and there are half a dozen unpretentious wines plus Prosecco and Moët. Cocktails such as Electric Blue Lemonade (served in a pretend light bulb), and Bloody Mary (in a mock Campbell’s soup can) are what to neck before boarding the bus outside… to nowhere more exotic than Friern Barnet Library or Clapton Pond, alas. Next door, The Garage, a refurbished music venue, and its new showcase live lounge upstairs, Thousand Island, are affiliated enterprises.
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