SquareMeal Review of
WM Barker & Co
Once known as Dirty Dick’s, this ancient inn’s rebooted basement now takes its name from the original owner. The new look is 1950s Mad Men juxtaposed with dank Dickensian decrepitude – courtesy of Young’s, which has aimed the late-late cellar at ‘suited City slickers and the creative hipster crowd’. Expect more suits than Hoxton scenesters for the bar’s complex signature shrubs, pre-made to recipes by consultants Salts of the Earth (owners of Brixton’s Shrub & Shutter bar). Inspired by various London districts, these include Shoreditch (Beefeater gin, Parma Violet, elderflower, violette, lime and catnip tincture) and Bank (Absolut vodka, sherry, cream, Champagne syrup, raisin bitters, and Irish spirit Bán Poitin). Brit and foreign craft beers, wines from £19, designer toasties, sarnies, sharing boards and soups are also on hand. By our reckoning, City slickers with more than £10 per drink to blow may find slicker, echt cocktail bars within striking distance.