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Squirrelled away in Tooting Market, at its rear entrance on charmingly named Totterdown Street, this tiny no-frills Portuguese bar exudes shambolic retro charm. The Secret Bar recalls similar cosy, fuggy dens found in old Lisbon. Patrons are shoe-horned in at tables, on high bar stools or on a paprika-red banquette under a TV screen that blasts out live sports. To drink, sup Sagres and Super Bock lager by the stein; otherwise, sip G&Ts, Portuguese vinho or Caipirinhas, Mojitos and bargain Tequila Sunrises from a small list of familiar cocktails. Hearty Portuguese hot food is served from Mina’s Grill adjacent. Vibrant indie concerns such as this bar saw Tooting crowned Britain’s Best Small Indoor Market at the 2017 Great British Market Awards. All the more shocking, then, that the 1930s market – located on Mayor Khan’s home turf – is threatened with annihilation should the proposed Crossrail 2 route go ahead.
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