Ever made your way into a club only to be met by a completely empty room? You know, the kind of place that makes you understand why Dorothy was so bloomin’ keen to get home the whole time? Well, one venue where you can guarantee that’s sure to never be the case is kooky Guildford stomping ground, Bar Thirteen. Just a hop skip and a jump from Guildford station, Bar Thirteen is always brimming with cool, interesting people as it seems to be just like honey to the creatives. Forget Home, it rather seems like there’s no place like Bar Thirteen.
Bar Thirteen is an uber quirky, 2 floor hideout in the heart of Guildford. Bar Thirteen’s colourful interior is a complete feast for the eyes, decked out with mismatched picture frames, corded telephones, bicycle parts, animal figures and all sorts of other random relics. We also love that the venue’s kitchen serves food from a faux burger van window, but we could’ve guessed they’d have gone and done something adorable like that, really. Their wooden bar tables are dotted with Moroccan lanterns giving it a sense of warmth and comfort. There’s also a wall of open books, which is both beautiful and frustrating having reread the same 2 pages of Gulliver’s travels fourteen times. It seems we’ll never know how it ends now. There is also a pretty funky looking smoking area complete with astro-turf, shisha pipes and Bob Marley mural, so in the warmer months Bar Thirteen can take full advantage of their al fresco performance space. Bar Thirteen also adopt a ‘Company of the month’ promotion which means if you’re lucky enough to work for a certain brand or store, then that month you are rewarded a massive 50% off entry and all party packages. Who doesn’t love a cheeky little discount?
Dress Code: Casual
Train Station: Guildford
Address: Bar Thirteen, 13-15 Bridge Street, Guildford, GU1 4RY
You can see the entirety of Bar Thirteen’s cocktail selection on one of their simple but hugely effective photo menus. It actually makes the whole deliberation process quite a bit harder, because with 23 to choose from, you’re suddenly a total kid in a sweetshop. Although, not to worry because at £6-£7 a pop you may be tempted to have more than one. You can even try one of their signature combo shots such as: The Jam Doughnut, The Squashed Frog, and The Alien Explosion. Keep your eyes peeled for the red light at the bar too- it signals discounted drinks. Go go go. Bar Thirteen have also managed to enlist the help of some pretty killer musical names, including DNB legend Shy FX, Artful Dodger, Bondax and BBC Radio’s Charlie Sloth but what’s great about here is their equal interest in the not yet established. Teaming up with the students of specialist music school ACM, Bar Thirteen regularly showcases the very best of local, up-and-coming talent in an event they call ‘Uncovered’. They’ve even hosted an entire 12-hour mini festival called ‘Turn it in’ complete with 3 separate performance spaces, BBQ food and games.
Entertainment-wise, Bar Thirteen seem to have it in the bag. Aside from masses of live music, they’re also fond of dance acts. But not just dancing, oh no, this is Bar Thirteen. We’re talking Fire Poi’s and Angle Grinders. There’s even been some performance with a whole lot of UV paint, which, from a performance standpoint = excellent. From a cleaning standpoint = bad times. With celebrity appearances from Jay Hutton- one of the lovely boys from E4’s Tattoo Fixers, Viner-come-comedian Dapper Laughs, MIC’s Spencer Matthews and Jason Derulo; Bar Thirteen truly does give the people what they want. They’re also known to go all out for a holiday so you can look forward to ‘Anti-Valentine’s Day’ parties, Halloween House Parties and even Bad Xmas Jumper parties - where you stand a chance to win a prize if your jumper is especially naff. Finally your Nan’s awful taste actually comes in handy, am I right? It would seem they’re pretty sensible here too, as Bar Thirteen offer ‘Designated Driver’ vouchers. This means that if you hand your keys in at the reception you can get yourself 3 soft drinks at the bar for absolutely nothing. They do have to be car keys though, they’re not interested in like, house keys or garage keys or anything…
Whether you want to wash away the Monday Blues or just celebrate hitting humpday, Bar Thirteen is always buzzing with insightful, creative and quirky people. Plus, as it’s just a 30 second walk from the ACM campus, you can also be sure that whichever night you visit, you never stand to bowl into an empty room. Well, it’s closed on Tuesdays and Sundays so you may then. But any other day, you’re sure to have a night that carries right on through into the early hours. Everyone knows that musicians are nocturnal.