Ever have one of those friends that’s just annoyingly great at everything? You know, the ones that’ll thrash you at Ping Pong while dismissively laughing and telling you ‘It’s so weird, I've never even played before.’ Well, self-proclaimed ‘creative playground’ and multi-purpose venue Café 1001 is that friend, turning its hand to many a different craft and smashing every single one. Offering a colourful mix of trendsetters and music heads a little bit of everything, Café 1001 is a hybrid bar/lounge/club/cafe for Brick Lane’s 24 hour party people. Sod the ‘10,000 hour rule’ to become great at something. Apparently the magic number is 1001.
It’s usually a bit of a cop out to claim that a venue has ‘something for everyone’ but, never have truer words been spoken. Part of the Old Truman Brewery building, Café 1001 sizeable gig space that includes a cafe and bar area on its ground floor, a lounge space scattered with sofas upstairs, and a club/live music space at the back. We know right? ‘write the theme tune, sing the theme tune...’ It’s handy though. You could in theory arrive for a morning coffee and stay put right through ‘til the early hours. Although technically not on Brick Lane, but rather next to it on Dray Walk, Café 1001 follows suit with tried-and-tested East London décor: warehouse styled ducts and conspicuous pipes, a plethora of artsy books on hand and worn but charming furniture that we’re assured has ‘character’. That’s part of the reason we really love it though, Café 1001 isn’t remotely try-hard, it just is cool. No denying that.
Music: House, Techno, Electro, DnB, Dubstep, Reggae, Indie
Dress Code: None
Train Station: Shoreditch High Street
Address: Cafe 1001, 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL
Musically, Cafe 1001 scores big brownie points by blasting Dubstep, Detroit Techno, Minimal House, DnB, Electronic oddities and lashings of bass-heavy Reggae - all music lovingly and painstakingly selected. The back room plays host to an excellent pool of talented DJs and live bands almost every night, and get this, most of the events have no cover charge whatsoever. Nothing. Nada. A full range of beverages can be found at the bar too, and all for pretty affordable prices, with pints, shooters and spirit/mixers costing from £3.20. Alternatively, they also do cracking late night coffee. Café 1001 doesn’t do the usual ‘The cafe portion is closed now’ thing, instead, running the club night and cafe section concurrently. Although we don’t advocate that you attend one of their EDM parties clutching an extra hot Macchiato, but, y’know, totally your call.
It’s all go here. Throughout the after-work rush and early-evening mingling, all the way through to the wee hours of the morning, the atmosphere at 1001 is never less than electric. Bowling up to Café 1001 for the night could see you met with contemporary dance performances, ‘songwriter circles’, open mics, educational talks, rockabilly dance classes or even speed-dating if you attend one of their ‘Date in a Dash’ events. They also host supremely popular short film screenings every Monday, showcasing the very best independent filmmakers around. The many seats and banquettes of the cafe are constantly lined with a welcoming clientele, both local and from out of town, who are usually fairly young and bohemian styled and taking full advantage of the super casual dress code. It’s quite far removed from residential zones too so partygoers are allowed to continue unchecked throughout the night. Hurrah, no noise complaints here.
Justifiably popular, reasonably priced and effortlessly cool. Cafe 1001 is a great place to meet new people - their events make darn sure of that. So whether you’re meeting old friends or making new ones, Café 1001 has a vibe to match. This isn’t your run of the mill, cutesy coffee shop reserved for finger sandwiches and high tea. Café 1001 is East London personified: unrefined and worn-in like an old, much loved pair of jeans that you would never dream of replacing. And why do you hold on to a pair of ratty old jeans? Because they fit just right>/i>. As does Café 1001 in it’s East London context. It’s quirky, diverse and one of the only places you can order cake regardless of the time. Breakfast cake, Teatime cake, Midnight cake. Whenever. Enough of that and you may very well have to replace those jeans...