Dalston has got something super in store and its achingly trendy hangout, Dalston Superstore. Here you can forget about highly-strung entry policies, restrictive venue do's and don'ts and all those bloomin' dated ideals about how you 'should' be living your life. Instead, a celebration of all things diverse and major stomping ground of the LGBTQA community. Ironically, Dalston Superstore proves that the coolest thing you can do is not actually care if anyone thinks you're cool or not. Here, you're invited to just be you. They also have progressive art displays, tongue-and-cheek events and on site fresh food from one hilariously witty menu. Don't go Bacon my 'heart'? Oh Superstore, we wouldn't dream of it.
We were a little unsure as to whether Superstore self-identified as a gay bar, but then we realised, DUH, the fact that it's not stated in so many words is exactly the point. It doesn't matter. Right on. Practise what you preach right? Opening on the Kingsland High Street in 2009 in what used to be a minicab office, Superstore have extended and revamped the inside whilst retaining the modest storefront- albeit it now spray painted galaxy print. Superstore is amongst the most colourful places we've come into contact with; bright, airy and decked out in full force with distinctively quirky style. Think geometric pastel tiling, fairy lights, bunting, Vinyl artwork and fluorescent everything. When it's not playing host to regular art exhibitions in the basement, the space is occupied by weekly disco and electro club nights, often with drag performances to boot. It's essentially a café come bar/nightclub, so food, fabulous cocktails and late night entertainment all in delightfully colourful wrapping paper. Where do we sign?
Music: Funk, House, Dance, Electro, Hip Hop, Techno, Live
Dress Code: None
Train Station: Dalston Kingsland
Address: Dalston Superstore, 117 Kingsland High Street, London, E8 2PB
On club nights all sorts of progressive beats can be heard at Superstore, ranging from Funk, House, Hip Hop, Electro, Disco and Techno. Performers to have graced the stage include Detroit House and Techno producer Claude Vonstroke and avant garde singer Billie Ray Martin, plus some top notch Techno courtesy of Deepgroove. Sweet and flamboyant cocktails start at £7.70 or, perhaps opt for one of the Seven draught beers: Brooklyn Lager, Frontier, Kirin Ichiban, Guinness or Estrella. They also had a whopping 18 of the bottled variety readily available too Punk IPA, Sierra Nevada, Sol, Peroni, Anchor Steam...) If you're not a beer lover, then you could also choose from the wine selection on offer at a reasonable £4.10 a glass.
Edgy east London fashion takes command at Dalston Superstore; it's a veritable catwalk of creative ensembles. Might even be worth bringing a notepad and pen. That, or just ask the mysterious guy sketching in the corner for a sheet, because everyone here is some kind of an artist, photographer, designer, performer or pottery sculptor - it's just that kind of environment. As we previously mentioned, it's also completely non-threatening and the cheerful, brightness of the entire space is extremely welcoming of anyone, of any persuasion. It's even Vegan, Vegetarian and dog friendly. The venue itself is just totally free-spirited and progressive, hosting events like 'Clam Jam' for 'lesbians and their gay boyfriends' and 'Batty Mama', an event dedicated to Queer people of colour. It's pretty safe to say, that whatever is going on at Superstore, it's a pretty great way to while away an evening. We particularly liked 'Naked Boys Reading', which entails lads undressed to their pants, standing on the bar and reading uhm... We don't really remember quite what he read, but does it matter?
In a world known for being hyper critical and let's face it, pretty unforgiving, Dalston Superstore is an absolute breath of fresh air. Bold, daring and bursting with integrity, it's really rather more of a political statement than just a nightclub, encouraging each and every one of us to let our respective freak-flags fly. With 60's-esque colour flying about place and sea of grinning faces, it's really quite a bizarre contrast to what was 'cool' 4-5 years ago, when you weren't supposed to show explicit enthusiasm for anything. It's hip but in the fun, forward-thinking way, surpassing any kind of pretension or snottiness - it's just one big riotous party. It really is pretty great. But we should've guessed that really. It's not called the Dalston Average-Store is it?