You’re a fan of sport, but not a supporter of lads lads lads. You like alcohol, but you’re not really the chug-a-beer-bong type. We hear you. And so does jaunty sports bar and colourful eatery, Bar Kick. A bar you’d expect to find on the holiday strip, rather than in the middle of Shoreditch High Street. Okay, so you’re not really on holiday but you’ll feel that way. It’s a Wednesday you say? What’s a Wednesday?
Bar Kick is a large, industrial space with a Latin American vibe: bright oranges, yellows and reds dominate the colour palette, huge fans hang from above and neon advertisements for different beverage companies – Sol, Heineken, Coca Cola – buzz away in the background. Before opening in 2001, Bar Kick was one of the many shoe shops on the High Street, which we thought was funny, as they’ve sort of kept to the ‘foot’ theme, just this time football. There are heaps of footie flags, scarfs, props, photographs and sporting regalia plastered on the walls. The foosball tables are the main attraction though: lined up on the left hand side, above which sit three huge televisions broadcasting different sports games. It’s all very busy with lots going on, so Bar Kick has a comforting buzz about it, a bit like how you might keep the tellie on when you to go to sleep. Although, you try sleeping when there’s a chorus of ‘GOAL’ every 5 minutes...
Music: Jazz, Funk, Latin, Beats
Dress Code: None
Train Station: Shoreditch High Street
Address: Bar Kick, 127 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JE
Beer, wine and cocktails are a big part of the experience. The wine list runs over several pages, as do the classic – mojitos, old fashions, margaritas – and not-so-classic cocktail. The bar’s extensive bottled beer collection is housed in several sizable fridges. Happy hour runs every day from 4 until 7pm with selected bottled beers, bottled wine, and cocktails available at £2.50, £12 and £4.95 respectively. Sagres was the deal of the day when we went which had us cheering. You’re offered a glass, but most stick with the bottle and have at it. We once heard that ‘game-food’ should never be more than one syllable. Stuff like: Crisps, nuts, and chips.. but Bar kick are having none of it, with stuffed peppers, hummus and pitta, burgers, cheeseboards, chilli and all sorts of hearty grub to really fill your boots. And at really reasonable prices, most dishes coming in at under a tenner. The music is a mashup of Jazz, Funk and Bonobo-esque beats, tunes you’ll find it hard not to shuffle to.
Every table at Bar Kick is surrounded by customers having a better time than the people walking on by outside, there is no denying that. If they’re not looking intently at the TV or playing table football, then they’re talking and laughing amongst themselves, enjoying endless rounds at the bar. Bar Kick doesn’t have a ‘style’ so much as an attitude: it’s a sporting crowd here (with all the connotations that word implies), but never an aggressive one. And if you’re worried about not looking ‘the part’, don’t. There’s every kind of look here – from people in vests and tracksuit bottoms to those in shirts and dresses. Play on, drink on, dance on.
Bar Kick is a place where people feel comfortable. You don’t need to know the offside rule to fit in, nor do you need to pretend to know (or care) who the teams are to feel welcome. They’ve struck goal gold here and, if you’re anything like us, you’ll feel like ripping your top off and running around to celebrate the fact that, finally, you’ve found a place in Shoreditch that doesn’t take itself so desperately seriously. You know the folk here would be quite happy to play a round of table football with you, making you far more comfortable actually asking. Bar Kick is super social and feels, quite frankly like a home away from home. Good game, Bar Kick, good game.