If you're anything like us, then reading about a venue called 'Zoo Bar' invokes images of a Jumanji-style stampede. That, or a somewhere the girls sling on a pair of animal ears like Karen from Mean Girls, and claim to be in 'dress up'. Well, you'll be relieved to know that Zoo is actually nowhere near the naff end of the fancy dress shop, and is instead one of the number one party-bars in the West End. It's also - bizarrely - one of the best spots in town to settle down and watch some sports. We're not even lion.
Located on Bear Street (again, you couldn’t write this stuff), Zoo sits in the middle of Leicester Square. Zoo isn’t actually explicitly animal themed, so it seems the name is in actuality, slightly irrelephant. Instead, Zoo sports a cool retro vibe, with futuristic touches such as chrome and tempered glass bars. There are 2 floors, with 3 different rooms all playing a variety of music so if you thought you couldn’t please everyone, The Zoo bar may prove you wrong. There’s also 4 large projection screens for you to enjoy the big games and a whopping 26 plasmas throughout the bar to ensure you never miss a piece of the action. In fact, if there is a particular game you wanted to catch Zoo will play it especially for you! Talk about hospitality.
Music: Commercial, Chart, Pop, Hip Hop, House
Dress Code: Smart/Casual
Train Station: Leicester Square
Address: The Zoo Bar, 13-17 Bear Street, London, WC2H 7AQ
Cocktails and pitchers are the stars of the show here at The Zoo. We’re talking Woo Hoo’s, Sex On The Beach, Long Island Iced Tea... the works - so it’s safe to say, if you want to drink, it may help if you’re a fan of cocktails. If not, there’s no need to worry as they also have an array of wine, champagnes, and shots available for you thrill drinkers. Drinks are around £8 but happy hour from 5-9pm sees that halved. With multiple rooms, there is always a few different genres of music playing simultaneously, so if you’re into Cheesy Pop and party anthems, you can get your fix here as well as funky House and Dance at the main bar and a spattering of R&B in the room known as ‘The Cage’.
It doesn't come as a surprise that The Zoo draws in a younger crowd, as a lot of its promotions are aimed at students and the 18-25 demographic. Budget friendly drinks and food means this party bar is a student's best friend. Having said that, if you can still make it through until the early hours and party like you did when you first started clubbing at the ripe age of 18, then you may as well still be - so who the hell cares? Age is a state of mind anyway, right? Quite a few customers are regular attendees too; so if you go 2 weeks in a row, don't be surprised if you see some of the same people. We suppose it's actually a bit similar to if you were in fact in a zoo. In it though, not at it.
If you're a student on a budget, you were probably already persuaded by the half price cocktails and £3.50 hot dog (which we couldn't help thinking fit nicely into the animal theme as well as our mouths.) 'Pocket friendly' and 'West End' aren't usually terms you're likely to see together, in fact they're usually mutually exclusive. That is until you venture to Zoo. As much as it wasn't quite what we expected when we were first told to 'go to the zoo', it may in fact be better. Let's put it this way, Zoo certainly gets our seal of approval.