Once upon a time, three barmen, dismayed by all the terrible bars, hankered after a time when a well made cocktail was available without a twenty minute wait or remortgaging the house. And so they bought the lease to a restaurant in Battersea and set about creating their own unique venue. The premise was clear: great cocktails from a massive selection, consistent service and a friendly atmosphere. The result was Be At One.
Be At One Battersea sits on Battersea Rise, a couple of minutes’ walk from Clapham Junction, recognisable from the awning over the facade and the odd smoker lingering outside. The large, central bar is always a flurry of activity, and dark walls, dark wood and low-level lighting give the venue a slightly subdued air – like a 1920s speakeasy but with The Smiths playing in the background. Candles adorning the tables are a nice touch, but the almost-romantic front area with its chandelier and large window is where the best seats are, and leaves the gloomy rear of the bar in the shade - literally.
With no outdoor seating or alfresco drinking allowed, Be At One Battersea should be more popular in the darker months or after the sun goes down. Thankfully, they are open for nightly nocturnal shenanigans until midnight in the week, or 1am Thursday-Saturday.
The vibe at Be At One Battersea is young and hip, but casual enough not to be pretentious. Indie kids and students mix happily with after-workers. The bar staff are cool - never rude - and very welcoming, and the service is fast and friendly.
To compliment the vast range of cocktails on offer, a huge selection of music, with a focus on classics from the ‘80s, ‘90s and beyond, will take you on a nostalgic trip and have you singing along in no time. The music is loud, and bar staff and punters shout to make themselves heard above the rabble, but it is easy to see why this bar has been such a roaring success. The entertaining atmosphere and nightly happy hours guarantee a fun night out.
Alongside classics like the caipirinha or mojito, sit more unusual creations such as Ward 8, Boston Tea Party, Cuban Pussy or E-Poo (with vodka, Redbull, cranberry and a splash of lime, it's got all the major food groups!). A 25 page tome of a cocktail menu breaks offerings into thirteen categories, ranging ‘Classics’ to ‘Ice-cream’ and ‘Disco.’ There’s even a full page dedicated to tasty non-alcoholic concoctions for the yummy mummies who still want to enjoy a night out, or those driving home afterwards.
Cocktails start at £5 and the majority are a very reasonable £6.50, but a nightly Happy Hour is the best value in the area (leading to the worst hangover the following day). Drinks are expertly produced and the fact that Be At One Battersea only employ trained bartenders means that all the staff are capable of putting your favourite cocktail together, and service is fast and friendly.
The Last Word
If you're looking to pose while sipping overpriced cocktails and listening to mindless minimalist tech house, then you may be disappointed. However, if you want great value drinks, expertly produced and served by a friendly team to a background of classic tunes then Be At One Battersea is open late to show you how it should be done.