With an interesting food menu and variety of DJs, this bar aims to please from its prime position on the corner of Shoreditch High Street and Old Street.
Situated in an easy-to-find location on the corner of Shoreditch High Street and Old Street, this venue sits in the heart of what was formerly known as the Trendy Triangle. There have been big changes in recent times and many venues in the area have ditched the rugged industrial look in favour of a sleeker, modern-looking decor that is often found in bars in the West End. The Corner Shop has managed to do this in a tasteful way and the venue still has some character with an elaborate living/dining room feel to it – there's vintage-style furniture, dark wooden tables and chairs, funky framed pictures, patterned lampshades, newspaper/comic-covered walls and fairy lights. Downstairs is particularly cosy and, interestingly, is popular with people who want to watch sport on the screens. The bar opens on to the street and, during the summer, there's often a huge crowd outside.
This changes a lot depending on the time of the week. During the week, the venue is popular with local workers from the City who take advantage of the lunchtime offers and the after-work deals on drinks, while at the weekend, you have the mixed bunch that modern day Shoreditch pulls in – people from Essex on a "big night out," trendy artists who still live in the area, those after somewhere to watch a big game and people wandering past looking for a drink. Staff are friendly and really passionate about what they do. The music changes a lot depending on the day of the week – expect to hear everything from electro, indie and disco to 90s tunes and funky house. The venue plays host to resident DJs and live bands.
This is where the venue aims to stand out – the chef is unbelievably passionate about offering something its neighbours don't and he's devised a menu that wouldn't look out of place in a gastro pub. The chef's signature dish, The Corner Pie (£8.95), is particularly delicious. Standing tall on a plate, the homemade filo pastry pie is layered with fresh-tasting spinach, rich ricotta cheese, sautéed potatoes and perfectly cooked Mediterranean veg. It's topped with a creamy, yet not overpowering, bonne femme sauce that really complements the dish. The cajun chicken salad (£8.95) is also very good – the slightly spicy chicken pieces are tender and plentiful, while the salad is more than just a couple of leaves, including sundried tomatoes and a selection of different peppers, all topped in a tangy balsamic dressing. In addition, the kitchen serves grazing platters that start at £10 and pizza slabs that come on a wooden board and are made with a light foccacia base.
Desserts are priced at £4.95 and change daily. The homemade tiramisu is particularly good. There are a few deals on the menu – lunches are £5 and you can get two main meals for £12. This is good value for the quality of food that's served.
The bar staff are expertly trained in cocktail making and take great pride in the drinks they serve. The London mojito (£7.50) is particularly well-made and offers a twist on the classic drink – the Bombay Sapphire, lime, mint and sugar are really complemented by the dash of apple juice that adds a refreshing edge to what is a subtly sweet drink. The Long Island ice tea (£8) is also very tasty and is made with the perfect amounts of vodka, gin, tequila, Bacardi, Cointreau, lemon and Coke to make it strong, yet easy to drink. If you're after wine, the list is pretty reasonable and you're looking at spending around £12.50 for a bottle of cabernet sauvignon. Beers include Staropramen, Beck’s Vier, Stella and Hoegaarden on draught. They have a few drinks deals running, including two beers for a fiver.
The Last Word
With well-made cocktails, tasty food and a committed team of staff, this venue looks set to do well in its prime location on Shoreditch High Street.