Finding Pop-Up Pirates bar in Clerkenwell is easier said than done; London’s dreaded numbering system throws us a little, but street savvy soon prevails and sets us in the right direction. The press party is already buzzing as we join the queue and soon after, looking down at our stamped wrists, instructions are clear as day: ‘Welcome to Pop-Up Pirates. Now Go Party’ – aye aye Captain.
Walking into the bar, we’re hit with colours galore and words of numerous shapes and sizes. It’s a deliciously fun atmosphere and lazy leather couches are laden with trendy creatives who are infected with chatter whilst they sip an abundance of mojitos. Disco-tinted tunes tickle the ears, and wandering to the DJ booth (which is rather reminiscent of a rainbow) we take a seat beside the phrase ‘Ride the Rhythm’ and keep an eye on the tray of canapés hovering near by. The finger foods are all rather nice, although there is a brick, I mean block, of cheese too big for the kebab stick and a dip-in sauce spicier than it looks.
Upstairs is another bar, and slightly less coloured than it’s counterpart below, but just as dandy. There are visual odditites and delights almost everywhere you look, but the bathroom takes the cake. When I heard of an interactive chalk-boarded bathroom, I thought, “OK, there’s a board and you can scribble a little”, but my assumption is happily kicked off its pedestal and replaced by the Mecca of all chalk board fiestas. The walls and roof have been transformed into a black canvas where you can doodle to your heart’s delight. I take it quite seriously and set about making my mark on many a corner and crevice.
The Mothership, Central Illustration Agency and Pirates have put a good dose of effort into creating this space – it’s intimate and it’s looking capable of causing a bit of a ruckus this summer. Within the blink of an eye, three months will be up and Pop-Up Pirates hoist anchor and set sail, so Londoners will have to strike while the weather is hot. Never having been to a pop-up bar I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I leave impressed with the energy that has gone into making this temporary location what it is. After a little shimmy and shake on the dance floor beneath the sparkle of a large P-shaped disco ball, I begin my homeward journey, wondering when I can present myself at the Pirate’s doors once again.
Check out Spoonfed, for things to do in London.