Hybrid shopping experiences have been the rage for a while now. Retailers with coffee shops, tea rooms and occasionally bars. Coffee shops with hairdressers. Pubs with vintage clothes shops. You name it, they've tried it, usually to good effect. Although I draw the line at estate agents cum cafes. However the classic combination of music store and bar is nearly as old as I am, yet still so winningly effective. And none more so in good old London town then Pure Groove in Smithfields Markets. The Northerner and I dropped in on Friday night when the venue was hosting a DJ session by the Lost Boys (I think that's what they were called) and the place was humming. Pure Groove markets itself as an every-changing venue that includes record shop, art gallery and cafe / bar, but on Friday night it was a well worked combination of them all with a little bit of pre-club thrown it. The clientele are the Smithfield creative set of graphic designers, and film and advertising types, and (on this night anyway) very male. But all in a laidback funky way, as opposed to football loving lads.
The drinks are your standard offering of semi-exotic lagers (read that as Asahi and Corona) and spirits, mixed and served with the enthusiasm and panache of a student bar. And I mean that in a good way.
We knocked by several drinks and watched the crowd shift from animated conversation to bobbing about grooving and dancing as the beats and the beers kicked in.
This is the best Smithfield bar I've been into in a while now, and complements the equally strong Old Red Cow pub down the road. I like this bar a lot and will definitely go back again. If you like the funkier side of things I recommend that you give it a whirl.