London's Hot New Bar Openings: Summer 2023

Bourbon bars, beer halls & the cocktail den we've been waiting for

Ding dong! Summer's here, and she's rollin' up with an entourage of fresh new bars. From the speakeasy tucked under a world-famous cultural institution to a disco curry house, these are the hot new spots to add to your London bucket list...  

Gaucho Covent Garden

Now open

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Argentinean restaurant Gaucho has launched its first new London restaurant in a decade, snagging some prime real estate in Covent Garden. Safe to say they've gone all out with this place, offering the massive steaks that made 'em famous along with a few surprises, too. Breakfast menu? Check. Late-night tango and DJs? Check and check. But the bit that really gets our hearts racing is the subterranean speakeasy, modelled after the golden era of Buenos Aires' Art Deco dance halls. 

8-9 James St, London WC2E 8BT


Now open

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It's back, baby! This is the moment we've waited three long years for: cocktail legend Erik Lorincz has reopened his stunner of a bar in new digs in Mayfair - and you know the former head bartender of the American Bar at The Savoy has a few tricks up his sleeve. We're talkin' tropical Moroccan-inspired interiors with a sleek edge, a beaut collection of vintage spirits and wicked flavour combinations. Vodka, Disaronno, oat, green cardamom, agave, citrus and passionfruit, all in one glass? Yeah, it's a stunner. 

52 Stratton St, London W1J 8LN

The Rosarium at The Sidings

Opening 14 June

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Dive into the wild world of Alice in Wonderland at this floral acid trip of a restaurant in the tunnels below Waterloo Station. It's part of Labrynth, a sprawling new venue that's home to the fully immersive theatre production Alice's Adventures Underground. The restaurant itself is inspired by Victorian gardens, with an indoor terrace, playful British dishes and themed cocktails like the Tweedle Tini, a two-in-one serve featuring a gin Martini and a vodka Martini presented in tiny vials. We'll be sippin' and snackin' here as we patiently await the opening of Underland, The Rosarium's sister bar, later this year.

Unit G8, The Sidings, Waterloo Station, London SE1 7BH

Empire Empire

Opening 15 June

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Disco + curry = meet the hottest party spot of the summer. This Notting Hill restaurant is the latest from Harneet Baweja, the champ behind Gunpowder, and it's set to feature epic northwestern Indian cuisine and a bangin' Bollywood soundtrack, in a setting with a groovy '70s twist. Samosas, biryanis, natural wines and your best dance moves: bring it on!

6 All Saints Rd, London W11 1HH


Opening 22 June

We've seen bars hidden behind phone booths, fridge doors and barber shops, but this might just be the coolest location for a speakeasy yet. You'll find Larry's in the historic vaults beneath the National Portrait Gallery. Once you hunt down the secret entrance, you'll enter a world of old-school glamour, complete with more than 100 portraits from the NPG archives on the walls. Cosy up to the bar and order a classic cocktail while you take in some epic live entertainment - burlesque, anyone? Sounds like Larry likes his nights a little naughty...

Weston Wing, Level -3, National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin's Pl, London WC2H 0HE

Mr Fogg's Hat Tavern & Gin Club

Opening 5 July

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Get ready for two floors of pure Victorian whimsy with a juniper twist, 'cos the Mr Fogg's crew have taken over the space that used to be the iconic London Gin Club. Set over two floors, the new concept is inspired by the building opposite, which in the 19th century was a hat factory called Henry Heath's. The upstairs is all about the Dickensian tavern vibes, with loadsa antiques, wood panelling, a bronze ceiling and a menu of ales and punches for a chilled post-work drink. Downstairs, in an ode to its Gin Club roots, things are dedicated to the juniper spirit, with OTT cocktails and interactive gin experiences on offer. 

22 Great Chapel St, London W1F 8FR


Opening 7 July

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A plant-filled courtyard, fresh AF British cocktails, epic Thai food, Michelin-starred credentials, art installations, DJs... Outcrop, you have our attention. The founders of Michelin-starred Italian restaurant Luca and members of the Secret Cinema team have come together to create this three-month pop-up set in 180 The Strand. Their goal? To build a restaurant and arts space that "connects guests with nature". Naturally, we're pumped for the cocktails, which are all about locality. Hello, Barley Margarita!

180 Strand, Temple, London WC2R 1EA


Opening in June

Obessed with the primal flavour of dishes cooked over an open flame? This one's for you. Chef Tomos Parry is the guy behind Shoreditch fave Brat, and he's bringin' his fiery cooking techniques to Soho this summer with the launch of Mountain. It's gonna be a wine bar and wood grill combining Spanish and Welsh influences, featuring vermouth, vinyl and loads of stunning seafood dishes. Date night: sorted.

16-18 Beak St, London W1F 9RD

Lowcountry at Counter 71

Opening in June

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Chef Joe Raker, who recently led the team at the now-shuttered Fenn in Fulham, is heading to Shoreditch this summer with the opening of an intimate 16-seater restaurant called Counter 71. But the bit that's really got us jazzed? It's the dark, moody bar downstairs. Lowcountry is named after the US region spanning mid-coast Georgia to North Carolina. Bartender Ryan Sheehan hails from the American South himself, and he's dreamed up a menu that's big on American whiskey and culinary techniques. Catch us turning up the temps with the Hot Tomato - that's tomato water, jalapeño-infused tequila, basil oil and salt. 

71 Nile Street, London N1 7RD


Opening in June

Time to break out your lederhosen, 'cos Bierschenke is bringing a taste of Munich to London. Sound familiar? This place used to be housed in Liverpool Street, but now it's getting an even bigger home in Covent Garden. It's basically Oktoberfest all year round, with Bavarian beers and sausages, a killer schnapps selection and an oompah band to get you in the mood to groove. We reckon this one's gonna play host to some wild work dos. Prost! 

50 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9LJ