After throwing one last glitter-littered party on New Year's Eve, Oriole - the epic Smithfield Market speakeasy with a penchant for OTT cocktails and smooth jazz - had to close its doors due to the market's redevelopment. But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the bar is about to make a glorious return with a three-month residency at The Hoxton Southwark. Hell yeah!
Starting Thursday 16 March, Oriole will be setting up shop in Albie, the hotel's mezzanine restaurant. Cocktail-wise, Oriole's bar manager Samet Ali and general manager Jacopo Correnti are kicking things off with a selection of greatest hits from the bar's OG menu, inspired by the migration patterns and habitats of its namesake bird.
"Part of our collaboration will be bringing back to life some of Oriole's signature serves," they said. "Working closely with the Hoxton team, we will be aiming to capture the spirit of escapism through our love of exploration."
But you can expect some new boozy bangers too. Throughout the residency, the team will be hard at work shaking up new drinks showcasing bold flavours and modern techniques. These will eventually form the menu at the bar's new permanent location. That's right - Oriole 2.0 is in the works!
When it comes to the pop-up's interiors, expect Oriole's signature vintage time-warp style, featuring glam furniture and antiques from round the world. "I’m really looking forward to Oriole transforming the space and bringing it to life with their superb drinks, ethos, service and atmosphere," said Pepijn Vanden Abeele, Albie's general manager. (Same.)
Get ready to cut a rug, 'cos the tunes are gonna be BIG here, with swing, jazz and blues musicians taking centre stage from 6pm 'til late. And if you're feeling peckish, you can pair your cocktail with a selection of small plates like shrimp tostadas, glazed pork belly buns and padron peppers with miso.
Time to start planning your cocktail order - here's a sneak peek at the Oriole classics gracing the opening menu...
A vacay in a glass, with tequila, pisco, passionfruit kombucha, hibiscus agua fresca and lime juice. Bring a saucy romance novel and the beach holiday vibes are complete.
Moss in a cocktail? Trust us, it works. Get involved with this wicked combo of vodka, Icelandic moss wine, orange blossom mead, clarified heritage romato and lemon juice - you'll see what we mean.
Buzz buzz, b*tches. This bad boy brings together rum, Cognac, cascara vermouth, cold brew coffee, chamomile syrup and horchata foam. Your caffeine fix never tasted so good.
Oriole's pop-up at The Hoxton Southwark opens 16 March | 40 Blackfriars Rd, London SE1 8NY | Book here
By Kate Malczewski