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SW9 Bar Cafe (Bar)

Holding image for SW9 Bar Cafe

11 Dorrell Place, Brixton, London, SW9 8EG
Cuisine: Bar
Tel: 020 7738 3116 | Transport: Brixton | Write review

SW9 Bar Cafe Review

A deserted and somewhat dubious Brixton back street is the setting for this oasis of summertime sups. A busy cafe restaurant during the day, at night it transforms into an easy going Caribbean retreat with greenery and laid-back languid characters - all that's missing is the sun and the sand, but after a few Red Stripes your imagination will quickly sort that out.

The music veers towards the harder extreme of Euro-house, pulling in a crowd of mixed sexuality, but open mind and despite the hurried tempo of the music, there's nothing full-on about SW9, so come down & chill.

[words] london barguide

Customer Reviews for SW9 Bar Cafe

Average (based on 14 votes): 14 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of SW9 Bar Cafe.

“I opt for a little kitsch and comfort called ‘SW9’ which lounges at one end of a dubious looking Dorrell Place. It is lovely. It is purple, welcoming, has mirror balls, paisley wallpaper, and best of all – cake stands – complete with cake of course. It’s camp as Christmas albeit a purple one and I love it. Oh! And did I mention that their blackboard reads: ‘Ever tasted Pussy?’ It appears to be a new energy drink – more stylish than its counterparts - but how fantastic! I‘ve parked myself beside the very welcoming floor-to-ceiling radiator; from here I can see both the bar and the outside world. The real world. To step inside ‘SW9’ is to step into a different, more surreal dimension. The owner, Alan, looks like that guy, the one from the films, with the floppy hair – but kitted out in ‘Diet Coke Chic’; a tight white t-shirt and washed out denim jeans. Not nearly as attractive as their French burlesque waitress who served us yesterday. If I had the patience to apply make-up daily I might recreate the look (I can’t do this due to the fact that I’m just so inconsolably lazy). While I’m thinking about this I can hear one side of a conversation being held behind the bar (up through the dumbwaiter shaft to be precise): “Blue cheese” “cheddar” “parmesan” “big block” “smooth” “smooth, smooth” “yeah, with big lumps in!” “carbonara”…It’s anyone’s guess… The very well spoken women to my left have just ordered crumpets; I’m jealous. I might have a chocolate muffin. The French girl is outside enjoying the tail end of her cigarette; before starting work I presume. I’d like to think it’s a Marlborough Red or, even better…Gauloise or Gitanes (although I doubt the possibility of the latter two, even if she does happen to be French). Her hair and make-up is, once again, perfectly sculpted. She is wearing a red headscarf, Nora Batty style, held in place with Kirby grips. She has dark hair, piercings, and tattoos.”
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Tatty Benedict, London, UK (6 years 5 months 13 days ago)

“It is small and quite cramped especially when it gets busy, there no where to move. I had brief encounter with staff who was expectionally rude to me and my friends. I do not recommend this place at all. I just can't get over how rude he was, a really shame.”
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Sabs17, London (7 years 7 months 1 days ago)

“Another excellent night out at the Acadamy and even better pre-gig drinks and food had at SW9. Alway accommodating and very friendly staff, this place is definitely to be tried. See you guys again very soon. Sam & Chris xxx”
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Sam, Essex (10 years 22 days ago)

Show all user reviews for SW9 Bar Cafe

“I found this a great place to find out my sexuality. I have never felt so relaxed and comfortable around people of my own kind (gay). I would advise anyone who isn’t sure if they bat for the other team or not, to go on down there and have great time with a great bunch of guys. 10 out of 10 (due to the fact I got lucky that night). Love Bish xxx ”
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Tom Bishop, London (10 years 2 months 1 days ago)

“This is a place that is off the beaten track - if only slightly, that many people are not aware of. Yes at times there is bickering occurring amongst the staff (with a staff churn greater than McDonalds), and the prices are more akin to the West End and Earls Court than South London, and yes you hardly get any of the (ethnic locals) going there, but when the staff are happy and it's not to busy, and they get to know you it can be an exceptional place to sit down, relax, drink and have a bit of food to ease the appetite. The quality of the food has improved, although the portions are now becoming more Nouveau sized; either that or the plates are exceptionally large. So yes, I would recommend SW9 Bar Cafe. If you go with an open mind and crossed fingers.”
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Peter, Lanado (10 years 5 months 15 days ago)

“This place is overpriced and the service is poor. I strongly recommend against eating here in particular. The food took a while to arrive, perhaps due to the loud, continual bickering among the kitchen and waiting staff. Their expensive yet mediocre English breakfast came without any toast; when I asked for some I was told it would be an extra £2.50. I was also informed that toast used to be included but that the manager actually removed it recently in order, it was implied, to increase his profit margins. This seems to illustrate well the cynical nature of this establishment. There are better places - go to them instead.”
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Pete Moulin, Brixton (10 years 6 months 11 days ago)

“Well what can i say about this bar, it looks welcoming from the outside, but the staff (and prices) have put me off going back, i had to wait 5 mins whilst the person behind the bar finished his private conversation, then didn't even appologise for keeping me waiting! Take a tip from me, employ someone who enjoys bar work and talking to your customers!”
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zoe, london (11 years 2 months 2 days ago)

“SW9 is one of the most friendly bars in Brixton, once you get in there, you really feel at home and want to come back, especialy at night time.”
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Thomas Ruhland, Chevillon (12 years 10 months 20 days ago)

“Not a bad place when compared to the other 'competition' in and around Brixton.”
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Mookeu, London (13 years 5 months 14 days ago)

“Had 2 course meal there last night and was disgusted by the service. We ordered mussels for starter which came out barely cooked. The shells were still closed! The staff were so rude making out that we could still eat them - like how?! So they take them back and (microwaved??) cooked them for so long they come out stringy with no flesh. Disgusting. The other table had the same experience and when I asked for our money back for the starter they made out that no one had complained about them all night. So after I pointed out that the other table did they unwillingly gave us some money back. But this was serious effort and they were really rude. I would never go back there unfortunately.”
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Helen, [ Unknown ] (14 years ago)

“This place is a perfect if pricey place to chill out if you want a quierter friday night. With occasional live jazz this rates highly for me.”
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Marmite, [ Unknown ] (14 years 4 months 4 days ago)

“We had the misfortune to have lunch at Brixton's SW9 bar/cafe at the weekend. Apologies for my overusage of the word 'rubbish' in the pars to follow, but there simply is no better description for this utterly rubbish venue. RUBBISH! The waitress, who after taking 20 minutes to get round to serving us, promptly came up five minutes later and asked if we would be eating this afternoon. Yes, you fool, when you bring us the food order you just took from us. Then forgot to bring us our drinks. Then took the drinks to the wrong table. RUBBISH! The food, which took years to arrive and, when it did, was tasteless and bland (I know that's a tautology but it really was that bad). The pitta bread was akin to cardboard, the butter on the garlic bread rancid, the leek and gruyere tart came in what appeared to be a store-bought, ready-made tart case... I could go on, but I just don't want to remember any more. RUBBISH! The decor, which is like a blind Changing Rooms team has been let loose on the place. At least back in the day they had the rude Keith Haring-alike painting to distract you from the shite purple walls and mirror tiles. RUBBISH! Playing Rachel Stevens' LA Ex twice. TWICE! So yes, SW9, rubbish to the core. If someone opened a decent cafe in Brixton, a la the much-lamented Goya on Acre Lane (come back Dennis!), they would make a killing. ”
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Smacked Face, [ Unknown ] (14 years 6 months 6 days ago)

“Excellent, if fairly pricy food. Good selection of more interesting draught lagers too - i.e Kirin. Mixed crowd but nearly always very friendly.”
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decadent poet, [ Unknown ] (14 years 9 months 12 days ago)

“Rude guy behind the bar who couldn't be bothered to pull his finger out when they forgot to tell the kitchen about our food, and told us so 45 minutes later. Left with a bitter taste in our mouth so can't recommend the place.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Mark C, [ Unknown ] (14 years 10 months 10 days ago)

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Venue ID: 1237

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