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B@1 (Be at One) (Bar)

Picture of B@1 (Be at One) in City of London, London

28 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4R 9AT
Cuisine: [Other/Unclassified]
Tel: 020 7621 0400 | Email to B@1 (Be at One) | | Transport: Monument | Write review

B@1 (Be at One) Review

Best for: An amazing range of cocktails; all genders and ages; friendly and chatty bar staff.

Great: for everyone who fancies starting the evening with cocktails, friendly atmosphere and pumping music.

I was trying to Google the word for a phobia of city bars the other day, or more precisely a phobia of city bankers; I don’t think anyone has invented such a word yet. Working in the creative/arts industry, it was going to be a tough sell to persuade my constituents to venture into the bear pit of the City of London, but I am never one to shirk away from a challenge.

Walking through Monument, it’s hard not to notice B@1, with fantastic old school music drifting from the bar. Will I be humming along to “The Eye of the Tiger”? Will I get along with those vultures? It was a promising start, and could you possibly get a funkier name for a bar than one with an @ sign in it?

Decked out with dark wood panelling, it had more of a nightclub vibe. It was a little early for a nightclub at 19:30, though, I thought. I was expecting Gordon Gecko to glide in at any moment. Luckily, I was made to feel very at home by the bartender, “How’s your day been? What fabulous cocktail can I get you?” Hang on a minute, I thought. I wasn’t wearing an Armani suit or a Burberry overcoat.

The cocktail menu was colourful, with a unique style and was the size of a book. I wasn’t used to so much choice being offered at a bar. Greed really is good.

I was preparing to hide in a corner, but I was mesmerised by the hive of activity at the bar and the knowledgeable banter from bartender Ben.

“Signature drinks please,” we asked, pretending to be one of the local predators. He offered us a rum punch and a Boston tea party. The rum punch was perfect for a midsummer’s evening, combining Appleton's rum and fruit juices. The Boston tea party was smooth like my bank manager, easy on the mouth, and at the ideal temperature (not too much ice). You can really taste the cocktail; instead of a watery drink you get at other less reputable bars.

Informed about the extra space downstairs by the entertaining staff, we took our glasses and hit the stairs. It is, after all, my job to investigate. Nice dim lighting, comfortable seating and the taste of cocktails made me forget about the lack of annual leave I have left. Soon, like that famous scene in The Full Monty, our arms and legs were gently moving to the rhythm of the music, as were people on the other tables (although our clothes remained on our bodies). No, it didn’t feel awkward at all, it felt just right.

By now the party was in full swing and the vultures and prey were intermingling as one. The lack of annual leave made me pine for my last holiday on a Greek Island so I went for a Piña colada. I’d been warned it was the only pre-prepared and stored in a fridge drink. And yes, it was a bit like a frozen shake: hard to drink, but nevertheless, with help from my new friends at the bar who added an extra shot of rum, it became surprisingly inviting.

My friend went for the intriguingly named E-poo, supposedly the B@1 classic. You heard it here first; the best way to end an evening is with some E-Poo (which has a dry taste of cranberry and a touch of sweetness with Red Bull added to one of the best vodka, Wyborowa)

Shame B@1 does not serve food; it would have been nice to have something to nibble on whenever you are having a cocktail or a beer. Then again, I suppose Gordon Gecko would have had dinner first at the Gherkin before arriving. Luckily for everyone else, they will be serving food from September.

To all my banker friends, I am just teasing you (before you all start unfollowing me on Twitter). It’s a great place to take your friends or make new ones. Whether you are 23 or 53, you will find it easy to have a conversation with anyone there. You won’t get a hangover the next day from being overcharged; the cocktails are reasonably priced for a bar in the heart of the City. What will stay with you are many happy memories from the night before. High praise indeed coming from a culture vulture like myself.
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Customer Reviews for B@1 (Be at One)

Average (based on 1 votes): 1 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 B@1 (Be at One).

“Fantastic atmosphere, superb staff! Amazing cocktails served in plush bar. Quality venue, place to be in London!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Gary Porter, Guildford (7 years 1 months 13 days ago)

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