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B@1 (Be at One) (Bar)

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

348 Old Street, Shoreditch, London, EC1V 9NQ
Cuisine: [Other/Unclassified]
Tel: 020 7729 4441 | Email to B@1 (Be at One) | | Transport: Old Street | Write review

B@1 (Be at One) Review

B@1 (Be at One) is featured in these Guides:

Best for: An incredible range of cocktails, whatever your favoured poison.

Great: Staff and service. Cocktails aren’t half bad, either.

In hindsight, perhaps it was my own fault. If I trace time backwards, I can still recall the day we first met. It was summer. The classroom was uncomfortably warm, my uniform itchy against my skin, and my head fuzzy with the mixture of heat and mathematic equation. She sat a seat away from me, locked in her own world of Pythagoras’ theorem and Aertex shirts. We were 14.

Her nickname was Fat Hands. I couldn’t possibly tell you why, but if you ever see her in the street, dragging her gargantuan fists, ape-like, you’ll know.

From that day we became friends. We saw each other through all manner of teenage drama, but it was only when we moved to London together that I discovered a truth too traumatic to say (without the whisky mac I currently nurse in my own normal-sized hand): Fat Hands doesn’t like cocktails. Elle n'aime pas les cocktails. Sie mag nicht cocktails. Doesn’t. Like. Cocktails.

There was only one thing to be done: I must make Fat Hands like cocktails. After all, what was I put upon this earth for, if not this? Why did the gods conceive to place us a seat apart that hot afternoon when, by rights, I should have been several groups lower according to my mathematic (in)ability?

Armed only with this self-righteous knowledge and a sense of purpose normally reserved for anti-government protestors, I told Fat Hands a time and a place. I chose a bar that I knew offered more cocktail choices than she would know what to do with, in effortlessly cool surrounds that would make her feel comfortable.

Be At One cocktail bar in Shoreditch was where it went down. All slick wooden panels, mirrors, a gloriously long bar, glittering chandeliers and a whole wall boasting all manner of spirits in tantalising technicolour. The staff were fun and friendly, greeting everyone as soon as they took their place at the bar, and happily recommending new tipples to eager drinkers. Those drinkers? A mix of couples tucked into cosy corner tables and groups of friends taking advantage of happy hour and the cool soundtrack of retro tunes. It’s a bar I will never forget.

[Cue swap to present tense for dramatic effect]

I hand her the menu. Myriad cocktails vie for her attention. Her eyes immediately glaze over. I wait, breath baited. The barman mixes me a much-needed drink; the Lychee Collins is everything I need it to be: zingy with a decent kick of gin to steel my nerves.

Suddenly, she turns the page and her eyes light up. This is it! The moment upon which I have awaited! Something has caught her fancy!

“I’ll have the Aperol Spritz” she announces, coolly. I snatch the menu from her, eager to find out which spirit has tempted her out of her lifelong abstention.

Ah. Part of the ‘Champagne and sparkling wine’ section. HOWEVER, this is still an achievement for the girl who refuses to mix her wine with soda water. I keep schtum, and we watch as her drink, a mix of Aperol (an Italian aperitif with bitter orange, gentian, rhubarb and cinchona), Prosecco, soda and fresh orange segments, is mixed. We wait, the barman and I, as she sips circumspectly, her giant hands cradling the glass. “It’s good”.

HALLELUJAH! The crowd erupts into spontaneous applause. Doves are released into the night’s sky. There is a partial eclipse of the moon, in the oddly-coincidental shape of a martini glass. It is done. The bar staff begin talking about erecting a plaque over the bar in my honour.

From here on in, it is plain sailing. I admit she sticks to wine-based concoctions, so it is only a partial success, but as I gaily sink my ‘Blood and Sand’ (scotch, cherry brandy, sweet Vermouth and orange juice), Fat Hands orders and enjoys a Grand Mimosa (Champagne, orange juice and Grand Marnier). By the time the barkeep, giddy with success, mixes me his own special brew, a ‘Disco Sours’, Fat Hands is happily browsing the menu and even trying mine when they are presented.

It might be one small step for drinkers everywhere, but it was one giant leap for Fat Hands. Let’s hope she’s still my friend after this review: there’s a cocktail in it for her if she is.


Don't ask • #londoncalling

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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).

“Thank you Imogen. My hands are a little swollen due to the wonderful British weather. I am now converted to cocktails..... well nearly”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Laura, london (6 years 3 months 19 days ago)

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B@1 (Be at One) Opening Hours

Monday: 5:00pm - 12:00am Friday: 5:00pm - 2:00am
Tuesday: 5:00pm - 12:00am Saturday: 5:00pm - 2:00am
Wednesday: 5:00pm - 12:00am Sunday: 5:00pm - 12:00am
Thursday: 5:00pm - 1:00am    

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B@1 (Be at One) Food & Drinks

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Venue ID: 22775

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Loved

"Hi guys, I come here with my friends and have very good time. I like your place very much and is very good times. I come back when I can soon. Thank you very much." Which venue is this?

Hated

"Dreadful pub, run by people who have zero idea about hospitality or running a pub. Upon arrival we sat in the back garden that only had one other table occupied , when we tried to order off the lunch menu..." Which venue is this?

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