Top 50 Cocktail Bars



Hackney, London

Possibly the most unusual name for a bar on the Top 50 Cocktail Bars list, London’s A Bar With Shapes for a Name on Kingsland Road has an interesting story to tell.

The name itself is not actually a name, rather a description of its label which is three Bauhaus-influenced primary-coloured shapes – a yellow triangle, a red square and a blue circle. But you may call it Shapes for short.

Needless to say, the concept is an artistic vision created by bartender Remy Savage and business partner Paul Lougrat as a way to challenge drinkers to reimagine what a bar actually is.

Both Savage and Lougrat worked together at London’s Artesian cocktail bar and have created a stunningly unique venue. It really is like no other on the list in terms of look and feel.

It has an almost classroom or educational feel to it and there are no bottles on show, making it difficult to know the venue is a bar if you didn’t already know. In fact, from certain angles, you would be forgiven for thinking you’d entered a kitchen from the 1970s, although cleaner and modern.

The menu usually features 12 cocktails, which are evenly split between six classics and a further six developed inhouse.

Each of the main ingredients used in the drinks are chosen through blind tastings alone, an interesting concept that removes and marketing bias. We’re not saying this is the case, but it technically makes it possible that the house vodka, for example, could be a white label, discount supermarket one over an expensive branded variant.

Cocktails are very reasonably priced, at no more than £10 when we last checked, and are made and served in the most beautiful ways.

Think glassware with the three important primary colours, ice holding the shapes and colours imprisoned and beautifully decorated bottles featuring swipes of those all-important colours. It is a must visit.

Key Information

  • PRICE RANGE: £££
  • ADDRESS: 232 Kingsland Rd, Whitmore Estate, London, E2 8AX