8 Strange But Wonderful Brighton Pubs
Brighton is a city where pretty much anything goes. The unusual is sometimes considered normal as many fail in an attempt to stand out in the crowd. So, to set yourself apart from the pack and offer something completely different in a place like Brighton & Hove you need to be unique, contrary and push the envelope of creativity high. In a city where there is said to be a pub for every day of the year, a few of Brighton’s watering holes have set themselves apart by being strangely creative but wonderfully appealing. Here are our picks of the 8 best.
BYOC Brighton, Meeting House Lane
You’ve got a bar and you want to be unique, well how about you don’t serve any alcohol? BYOC does exactly that, with no alcohol available to buy on the premises, the clientele bring along their own favourite tipple or that bottle of green stuff you got last Christmas for their skilled mycologists to conjure you up some magic. With a distinctly 1920’s prohibition vibe, as the mycologists make the cocktails in front of you at your table with a selection of spices and mixers from the vintage trolley. Entrance to this speak easy is through a secret door and tables must be pre-booked and are charged by the hour. Truly something uniquely wonderful. byoc.co.uk/brighton
JW Lennon’s, Edward Street, Kemptown
Inspired by the Irish/American pubs that opened in New York towards the end of the 19th century, JW Lennon’s is part grocery shop and part traditional Irish bar. If the outside of the building doesn’t set the mood (it wouldn’t look out of place in the streets of 19th century Dublin) walking in certainly will. How many pubs have you been in where sawdust and monkey nut shells still adorn the floor? The walls are covered in vintage pictures, old beer barrels and even a large canoe. If you’re feeling peckish, the food includes the traditional New York staple, with a huge selection of hot dogs. Definitely worth a visit.
Dirty Blonde, East Street, Brighton
Stepping as far from the mainstream as possible, you entre Dirty Blondes from a functioning pawn shop full of vintage paraphernalia from here you enter a world of 1920’s New York City, Lion & Which style. Expert mixologists serve up a wide and vast collection of premium cocktails, boutique spirits and hand crafted beers to enlighten as well as delight the taste buds. www.dirtyblondebrighton.com
The Bee’s Mouth, Western Road, Hove
The outside might not look like an old police box but it’s definitely a tardis inside. What looks like a small pub from the outside opens up to offer something differently inviting in every nook and cranny of this labyrinthine bar. The decor can only be described as unique, imagine Tim Burton’s mind and you’re there! With a cinema downstairs, stage for live music upstairs and some strange little touches such as the mirrored room and the lounge bed hidden behind curtains. Offering a huge selection of beers from around the globe, The Bee’s Mouth attracts an array of different types of people and is all the better for it.
The Black Dove, St James Street, Kemptown
When you find a bar that local bar tenders like to go after their shifts, then you know you’ve found something good. Very quirky on every level. Be it the distinctly Victorian/turn of the century feel or the eclectic mix of clientele. Split across two levels, the down stairs is something out of a 19th century galleon all be it, not decorated in the same vain. A mix of 30’s, 40’s and 50’s music, speakeasy still serenades your sipping as you travel the years as well as the World with some of Brighton’s best cocktails, ciders and World beers. blackdovebrighton.com
Neighbourhood, St James Street, Kemptown
Having made your way along St James Street, you would have already seen your fair share of eccentricity before entering the wonderment that is Neighbourhood. A bar which has an eccentric mix of individuality which is ultimately fitting in its Brighton surroundings. The graffiti walls are accompanied by a strange mix of vintage and obscure antiques, all there to create a rather different atmosphere like something from down town Brooklyn. Retro and funky, with great food and an excellent selection of drinks.
The Mesmerist, Prince Albert Street, The Lanes, Brighton
A Celebration of an era past, The Mesmerist is an eclectic mix of 1930’s gin palace and steampunk designed carnival. With vintage inspired entertainment ranging from 40’s swing bands to table side magic and fire breathing burlesque acts, The Mesmerist truly is a wonderland of the unconventional. Spread across two levels with the downstairs with its velvet curtains, chesterfield sofas and large dance floor and the winding staircase to upstairs to the dining room - a truly mesmerising place.
Sticky Mikes Frog Bar, Middle Street, The Lanes
Whether it’s the colourful artwork that decorates every free space on the walls like of a student’s bedroom, the mismatch furniture or the slush puppy cocktails that gives Sticky Mikes it’s unique personality is hard to say. One thing is for sure, the interior of place is pretty strange by most standards but this heralded music venue is most definitely wonderfully cool. Upstairs is ideal for meeting some friends, downstairs hosts an array of club nights, live bands and with a totally different vibe is ideal for dancing the night away.
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