West Hampstead recently welcomed a new resident, in the form of Bobby Fitzpatrick, to West End Lane. The man, the myth, the legend has been inaugurated amongst Hampstedians in the form of a 70’s style pizza and cocktail bar.
When we paid a visit on a Thursday evening, both the upstairs and downstairs bar and restaurant were bustling and filling up fast. A soft launch offer of 50% off pizzas was sure to have gotten people over the threshold but the atmosphere created by the impeccable interior design and attention to 70’s-style details, I can guarantee, meant punters stayed for more than just the pizza, and will undoubtedly be returning.
Not apparent on first entry, both the upstairs and downstairs open plan space is divided into different homely rooms; ‘the kitchen’, ‘the lounge’, ‘the dining area’ and ‘the living-room’ (all available to hire for private parties and events) which got us marvelling for about 15 minutes before we even looked at the menus!
Another tick for Bobby Fitzpatrick is that the staff are super friendly and attentive, full of advice and generally enthused to be filling visitors in on the concept.
Menu-wise the food is not on a par with the venue’s warmth and seems more of an afterthought, a shame as comparatively the interior designers deserve top marks for their 70s-heyday recreation efforts. The grub is essentially American diner food and doesn’t quite sit well with the overall design concept.
Forget artisan or gourmet, the pizzas (the crux of the food menu) are deep crust American-style and the choice of toppings underwhelming, while the remaining choices, consisting of burgers and chicken nuggets, felt like a juxtaposition given the venue’s calibre, its neighbourhood and the hospitality experience of the owners – ULG, the team behind Coin Laundry, Ask for Janice, Heist Bank and Alice House.
The drinks list is said to feature an extensive selection of rum inspired by Bobby’s travels in The Caribbean and rum-based cocktails that taken inspiration from his life experiences such as senior prom and university.
We gave the cocktails a miss, only due to an early start the next morning, and sipped on a good selection of bottled beers (think Kona, Sierra Nevada etc) but given the array of spirits at the bar and the heedfulness of the bartenders we’re sure the concoctions will be just as impressive as the retro décor.
Every which way you turn your head you’re sure to be enthralled by the sheer accuracy of that 70’s feel; from rust red and stone colour schemes and retro lino, to the shag pile carpet, one-arm bandit machine, glass cabinet of hoarded items, board games and signed music memorabilia of the era.
We first ate upstairs and rambled downstairs to finish our drinks and fully take in the atmosphere. Testament to the atmosphere and revelry we just managed to get a seat in the downstairs bar- a very low slung sofa (you have been warned!) by the toilets. This was the day after its officially opening that we sampled Bobby’s hospitality and as we went upstairs to leave both floors were positively heaving.
The bottom line here is this is the place to go for some post-work or weekend drinks where the concept is captivating and atmosphere is pumping!
Visit: 273 West End Ln, London, Nw6 1QS