Welcome to the Americana Megastore. It has been a solid three hours since we left The Blues Kitchen launch and the smell of the smoked meat will not budge from our hands. Our ears are still ringing like pitchforks from the gut-busting house band. And there’s more than a trace of bourbon on our collective breath. Greatness is a lot of small things done well, so the platitude reads. We have an updated version: Greatness is having a full sized Airstream Trailer inside your bar. Since 2008/9 London has been infatuated with the shoebox restaurant. Every broom closet in Soho has now, thankfully, been converted into a burger joint and the luxury of elbow room has returned to its adoring public. Far from easing us back into the wonderful, cat swinging world of personal space, The Blues Kitchen have opened a 500-person capacity goliath. There are few things more impressive in hospitality than achieving a sense of intimacy and seclusion in a space of this size. Booth seating, nooks, crannies and a downstairs bar all create a labyrinthal sense of privacy. But you want to hear about the Airstream don’t you? Rumour has it that the front wall of the bar had to be removed in order to manoeuvre the trailer into the back of the room. Like a massive middle finger to the egalitarian micro-restaurants of the past half decade, the aluminium casing bounces light around the dance floor like an oversized disco ball. Once inside? Well of course there’s another secret room, inside which is a Smeg fridge. Is this a door to the basement speakeasy? Poker den perhaps? No it’s just a fridge. That would be over the top.
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