Long a fan of dive bars across the globe, I was excited by stories of one hidden behind the Hard Rock Café on Old Park Lane.
The Back Room Bar was once the souvenir shop for the Hard Rock Café, before the Hard Rock team decided to use the space for something a bit different. Almost with the plan to emulate what Dirty Burger is to Soho House.
Whilst the bar doesn’t advertise itself as part of the Hard Rock Café , there is a subtle HRC etched into the ornate ceiling. A small giveaway that you could easily miss.
When we arrived, the crowd was a mixture between young families, tourists, more tourists and some more tourists. It was almost as if the Hard Rock treated it as it’s own bar and not a separate entity. I wondered if it were separate, surely it would be free to pull in a much more interesting crowd than tourists – with which the restaurant was already booming with.
Similar to the Hard Rock Café, the walls were decorated with music memorabilia. Highlights included a door that is claimed to be from Abbey Road in the 1960s and an Ivor Novello statue that was apparently won by Led Zeppelin.
A wide-screen projector filled one wall, which is used for a range of sports. I’m also told that a live jazz band play regularly there. Although I’d struggle to think of where they’d fit them in. It’s not a huge space to bring down a big group of people…
We ordered two lagers, which were served in frosted glasses. A really nice touch and they were not too expensive, at under £10 for the two. Foodwise, there is an extensive list of pizzas. I suspect that they come from the Hard Rock kitchen though. A bit of a turn off for me…
At the of the day, it’s a bar that is full of tourists and small children. After finishing our round, my friend had had enough and dragged us out there.
I enjoyed the bar. I would be interested to revisit to see if the crowd is the same but safe to say I wouldn’t be surprised if it was exactly the same. Let me know if you go down and what it was like. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this one.