‘Red sky at night – Brixton’s alight’, ran the poor-taste gag in the 1980s. Brixton’s moved on a lot since then though, with the semi-disused Granville Arcade reinvigorated and turned into Brixton Village market, Foxton’s moving in, and even a champagne bar opening. None of this, however, had solved the most intractable of Brixton’s many deep-rooted and complex social problems: where does one find a decent cocktail?
Since the demise of the excellent Brixtonian rum cocktail bar some years ago, it’s been easier to get a drink out of a camel’s hump than find a well-made cocktail. That’s all changed now though with the arrival of not one, but two booze oases, both of them on Coldharbour Lane. Closest to the station and the Ritzy is Three Eight Four, which despite being as fortified by grills and security as a Colombian drug baron’s lair, is actually very friendly and welcoming, with good drinks and even better dishes. Further up the road towards Loughborough Junction is Shrub and Shutter, which is more firmly aimed at cocktail connoisseurs and those with an interest in mixology. They both deserve your support, as they’re really raising the bar for Brixton. By Guy Dimond
For more of London’s best bars and pubs take a look at this handy map.