Fans of 1950s music and American diner classics should flock to the new rock ‘n’ roll pub, Be-Bop-A-Lula on Green Lane in Stoke Newington. Coming from the award-winning team behind The Alma and North by Northwest, this is a culinary and music lovers paradise for those who adore that popular era.
This is the type of venue where you can spend hours just admiring their carefully curated decor from the 30 old guitars that are strung from the ceiling across the length of the bar to the artwork and posters that cover most of their walls featuring Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and of course, Elvis Presley. Just checking out their splendid 1950s Wurlitzer jukebox with 1000s of classics is worth the price of the journey alone.
Their menu unsurprisingly has clever 50s twist to all their names. We started our evening with some Jailhouse Bait and Adriano Celentano Macaroni. The first thing we noticed was how extremely reasonable the prices are at Be-Bop-A-Lula compared to West End venues; our starters were in the £6-7 price range but very well portioned. The whitebait was meaty tasting and fried just enough to give it that tantalising crunch whilst the mac ‘n’ cheese had the desired creamy richness and using cheese that actually added flavour to the dish rather than bland varieties that just bulk up the dish.
Burgers are often the reliable choice to opt for at American diners and we both went for the safe option: Chick Berry and Big Mama Thornton. I don’t often choose chicken as an option when dining out as you often get served rather tasteless offerings or ones that are deep-fried. Here they use free-range chicken breast and it’s been superbly marinated with homemade jerk seasoning to create a punchy tasting burger.
The vegetarian burger was just as filling as it was packed with halloumi, hummus, grilled pepper, and aubergine. Both burgers came with hand cut or skinny chips, red onion, tomato, baby gem lettuce all served on a soft brioche bun.
If there are any faults with American cuisine, it’s the fact that portions are frequently so large, I always fail to make it to the desserts stage and it was the same case at Be-Bop-A-Lula even though they had some tempting apple crumble and chocolate brownie options.
It’s the type of venue that exudes a fun, happening vibe, so much so that we stayed on to enjoy some more Islington lager whilst battling it out on a retro trivia pursuit boardgame until almost last orders. It ended being a draw on that occasion, which gave us the perfect excuse to visit them again soon.