Last year I published a listing of my favorite 100 bars (open or closed) in the world. This year I planned to write an amended list, profiling a few from last year that did not get an extended write-up and bringing some new joints into the mix. But it’s been a weird few months, with most of the world’s great bars closed, and I have decided to go in a different direction.
In lieu of just being on vacation (which I will be), this space will be dedicated to profiling some new spots that didn’t make last year’s list. Spots that will be in desperate need of your patronage should the world find any kind of normal again.
The Understudy – London, England
The Understudy would have made a significant dent in the DBB100.
The bar is in the structure of the National Theatre in London and thus it’s full of the types of people you might find at a production of As You Like It in the Owen. London’s old, classic pubs often encourage a sort of distancing because most don’t have bar stools. People sit at tables and that social structure almost prohibits interaction with folks you don’t know. Who the fuck is going to walk up to a random table and say hi?
The Understudy does the opposite. It’s a communal space, both inside and out. It encourages interaction. It’s a spot that felt young and alive. And it’s not surprising that it’s the work of the world’s finest cultural institution.