Written byDaisy Meager
The allure of Charlie’s, a small, sultry basement bar off Columbia Road, begins before you take your seat. Located below a leather goods and furniture restoration shop (also owned by Charlie), the only sign of the bar’s existence (which is only open on Thursday nights) is a small chalkboard in the window with its name and the words: Ring Door Bell Hard. Already charmed. Descending the steps will whisk you to a different world—think moody speakeasy, dark wood-panelling (carved by Charlie), dim lighting, flickering candles, a handful of low stools, and a couple of seats at the bar. There’s only space for 35 people so it feels intimate, like everyone there is in on some delicious secret. It’s the perfect place to flirt over a spicy mezcal margarita or strong negroni, whether it’s your first date or 100th, or huddle in a small group, putting the world to rights after a frothy espresso martini or two… or three. The menu is just as small and charming with a few St. John wines, bottles of beer, and five classic cocktails. One of the best parts? Charlie enthusiastically tops up bowls of ridged crisps at every table throughout the night.