Sorry, No Vacancies – A Reflection


On a cold Thursday night I wandered down past the Brixton Academy and saw a lonely bouncer outside a blacked out entrance on Brixton Road that modestly peeped Sorry! No Vacancies. Confused about the understated exterior; I entered only to be disarmed by the warm red glow of the inside atmosphere. The decor was in line with the 70s America motif that runs throughout the pop up, with brash wallpaper patterns, cozy lighting and diner style cubicles filled with mostly couples and groups of friends.

The theme extended further into the food, as they served up a menu purely of gourmet hot dogs from swanky chef Chris Gillard. I had the chilli cheese dog, and although it was piping hot I wolfed it down without delay.

?The dog was juicy, the cheese was thick and the chilli added a twang of spice and sloppiness that seems so essential for enjoyable fast food. I even finished Mrs Wastemans cheesedog when she wasnt looking because I have no morals when it comes to food and I am not ashamed of this. 

The drinks are really where it all goes down though, and the cocktails provided by Meatliqour aficionados SoulShaker were really something special to get drunk to. 

The stand outs for me were the No. 25; which was like being slapped with 5 different types of delicious rum, the Purple Heart; which was like drinking an alcoholic liquified raspberry and the Now Get Hip, which was basically a ginger beer, but a really, really sexy one.

You could argue about the price, but with cocktails of this quality sometimes its just worth an extra quid for something special. 

The music was pumped by Soul Jazz, and all night the tunes were suitably danceable and ironic in equal measure, providing a chatty vibe that is hard to find in most modern bars, whilst the mezzanine area just above the decks provided a comfy area to kick back and listen to the tunes, and after too long chatting on the soft pillows I felt like I was actually in somebodies expensive afterjam, without the insidious fear of the morning. 

Overall a top night, and with future line ups including Sound of the Cosmos and the Cut & Shut Disco, something well worth popping down to before they shut up shop. 

William Wasteman