Kansas Smitty's Bar

Bar in Hackney
Kansas Smitty's Bar image

8 / 10 from 1 review
Basement Level
63 Broadway Market
E8 4PH
Nearest Station
0.34 miles
Opening Summary
Tuesday – Sunday: 18.00 - Midnight
Free entry every night except Wednesdays

Kansas Smitty’s aka the resident house band, an eight-piece jazz band of young and hungry virtuosos, aims to put to bed the genre’s exclusive and snobby reputation. Situated in an intimate basement bar, Kansas Smitty’s will be the band’s clubhouse: an unpretentious, fun and approachable space bringing original swing music, real people and great cocktails to East London.

Located underneath ‘Off Broadway’, the sixty-capacity venue will serve up a menu centred on Kansas Smitty’s signature drink: the Julep. Smitty’s Juleps infuse raw spirit with botanicals and flavours to create eight wholly unique takes on the original cocktail. Alongside the cocktails will be a selection of wine and local craft beer. As proven at their gigs in eclectic spaces from Ronnie Scott’s and Shoreditch House, to Mardi Gras at Vault Festival and a Jazz Rave at Wilderness, when Smitty’s eight members get together, the vibe is electric

Welcoming and accessible, the bar is about letting people experience jazz for themselves, in a relaxed environment.

Throughout the week, the venue will be used by the house band and guest musicians to rehearse, perform and create music, a unique setting for live jazz in London.

Kansas Smitty's Bar Picture Gallery

Kansas Smitty's Bar Picture
Kansas Smitty's Bar Picture
Kansas Smitty's Bar Picture
Kansas Smitty's Bar Picture

All In London Review

The devil is in the detail and downstairs at Kansas Smitty’s it’s red hot

Review Image
Holed up in the basement below Off Broadway, Kansas Smitty’s is the type of bar that reminds you that there are still people who care about the finer things. And when we say ‘finer things’ we mean the music and the atmosphere, the devil is in the detail and downstairs at Kansas Smitty’s it’s red hot.

Dimly lit, tightly packed and with a ceiling just about 7 feet from the floor, this bar-cum-jazz club is a hot box of style. Not just a bar, there is also the Kansas Smitty House Band, who regularly play the bar’s small stage. And when it’s not them, it’s another act serving up ragtime, blues, swing, soul and jazz. Live music plays most nights and just to go and complete the sleazy chic, Guys and Dolls vibe, there’s even the regular Tuesday poker night in the basement, with a £5 buy-in for anyone who emails ahead.

Behind the bar, the Julep rules the cocktail menu, with multiple varieties of the Southern classic. However, on our visit, we drink the Hard Times, and find the icy, sweet popcorn and bourbon mixture a dream in the sweltering, shoulder-to-shoulder bar.

While all this could easily reek of a contrived attempt to create some ersatz prohibition parlour, Kansas Smitty’s doesn’t feel a bit like it. You just need to look at the musicians and the owner’s history to know that the bar is a genuine jazz joint with talent always passing through.

Reviewed by T.A.O anonymously
Published on Apr 10, 2016

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