"The Driver tries hard to be polished in King’s Cross"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
The expansion of the Eurostar, construction work surrounding the tube station and the addition of the Regent Quarter complex are threatening to turn the once seedy King’s Cross area into a sanitised borough peppered with Starbucks coffee shops.
The people behind the now defunct Canvas, The Cross, and The Key are responsible for The Driver. Despite this affiliation there is little in common between the aforementioned nightclubs and this ambitious bar.
I was unaware of the existence of The Driver until I was recently invited there for a birthday party, the hosts of which had hired out the third floor room. The venue seems ideally suited for these kinds of shenanigans, with four medium-sized floors each containing a bar and DJ booth.
The positioning of a bouncer on the stairwell of each level asking us which party we’re attending seems to confirm this. Commercial dance tunes pump out of each room, but the main draw is the roof terrace, with comfy cushioned seating and bean bags that the punters keep threatening to steal, only to chicken out. The skyline reveals the Gherkin and the London Eye, visible in the distance.
The Driver hosts numerous events, such as I Am Soulful House and This and That, a showcase for up-and-coming talent. They boast a late licence, at times staying open till 5am for special events, however by 1am I see people starting to drunkenly make their way to the exit.
A ‘gastro-kitchen’ on the ground floor and restaurant one level up serving contemporary British food complete this multifunctional venue. One can’t help but feel that The Driver is trying a little too hard to be polished in an area that has historically been rough round the edges and full of character.
Leila reviewed The Driver on Sun 30 May 2010