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‘A lot of my staff are beautiful hipsters with no money’: Kentish Town cocktail bars keep spirits alive with home deliveries

PUBLISHED: 09:00 10 April 2020

Ladies & Gentlemen owner William Borrell is overseeing 100 deliveries per week. Picture: William Borrell

Ladies & Gentlemen owner William Borrell is overseeing 100 deliveries per week. Picture: William Borrell

William Borrell

Cocktail bars in Kentish Town are knocking back coronavirus gloom and keeping spirits up by providing home delivery.

NHS customers are receiving two extra cocktails free, by way of thank you. Picture: William BorrellNHS customers are receiving two extra cocktails free, by way of thank you. Picture: William Borrell

Knowhere Special and Ladies & Gentlemen, - a stone’s throw from each other at the junction of Kentish Town Road and Highgate Road - are following strict social distancing measures with just one staff member concocting drinks on-site.

A second person takes care of deliveries, with both bars now using Deliveroo to maximise their reach.

Helen Gay, co-owner of basement bar Knowhere Special, said: “We’re trying to provide a bit of fun and support of an evening - it’s about maintaining normality.

“It’s very ingrained in people’s culture to go out for a drink.”

Gin and vodka-based �quarantinis� are on the menu. Picture: William BorrellGin and vodka-based �quarantinis� are on the menu. Picture: William Borrell

A strong neighbourhood bar, their menu of classic cocktails is going down a treat with regular customers confined to lockdown.

With two children under five to homeschool, Helen and partner Ash Clarke say they understand the need to relax.

Ladies & Gentleman owner William Borrell is pleased to be completing 100 deliveries a week and said that keeping staff on was “the whole point of doing this”.

“Very early on I could see there was going to be a problem,” he said.

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“A lot of my staff are beautiful hipsters with no money or back up.”

So began the first drinks-to-go from the “five star dive bar”, with gin and vodka-based ‘quarantinis’ on the menu.

Five cocktails is the minimum order, with plans to extend the 2.5 mile delivery radius to Finchley, Golders Green and elsewhere within the week.

NHS workers in the area are receiving two extra cocktails free, by way of thank you.

William has been hosting a “cocktail hour” at 4pm on Instagram Live every day, encouraging viewers to rummage into their kitchen cabinets for improvised drinks.

Inspired by the need for deliveries, he is imagining a post-coronavirus future of cold margaritas on Hampstead Heath.

Ladies & Gentleman are doing daily deliveries from 4pm, serving juices as well as drinks. For more information click here.

Knowhere Special are taking live orders from Wednesday to Saturday, with pre-booked deliveries on Tuesday and Sunday. For more information click here.

For the latest coronavirus news from the Ham&High and across north London visit our live blog and join our Facebook group.

For our essential list of community groups click here.


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