Joe’s Southern Kitchen & Bar

Words by Ian Cameron on 28-Aug-2013

Address: 34 King Street, London, WC2E 8JD, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7240 4008
Website: view Joe’s Southern Kitchen & Bar’s website
Door: Open door/walk-ins
Style: Cocktail bar
Food: Set menu


After more than 15 years, Navajo Joe's has cast off its sombrero and adopted a new concept based on the Deep South. This is Americana, but bang on trend for the 21st century, and the result is a buzzy and relaxed tribute to the region that's light on kitsch but big on hospitality.

A light cosmetic makeover sees the venue retain its large main ground floor with mezzanine restaurant - the large bar running practically the length of one wall - with a basement bar below. Open for coffee and drinks for those that aren't eating, there's an extensive bar snacks menu (popcorn shrimp, pulled pork buns, fried okra etc) on offer alongside the full menu (everything from chilli to softshell crab, ribs, dogs, gumbo and the house special 'beer can' chicken).

Perhaps an overhang from its Navajo Joe roots, a huge tequila and mezcal list heads the spirits list which otherwise has good selections across all categories. Cocktails are divided between shorter and stronger 'Coqs' and fruitier, longer 'Coquettes'. The former collection is focused on bourbon, tequila and mezcal, doesn't shy away from big flavours and makes for manly complexity. By contrast, the Coquettes clearly have the laydees in mind, with sweeter flavour profiles that lay on the liqueurs, frappe serves and references to bikini-clad drinkers.

This isn't the place for mixological whimsy, but you can expect well-balanced drinks, made professionally with good quality ingredients and nice ice - job done. Close your eyes and you could be in New Orleans.