12 Old Compton Street, (Charing Cross Rd end), London, W1V 5PG, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7437 7820
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sat noon-midnight; Sun 3pm-10:30pm
Door: Open door
Style: Lounge bar
Recommended for: Cocktails, Fun/atmosphere
Price guide: Middling
Food: Bar nibbles
Images By: diffordsguide.com
Lab, as this bar is still know to most, takes its name from the now long defunct' London Academy of Bartenders' which was established by some the bars founders. They have long since moved on and now, apparently for reasons both financial and legal, this multi-award-winning bar circuit stalwart has been renamed Academy.
The distinctive 70s retro décor sees rounded corners far outnumbering angles. The two long narrow, dimly lit bars (one on the ground floor, one in the basement) are either intimate or claustrophobic depending on your mood and the population density.
The beer and wine lists are also bijou, but if you drink anything other than a cocktail here you're missing out. The house cocktail style tends towards long fruity drinks but the list is both extensive and all encompassing.
Lab continues to be busy pretty much nightly and even if there is no DJ expect loud music and a pumped up atmosphere. The bar attracts a friendly young crowd, mainly drawn from local offices.