45 Essex Road, Islington, London, N1 2SF, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 688 2882
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Tue-Wed 5pm-midnight, Thu 5pm-1am, Fri-Sat 5pm-2am, Sun 5pm-midnight, Mon closed
Door: Open door
Style: Lounge bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: Middling
Food: Plates & dishes
Owned by: Ferdie Ahmed
Images By: diffordsguide.com
Named after and inspired by 'Barrio', meaning district or neighbourhood in Spanish. Barrio lifts drinks, food, music and style from world cities and applies them to a neighbourhood bar "with street culture from the ghetto archipelago".
The interior has a beach hut-meets-tiki lounge feel and reflects the re-use of discarded items as is typical in the world's ghettos, most notably with a 1976 caravan that has been chopped and remodelled to form a booth for a dozen or more. Old suitcases dot the brown and beige tile-clad walls while cake covers, feather dusters and an illuminated umbrella hang from the ceiling, itself fashioned from sheets of plywood which run up the walls and curve onto the ceiling.
Cocktails are rather better than you might find in your average ghetto and the team here are passionate mixologists, something reflected in the number of home grown cocktails on the list. The back bar is well populated and the beer offering includes favourites such as Brooklyn Lager and Modello Negro plus Sagres on draught.
There is something relaxed about a true neighbourhood bar and Barrio North is indeed laidback.