Kanye and Meltdown

Smuggler's CoveI was fortunate last night to meet up again with my jet-setting, bar-owning, rum-loving old friend Martin Cate, over from the US again to attend London Cocktail Week, where his fine San Francisco establishment, Smuggler’s Cove, won a coveted place in the world’s 50 Best Bar Awards again!

But, just for the moment, he’d had rather enough of cocktails and rum, so we visited a new “gamers bar” on Caledonian Road called Meltdown, dedicated to video games (or “e-sports” apparently).  For some reason I was expecting something like an ’80s arcade but with a bar; what we got was your basic boozer with laptops and consoles dotted around amidst big screens showing games – computer games, that is.

Which was fine, but a little daunting.  There was nothing telling you when, where, how or what to play; the staff weren’t unhelpful but they weren’t overflowing with advice either.  Martin and I are both game players but not proper full-on gamers, so were a bit confused about how this worked.

You need to log into your Steam account, we discovered eventually, and managed a brief game of Team Fortress 2.

Who won?  I have no idea.

What was going on?  Ditto.  I’d never played Team Fortress 2 before!

So, nice idea, Meltdown, but needs a little tweaking on the execution side if you want to attract more casual custom; trust us on this, Martin owns the world’s 30th best bar. 😉

Afterwards, for a complete change of scenery, we went to dinner at The Only Running Footman pub in London’s exclusive Mayfair (you could tell it was Mayfair because there were lots of men rocking (ahem!) the evergreen suit-jacket and jeans combo).

But I do highly recommend the calamari at The Only Running Footman, should you happen to be in the area – delicious!

Martin and I caught up on the rum trade, the world of bars, children, chickens, Dr Rebecca Cate’s new job (Martin’s lovely wife, sadly not with him this visit), our age and its associated problems, a recent visit by Kanye West to his bar (he was very nice, apparently). 🙂

It’s a hard life, eh, Mr Cate?!

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