Three Blind Mice Review by Adele Walker
Now don’t be confused by the title, I do like Shoreditch. Well… I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with it. Love the bars there, used to live and work there so this always conjures up a bit of nostalgia and loyalty to a place but I do find it quite (rhymes with lanky) sometimes.
There is, however, one little place I always have to pop into whenever I visit…Three Blind Mice.
Three Blind Mice, Shoreditch
Located on Ravey Street, a little side street off the main bars on Great Eastern St, you will find a little black metal door with the number 5 written above and a Victorian lamp with stenciled characters of the three blind mice logo (these are the only landmarks). But don’t be scared, go on, go down the stairs…
Don’t expect too much glamour, one of the toilets is still broken from when I used to work there (5 years ago!) and the walls are laden with half torn posters. The interior takes you back to a “shebeen” or dive bar with images of James Bond, West Indian culture clashing with Communist cold war pictures and a Latin cubana texture, but it is the charm of the place that sends me back.
There is a lovely vibe here. Ok, so I am pretty biased since I worked there and have lots of love for my homeboy Rodge, but it is honestly a credit to the staff that the bar is such a success. Most people who frequent the bar come back time and time again since it is such a friendly place and it is not uncommon to find yourself sharing a shot with the bar guys.
In fact if I remember rightly it was pretty much a prerequisite to being employed…”can you hold down a krupnik vodka and mop a floor every Saturday night?…err yep”. There is a lot of love and laughter to be had here and Rodger and his business partner Colin have a fantastic way of making visitors feel welcome and right at home. Reminiscent of perhaps a back street in Berlin or Paris, Ravey St has a great little following with neighbouring bars; The Griffin and Casita, drawing people in.
So what’s in the name? Well 3Blind Mice is influenced by Ian Fleming’s James Bond books which were written in Jamaica where Flemings lived. His first film Dr No was filmed in the country, with the opening scene depicting the murder of British secret agent 006 by 3 assassins while in the background a reggae cover of the nursery rhyme “three blind mice ” creates the atmosphere.
If your luck is in, some nights you can stumble across some legendary DJs, it is very rarely publicized but in the past Three Blind Mice has housed Andy Weatherall, Tim Burgess, Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson and Corrine Bailey Rae. The music policy is pretty much universally eclectic and Tuesdays and Wednesdays are dedicated to live acoustic nights and poetry/spoken word.
Vintage funk, sweet soul and reggae are typical here. It’s applauded by converts for providing a sanctuary in the Shorebitch barrage of chrome, coolness and slamming electro, “more like being at a mate’s house party than out in the ditch”. Finally somewhere in Shoreditch with a bit of soul…so if you fancy a bit of a chinwag or a shot of vodka, pop on down those stairs, go on, don’t be scared now…