Soho bar revives 70's sex cinema heritage. Literally.

"Despite appearances, this isn't really some sticky cinematic sanctuary for men with time on their hands. This is Rooms By The Hour, a naughty new drinking den somewhere below Pix Pintxos on Bateman St."

There’s a red phone hanging on the wall near the dimly-lit toilets. I pick it up.

A voice: "Can I help you?"

"We have a booking for 7:30 in the name of Taylor." The line goes dead. Did I say something wrong?

With that a nearby wall with full-length mirror has suddenly become a door, and we're ushered into what looks like some kind of 1970's sex cinema.

There's a narrow corridor with five individually numbered ‘cabins’. The black lacquered walls reflect red neon arches that frame each entrance, and three primitive light boxes promoting 'Rooms By The Hour', 'Adult Cinema' and 'Admission £1'. Another young man acknowledges us from behind an old-fashioned ticket window.

The layout of our cabin isn't dissimilar to something from an old train, but the style's definitely 70's Soho. You sit opposite each other on hose-down blue vinyl seating, with a chromed diner-style table between, and more black lacquered walls carrying a red glow from somewhere.

Our host explains the process. On the wall is a switch panel with three buttons, 'Light', 'Film' and 'Drink'. The light is for dimming. Well, why not?

‘Drink' will attract our host's attention and he’ll come to take an order. On one wall there’s a serving hatch with a metal speaking grate above. Drinks are served in this way to ensure our privacy apparently.

‘Film' will play tonight's feature. Press once to play, again for pause, again to play etc. Only now I notice the dark perspex panel above the switches. Err…. OK

The curtain closes and we are left to our own devices.

But what to do first?

Well, I guess that should be the drinks list, because despite appearances, this isn't really some sticky cinematic sanctuary for men with time on their hands. This is Rooms by the Hour, a naughty new drinking den somewhere below Pix Pintxos on Bateman St.

The cocktail list reflects the décor, with 70's classics including Harvey Wallbanger, Tom Collins, and Singapore Sling, plus some witty home-made adaptations such as Taxi Driver, Easy Rider and Clockwork Orange. I realise later that these are created by the man behind the ticket window.

So what of that "Film" button?

Well, It's authentic and definitely for adults only - but naughty rather than nasty, Which pretty much sums up the whole experience. See for yourself.


16 Bateman Street
London
W1D 3AH
T: 0207 437 0377
E: soho@pix-bar.com


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Open Monday to Saturday from 5pm.
We have 5 private cabins for parties of 2 to 8 people and as the name suggests, it’s yours for 60 minutes.
If not dining upstairs, tapas platters will be served at £5.00 p/p. This is a requirement of our license.