Brickfields, 293 Brockley Road

Dark star: Brickfields is deliberately dark, inside and out
Brickfields, the new Brockley Road bar from the team behind The Orchard, launched this week and is open every night from 6pm-midnight (except Christmas Eve, when it shuts at 10.30pm).

Like The Orchard, the owners have come up with an unfussy recipe, focused on atmosphere, rather than gimmicks. Unlike The Orchard - and every other local venue that's opened in the last decade - it seems aimed squarely at 20-somethings, rather than 30-somethings. Music plays a much more central role here than in any other SE4 bar.

Outside and inside, it's dark. Requiem for a Dream-dark. There is nice detailing on the bar, courtesy of local architect Gruff, but you'll need to wait until the clocks go forward to see it properly. Not since former hippy-lounge Moonbow Jakes closed down and got replaced by the Brockley Mess has a local venue so deliberately eschewed natural light.
The elegant detailing you won't see
And it's tight. Formerly a restaurant space, it's more generously proportioned than Masala Wala, but it has had to make similarly-efficient use of space. Like a narrow-boat version of Jam Circus, it has a front bar and a quieter back room.

Brickfields brings something new to the area. An uncompromising cool that is only possible once you decide not to cater for the daytime crowd of baby buggies and home-workers. And it's another hit. Last night, with little fanfare, the place was already busy.

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