It’s more than a magic phrase you shout when you’ve lost your dog.
It’s also a magic phrase you shout when someone asks about a recommendation for good cocktail-spot-cum-Irish-pub somewhere in North London.
The place describes itself as being a bastion of “modern Irish hospitality”, and the Gaelic owners have a pretty impressive collective CV, with stints manning the shakers at joints like Callooh Callay, London Cocktail Club, The Dorchester, and the Waldorf Astoria in New York. Here, they’ve created a venue with a smart speakeasy interior, an open fireplace, green colour palate, and studded leather banquettes abutting a shelf stuffed with nicknacks and games. It’s almost as if the designer was asked to deliver a pub, a cocktail bar, and a living room by three separate people, and somehow made everyone happy.
The cocktails are the main focus, and all come with a pleasing Irish brogue. You’ll find a menu composed of three distinct pillars: Irish Whiskey, where the drinks showcase the best brown stuff on the Emerald Isle (The Wogan blends Teeling small batch whiskey with lime & apricot); Contemporary, which shows off some innovative cocktail techniques (the Fan a Canta somehow combines gin with carrot & orange sherbet, acid mix, and saline); and Classics, which put a twist on, well, classics such as their tequila-laced Champagne Paloma.
The food is similarly themed, serving up classic Irish fare like three-cheese toasties, deep-fried whitebait, or smoked salmon on soda bread. (Of course, the bread is layered with Kerry Gold butter and the salmon is cured in Jamesons’s whiskey.) One of the founders has even supplied the recipes to his dad’s Irish stew, and his mum’s brown bread.
We’re sure they’d ask him, “Does it remind you of home, boy?”
Homeboy Islington | 108 Essex Road, Islington, N1 8LX
Speaking of bars (and Islington)…. we’ve put together a list of all our favourite Islington bars here.