What does one do when the laundrette closes down? Well besides having to source an alternative way to wash one’s threads, we sit and wait till someone replaces the old washers and dryers with shakers and stirrers. Because we all love a good cocktail bar, and it’s about time we invest in our own machines anyway, right?
Thankfully it didn’t taken long for the dilapidated laundry on the corner of Well Street, Hackney, to be converted into a cocktail-focused bar. The postcode has been scoring touchdowns with places like The Gun, Well Street Kitchen, Mother Kelly’s Bottle Shop and The Dane and Josh; and now it’s home to Machine No.3 by the kids behind The Three Compasses in Dalston.
Founders Lauren Johns, Antony Johns and Briac Le Camus have retained the roots of the original setting not only within its name, but also by adorning the bathrooms with the old washing machine covers. Thankfully that’s it for the original fittings though — as much as we love the hum of the drum and the warmth of those dryers, we like to leave our domestic obligations at home. The place is stylishly fitted, and despite it fitting up to 70 people, the vibe is kept somewhat subdued and relaxed.
These guys also know that the best bargaining chip for convincing people to try different cocktails is to make them sound damn fine, be reasonably priced and bring in someone who knows their stuff. Tick, tick, tick.
Robin Summers has been given the reigns as manager, and with 6 years of experience in the industry behind him, this place is going to run like a well-oiled (washing) machine.
Cocktails are the main focus here, and Robin has crafted a menu with a selection of both traditional and seasonal options — drinks such as Smoky Tommy, a classic Mr Collins and a fancy Ascot, are all standout choices. You might need to spin some sort of cocktail wheel to help with decision-making.
Robin’s broad knowledge also extends to the American and European craft beer cultures, which means the variety on offer is no doubt vast and impressive — and of course keeping things local with pints of Dalston’s brewery 40FT available on tap too. On the vino side of things, there’s a keen interest in natural and bio-dynamic wines; so we’re all sorted.
And in case you need something to mop it all up, they’ll be serving locally sourced cheese boards and charcuterie.
So our clothes might be staying unwashed for a little bit longer, but we’re quite happy with the alternative and how things have turned out. Machine No. 3 can stay converted — mum can still do our laundry, right?
Machine No. 3, 271 Well Street, Homerton, London E9 6RG
[ALL IMAGES: Machine No. 3]