Located in Shoreditch – because isn’t everywhere good in London, is there nowadays! – and gracing it’s name from the one and only Steve McQueen – McQueen is one of those places that caters to a lot of functions – Bar, Dancefloor, Chill-out area, etc – I’ve been here loads of times over the past few years and it hasn’t changed a bit, and I mean that in a good way.
I was there recently on a Thursday night and totally forgot how big the place is – as you walk in you’ve got this big open space, punctuated with sofas, chairs, tables in the middle and all along the outside, with a raised section in the middle bit for dancing too. Most nights it’s the kind of place that’s totally meant for groups of friends to chill out and catch-up, as everytime I’ve gone I’ve always seen groups of people sitting and chatting away – unlike most Bars/Clubs where there rows of tables abound and empty spaces, here it’s meant to be a cosy/warm environment – even more so with the lighting they have been which is quite minimal, and the music isn’t loud/in-your-face, so has a good chill-out vibe.
At the back of this initial Bar area is a DJ/lighting booth (with a few secluded seating spots in the corners) which controls music/lights as well as the dancers on stage – on this night they had some pretty interesting burlesque dancers (!) that randomly dance on the raised section of the dancefloor area, which is quite unique
Other times that I have been, when it’s been a packed out Friday/Saturday-night, for instance, it’s really cool as the vibe totally changes from laid-back to full-on house/dance tunes but as it has lots of space it’s comfortable enough to move around in and not being/feeling squashed in.
The Bar area is along one side and it has a high-end feel to it – almost like a cocktail bar – with a wide variety of drinks on offer. Outside the usual selection of draft beers there are lots of whiskies, liquours, etc and the price of them isn’t too high. There are loads of stools along the Bar too which is great for chit-chatting with friends there and it’s big/wide enough so doesn’t look too packed/rammed when lots of people go to the Bar.
It’s got really high-end decor – that even extends to the downstairs area for the cloakroom/toilets etc – with lots of picture frames/memorbila of Steve McQueen as well as a lot of posters on forthcoming events – this whole area is quite big which is certainly better than most places and good when the place gets busy.
Also in the Downstairs area there’s a massive Club-type area – closed during most of the week, as I’ve only ever been in there once – that’s pretty big but got a pretty great soundsystem too. It’s reknown for having really good UK Garage acts play in this bit too, and very popular. As I understand from a few friends that booked parties, etc in the venue before, it’s really good for large crowds and very private/restrictive which works well for events.
Overall, another great place in the East London/Shoreditch area that I’d recommend – even more so if you are out with a group of friends and fancy a late-night stop at somewhere which is more cosy/laid-back rather than a full-on Club, or instance – so certainly worth checking out, whether to stay all night or a prelude to a bigger night