Is this E10 bar London’s best kept secret?

We finally sought out Leyton’s hidden drinking den on a bitter Saturday afternoon. And it’s a corker

Room to swing a cat - just. Photo: SE
Room for a little one? Punters crowd round a handful of tables. Photo: SE
So we finally made it to Signature Brew‘s one-day-a-week watering hole tucked in the middle of Leyton’s Business Centre. I know, I know, the location doesn’t necessarily bode well. Especially on the blisteringly windy, drizzly Saturday just gone.

Burger menu balances on a table. Photo: SE
Burger menu balances on a table. Photo: SE

Perhaps to put casual passers-by off, the signage is minimal, so our advice is be brave and just walk right on in, past the brewery tanks, and the burger pop-up (currently the rated We Serve Humans), and up some rickety stairs.

And there it is: a handful of mismatched tables and chairs ready to host about fifteen drinkers, industrial lighting, and smiley barman Paul, who cheerfully explains that they don’t just serve the beer brewed on site.

Hell no! They want everyone to enjoy the place, he says – not just the geekier kind of male – so go ahead, be their guests and order a Sipsmith gin, a cold prosecco, a mulled wine, a cocktail.

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Or, like us traditionalists, a refreshing ale. Their light and hoppy Signature Pale made a good start, which we preferred over the unfiltered lager, not quite up to Beavertown or Camden Brewery heights. The Wild Winter dark ale is worth a taste, too: intensely Christmassy, with overtones of spice and nectarine.

The bar. Photo: SE
A touch of neon at the bar. Photo: SE
But the beers are only part of all this: it’s the clubby appeal of that oft-abused term, the “hidden gem” – in this case run by experienced east London booze collective House of Carouse – which made everyone so friendly and sociable. As the afternoon dissolved into evening, the room filled; by 6pm there was standing room only, a convivial atmosphere all the while prevailing.

In short? This is absolutely the best kept secret of the area – no, scratch that, London itself. In summer Paul said we should expect a celebratory Wildcard Brewery-style industrial estate vibe complete with outdoor seating and live music, too.

So now we challenge anyone to tell us about a more perfectly tiny bar, in a more random corner of the capital, than this. Over to you.

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The Backstage Bar is at Signature Brew, Unit 25, Leyton Business Centre, E10 and open the next two Sats  (12th and 19th) from 12midday to 8pm. It’s about 15 mins walk to Leyton Midland Overground, or 20 mins to the tube. Follow @signaturebrew
  • Show Comments

  • Eve Marie Coles

    Jess Bell Alexandra Day e10 massive

  • Jess Bell

    Seeing 2 places tomorrow!! : ))))

  • Eve Marie Coles

    Oh god I’m so happy U0001f3e9

  • Nancy McCarthy

    Graham McCarthy another for us to try!

  • Alexandra Day

    Ohhhh I’m gonna have to start looking too so we can be neighbours and drink wine at the local and have picnics in the summer and borrow sugar and milk and generally neighbourly fun times xxx

  • Jess Bell

    YES TO ALL OF

  • Lizzy Renihan

    Looking forward to checking this out.

  • Jim Lister

    Richard Fitzmaurice i see you

  • Richard Fitzmaurice

    I’m doing an excellent job holding up the menu board.

  • Jim Lister

    where is the leyton business centre???

  • Richard Fitzmaurice

    Mind your own… Etc etc. Quite close to lea bridge road – near the church with the almshouses

  • Fabien Ecard

    You’re not even from round here Spacey Fitzmaurice

  • Emiel_1985

    LondonBelongs_ SignatureBrew HOUSEOFCAROUSE No maybe next weekenD!