The small set up, comprising Omeara, some street food stands and, oddly, one shop (a man selling leather goods) is the capital's latest lifestyle hub. Moments from both London Bridge and Borough, it is a pleasant alternative from the throngs of Borough Market - and most of what there is to see at Flat Iron Square is within Omeara.
Omeara is an ambitious repurposing of London Bridge's disused railway arches. Inside a visual art gallery, live gig room and mezzanine bar fill an arch each. The opening is backed by Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons, and the venue in a way feels like the band's bawdy drive for everlasting creative expression.
Being different is Omeara's benchmark, and the venue's sprawling and generous outdoor hideaway is certainly memorable, though the arches' facelift is better in parts than as a sum whole.
The bar serves an interesting tequila drink, where soda water and ginger syrup break down the spirit in an interesting way, but otherwise the very limited menu will quick need replenishing. There's a lack of seats, but plenty to look at, and the mezzanine particularly will become a popular gathering spot for gig crowds.
Best is the high art of the live events space. Mocked up like a deserted Cuban house (with mock-Victorian stage complete with red stage curtains), a light show flickers on peeling walls and it is a genuinely impressive art show in itself.
A late licence for club nights is exciting, especially given the current climate, and Lovett's merry men are pushing for a 6.30am close as well. It certainly has the credentials of a boundary-pushing London club - all exposed brick and challenging artwork - but the live lineup is a little slim and, despite that main gig room, Omeara doesn't yet have an enticing enough bar proposition to pull in a casual drinking crowd. Still, Omeara will shine brightly as a new space for live gig nights, and here's hoping it works as a pioneering new London club too.
|Omeara bar and venue review, London Bridge
|6 O'Meara Street, SE1 1TE | MAP