Shebeen is the bar where it’s selfish not to drink. The profits from every wine or beer here (all sourced from developing nations) go back to a charity in that drink’s country of origin. So you could say no to a Tecate. But you'd be the cold hearted wretch depriving Root Capital, a charity that lends start-up funds to African and Latin American businesses, of much needed coin.
The concept is genius. Mostly because ex-investment banker Simon Griffiths has worked for years to ensure Shebeen would be a sustainable project. “We operate like a normal business,” Griffiths tells us. “We pay our staff, cover overheads (the cocktails help), and the remaining profit is divided among the charities.” And vitally, drinking here is no penance.
They’ve got a cinema space, band room and free spicy popcorn to ensure the main draw isn’t just middle class guilt. The look is appropriately back alley boho with bright tiles, tin and murals a la the prohibited moonshine shebeens of South Africa, and the crowd is diverse (it's not all asymmetrical hair).
Hit the alley with a sharp Limeade of kaffir lime-spiked vodka, with ginger, lime and Cointreau. Or park yourself among the plastic vines and pineapples barside where you’ll be bathed in red light and feelings of goodwill.