Under Time Out policy, the use of ‘random’ as an adjective is semi-officially banned (meaning you can’t be fired for it, but offenders are forced to listen to Weezer’s Hurley on repeat). But we’re damned if ‘random’ isn’t the word that keeps coming to mind when trying to describe the music selection at Southpaw.
In the course of one evening we are treated to reggae, rap, hip hop, several of Mike Patton’s avant-rock projects and Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me. ‘Eclectic’ doesn’t do it justice. But if the musical journey is wild and unpredictable, the atmosphere at Southpaw is anything but. In fact, it’s quite the oasis of calm – the most out-of-control patron being a toddler who has broken loose.
A combination bar and café, Southpaw breaks down into four areas: the casual main bar, with its rough stone walls and reclaimed stained glass windows; a sleek lounge housing a large set of decks; a small dining room featuring an Angelique-inspired mural and a long, narrow backyard perfect for sunny afternoons.
There is a rather lovely ladies powder room at rear with custom wallpaper which pays tribute to glamour girls gone by (the gents also has custom wallpaper, based on Japanese softcore. We suppose it was nice of them to throw the boys a bone, so to speak).
Should the wine and beer lists fail to impress, the friendly barstaff will happily knock you up a cocktail, including a Bloody Mary alleged to cure anything (it’s on the breakfast menu) and the lovely, champagne-based Jalisco Flower.
To call the menu unpretentious is an understatement: chips are served in brown paper bags with twisted corners, which make you feel a little like you're wagging school at the takeaway bar. Other highly sophisticated delicacies include sausage rolls, pulled pork and icy poles for dessert.
It’s a warm, retro haven for fun loving gals and guys.