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Jabbarwocky: Dive bars and ruins

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Jabbarwocky on London Road

Operating out of the old London Road site of Bar Ambasada, Jabbarwocky is a new craft beer bar that aims to match adventurous drinks with innovative music and excellent food. We asked them about the thinking behind the drinking, and how the bar's previous life lives on in the new space.

What's the Jabbarwocky ethos?

We always enjoyed European 'dive' bars in Berlin, Madrid and the 'ruin' bars in Budapest and eastern Europe. Taking over from Ambasada, we had the chance to keep some of that European charm whilst adding craft beer, home-made food and more events. We're going for a friendly, relaxed vibe, keeping the bar's quirky charm. We hope to offer good quality and interesting food and drink at reasonable prices.

What have you carried over from the bar's previous incarnation?

Tyskie on draught! And the two Czech lagers and Pilsners alongside various bottles that Ambasada sold. We also really love the Polish vodkas, from pure to flavoured which are really popular.

We're planning to get more rare and interesting treats lined up as we grow

Tell us a bit about the beer offering.

We have 5 to 6 craft keg lines, three lager and Pilsner lines, and one cask line alongside bag-in-box ciders and a growing collection of cans and bottles. We like to offer a varied selection handpicked each week from independent breweries. We're planning to get more rare and interesting treats lined up as we grow, but some of our favourite breweries at the minute include Buxton, Wander Beyond, Runaway, Wild Beer Co and, more locally, Abbeydale and Lost Industry.

We reviewed a Singing Knives gig at your place a few issues ago. What are you going for with your music programming?

So far we've had a diverse range of music at Jabbarwocky. Everything from experimental noise to punk, metal and folk bands, to DJs playing techno, funk, soul and everything inbetween. We're planning on keeping this up and have more gigs and events in the pipeline. In particular we've really enjoyed working with Singing Knives in putting on Sunday afternoon experimental artists, a highlight being the recent Guttersnipe gig.

We've got a DIY music/performance space vibe, with the benefit of a licensed bar and proper toilets, which seems to work really well.

Can you tell us a bit about what gigs you've got coming up?

On 5 May we have another afternoon session with Singing Knives. Starting at 3pm there'll be performances from Rob Lye and Gael Moissonnier, both experimental musicians and artists. Sheffield pyschonauts Spiral Navigators team up with Yo Dynamo on 7 June for an evening of dance punk and space rock.

More gigs are to be confirmed. Check the Facebook page for updates.

Sam Gregory

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