Barfly: New bar Gremio opens in former Babalou, St Matthew’s crypt Brixton

Bar Launch Sign

Gremio de Brixton
The Crypt at St Matthew’s Church
Brixton Hill
SW2 1JF
(@GremioBrixton on Twitter)

By Rachel Mulrenan

Located under St Matthew’s Church, this latest addition to Brixton’s thriving bar scene brings a touch of Spain to the area.
The Drinks
Gremio de Brixton has an extensive Spanish wine list, starting at £2.50 for a 125ml glass of house white. We tried a white Verdejo, from the Rueda region of Spain, which was fruity with a smooth aftertaste. As you might expect from a Spanish bar, Gremio also offers a number of sherries, from dry Fino to sweet red Orto. Don’t be put off by the fact that it was your granny’s favourite drink- sherry has made a comeback in the past year, and deservedly so. The bar also stocks the usual spirits, with a single and mixer priced around £5, and six Spanish beers.
The Food
Although the food menu hasn’t yet been set, we were told it will feature tapas and pintxos (small Spanish tapas snacks, served on sticks) ranging in price from £2 to £5. On the opening night we nibbled on chorizo, tortilla (Spanish omelette) and prawn tostadas, all of which were a tasty accompaniment to the drinks.

Gremio1

The Space
The cavernous bar is Spanish chic with a Brixton edge. Low exposed brick archways lead into smaller seating areas, with low lighting and candles dotted on the numerous small tables. Spanish fans and vintage flamenco and bullfighting photographs line the walls.
The opening night attracted an eclectic mix, as you might expect from Brixton- local couples and groups of friends, as well as the odd businessman. Spanish guitar music played softly in the background, giving a Hispanic twist to old rock classics including the Eagles’ Hotel California and Dire Straits’ Sultans of Swing (it wasn’t as odd as it sounds!)
The music was cranked up at around 8pm, giving the bar a more club-like feel. Gremio will stay open until 3am on weekends, with entertainment including dancing and music.
Gremio de Brixton is the latest offering from Antic London, owners of nearby Dogstar and the recently-opened Effra Social, and is run in partnership with Gremio tapas at the Graveney & Meadow Bar in Tooting.

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