This quirky speakeasy-style bar on Sloane Avenue has rapidly become a Chelsea institution since opening five years ago. In celebration of a successful half decade, owner and operator The Inception Group has completely redesigned the space in its signature quirky style.
The hidden bars of the prohibition era formed the central inspiration for Barts, and in fact the bar is set up as an eclectic ‘home’ to the fictitious character, Uncle Barts – a quintessentially British gent who provides the perfect alibi for all the comings and goings to this address.
To reach the bar, guests must walk through a large 1930s apartment building until they reach an imposing black door with a lantern and a small, inconspicuous sign. After ringing a bell beneath a purposefully misleading neon ‘B&B’ sign, guests are admitted – unless of course they are regulars, in which case they receive key cards to gain access.
Founders of The Inception Group, Charlie Gilkes and Duncan Stirling, are renowned for their idiosyncratic style, and this certainly abounds in the revamped bar space.
Upon entering the bar, guests find themselves cocooned in Uncle Barts’ elegant salon, filled with chintz wallpaper, antique mirrors, taxidermy, leather banquettes and eccentric teapot lights. A portrait of the fictional Uncle Bart takes pride of place in the seating area to the left of the bar.
Behind the respectable facade of Uncle Barts’ apartment, there are signs of rather more illicit activities. The copper-topped bar is laden with medicine bottles, signature Barts Tea served in vintage teapots and teacups, and its sharing cocktails, served in Laurel and Hardy and top hat-shaped vessels.