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Amoeba Lounge Bar is a hidden little gem of quirky opulence. Specializing in both cocktails and beers this cosily lit bar serves award winning creations against a decadent yet homely background. With over fifty different cocktails to match the fifty different beers on offer, and deals on cocktails between 4pm and 9pm, there is no shortage of things to discover. Opened 10 years ago it has slowly grown into one of Bristol`s premier cocktail bars with free party hire being a big draw. From the awesome regular DJs to the heated and covered rear garden, and from the seasonally varying fresh cocktail ingredients to the banter behind the bar, this joint is small but perfectly formed, and its definitely one to discover.
Hosting a fairly extensive and very well thought-out spirit selection, over seventy different beers from both distant shores and down the road, and a cocktail menu including classics and in house creations; during quieter, mid-week periods it’s easy to lose a fair few hours propping up the bar. However, while keeping its fun and friendly mood, the atmosphere changes at the weekend and Amoeba comes into its own. Some of the quirky furniture is squirrelled away to make room for a DJ and a dance floor and the little bar fills up with students and young professionals having a very good time. Luckily for them, the bartenders are usually efficient and fast, and pop bottle caps at great speed. Amoeba has its own special brand of service (stemming from the bar manager’s feeling that his staff should not have to tolerate rudeness) in which the customer is definitely not always right, and if you are out of order you will be told in no uncertain terms. However, if a bit of friendly banter is up your street, and you remember not to click your fingers at the bartenders, then they will be cheerful and accommodating.
We arrived at Amoeba on a balmy summer evening, where the open door let out the sounds of cocktail shakers and some very funky music. Upon reaching the bar, after a not unreasonable wait, I ordered a Martini, which, after the bartender asked me my preferences at the speed of light (gin, vermouth, dryness, garnish), was made to perfection. I then popped myself down on a dangerously comfortable stool and a wooden bench table to enjoy it. Amoeba feel that they started what is now the fashion with many Bristol bars; of having mismatched furniture and curios lining the walls, and they certainly do the theme proud.
It would have been rude not to try something from their extensive beer selection, so after a little bit of a wait at the bar, I asked for a recommendation. After a bit of friendly (I hope) banter with the bartender he settled on a bottle of Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers. It was delicious. Full flavoured and bitter as hell.
The beer whetting my palate for big and bitter, I decided to finish off my night with my bar litmus test, the Negroni. My friend ordered them so I was unable to see which brands were used, but I’m sure the bartender knew what he was doing, as they were beautifully balanced, if a little watered down.
For a fun filled, quirky evening, I don’t know a bar that has more character packed into quite a tiny space.