The Bump Caves will be opening in a venue located beneath his current bar, The Draft House, which was previously used for private parties. The room has been renovated so there is now an entrance leading to it directly from the street and it will be run as an entirely separate venture that can hold 100 people.
BigHospitality talked to founder Charlie McVeigh about the bar’s psychedelic concept and unusual drinks offerings.
The Bump Caves aims to appeal to all senses and is inspired by the late-60s psychedelic movement, taking its lead from the ‘Happening’ underground party.
McVeigh said: “The whole vibe of the place is kind of inspired by the revolutionary excesses of the late 60s; it’s kind of a psychedelic underground concept. In the caves themselves there will be a constant light show with the lights changing colours the whole time, and then there’s going to be very loud music and pretty intense rock and roll.
“The idea of the Happening was reaching a free state where people could do what they wanted, and rebel against 1950s austerity. The bar has that same spirit of adventure and exploration; we’re intrigued by underground behaviour. It’s not hippy dippy though, it’s hard-core. It also has elements of Warhol and Greenwich Village and Iggy Pop, and the early origins of punk. It’s the edginess that came when the psychedelic movement went a bit sour.
“We’ve had a lot of fun coming up with the idea and we’re hoping customers will find it’s a distinctive atmosphere.”
The Bump Caves is attempting to do something a little different with its drinks offering, using a rotary evaporater to infuse and distil its own spirits. The bar will also be using a sous vide technique to create fruit syrups.
“There are other bars using these machines, though not many” explained McVeigh. “Our unique angle on it is that we’re really making use of our beer knowledge. The house spirits we’re going to create will be beer grounded or beer based, like hot gin infused with additional hops, and malty vodka. We’ll’ have crazy vermouths and different distillations and mixed drinks and cocktails, there’s going to be a lot of stuff going on.”
The Bump Caves is located at 208 Tower Bridge Road and opens 10 July.