DOWNTOWN EAST STREET
America is the home of many of the best and worst things on this planet. And it’s no coincidence that the very finest that the US has to offer so often comes from New York’s Eastern Seaboard time zone – punk and hip hop, hot dogs, the Bloody Mary. EST rules, and it’s the influence for new Brighton bar that shares its initials, the East Street Tap. From its world-renowned craft beer and incredible food, to its none-more-cool music and décor, this is the best stuff that the greatest part of the US of A has to offer.
East Street is very much in ascendance, with EST leading the way for drinkers to enjoy craft beer in the environment that it should be enjoyed in – a great, stripped back bar. Joining Bison’s beer shop, and later in the year The Bison Arm, the EST makes East Street the new destination for craft beer drinkers right into the night, with live music and indie DJs providing the soundtrack.
East Street Tap is the latest incarnation of the pub that featured in both Brighton Rock and Quadrophenia, most recently known as The Fishbowl. It strikes a real pose on the street, with a brooding façade and incongruous canopy, the latter reminiscent of New York’s CBGBs, the birthplace of punk.
The interior look is more New York tap room than dive bar, although references to the early pioneers of US indie music adorn the walls and provide the sounds. Two big clocks sit side-by-side behind the bar, one showing GMT, one showing EST.
In keeping with the taproom look, there are massive fridges down one side of the ground floor bar, full of bottled craft beer from the Eastern United States, such as Trillium, Alchemist, Brooklyn, Dogfish Head, Stillwater, Jack’s Abby and Evil Twin. The tables and benches are long and high. The plentiful taps on the back bar serve a range of craft beer from the UK and US, with Brooklyn and Lagunitas as US house pours.
The food menu has a New York deli-leaning with bagels, hoagie, wedge and hero sandwiches and meat’n’cheese sharing platters all designed to compliment the beer and the drinking. Salt beef sandwiches and hot dogs have never tasted so good as in their hometown setting.
East Street is changing fast, and East Street Tap is the tipping point of a new era for this part of Brighton. Craft beer is about to have its time.