PortSide Parlour: East London’s first pop-up rum bar

In a subterranean bar below Off Broadway only accessible via a door disguised as a toilet cubicle is PortSide Parlour, a pop-up cocktail bar dedicated to showcasing some of the finest selection of rum available in the UK.

This pirate-themed, rock n’ roll, dive bar is a collaboration between girlfriend and boyfriend team Charlie Otth and Robbie Acres and Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum. To test the water and in true pop-up style the bar will be open for three months only – from 1 February through to April 2013.

Hot buttered rum and spiced rum mulled cider are on the cocktail menu at PortSide Parlour as Winter Warmers to be shared by two to four people, which is a nice touch.  A fortnightly rum club is also planned for those interested in expanding their knowledge of this potent tipple.

And if that’s not enough to keep your cockles spiced over the last of the winter months you can also purchase your own Davey Jones locker so you can stash your favourite bottle of rum to be enjoyed on your next visit.

yeah Hackney! speaks to co-founder Charlie about the concept behind the new venture and what makes Hackney the perfect place to open a rum bar.

First of all, congratulations on a successful launch – can you tell me a little bit more about the driving ideas behind the cocktail bar?

PortSide Parlour is all about creating an intimate, relaxed atmosphere for people to enjoy beautifully made drinks at a reasonable price point! We like to think of ourselves as the people’s cocktail bar and wanted to take away the wanky association people have with high-brow cocktail bars and to create an East London equivalent for all to enjoy.

Where did the idea for the pop-up come from?

The concept arose through a mutual love of rum, rock n’ roll and dive bars. Honestly, I suppose we have created a bar we would ideally want to go to ourselves.

What are your and Robbie’s backgrounds?

I studied entertainment business management, majoring in music, and began my career in music marketing and artist management, but having always intermittently worked in cocktail bars I missed the buzz of chatter and interaction with people that I got from that. I always wanted to combine the two, so I suppose PortSide Parlour is the first step in that process.

Robbie comes from an extensive hospitality background having worked in the best cocktail bars throughout Sydney, Melbourne and London. Whilst in Sydney he also worked for Diageo as assistant brand manager for Zacapa Rum, running their events branch and dealing with numerous clients such as Red Bull, MTV and JW Blue.

Is this your first project together?

This is indeed our first project together. They say never do business with your partner, but i couldn’t think of anyone better to be working with!

What makes Portside Parlour different to other pop-up bar concepts that have been and gone?

Well I can only compare PortSide Parlour to other pop-ups I have actually been too, but as far as that goes I think our main point of difference is that we are the first pop-up cocktail rum bar in East London!

What are your plans for the future when it comes to the bar – any plans for something more permanent?

We certainly don’t plan on stopping here! We have a few ideas for the summer ahead – PortSide Parlour may very well be heading for the water… But all will be revealed closer to the time. We have to keep some tricks up our sleeve 😉

And last but by no means least – why Hackney?

I love Hackney. Maybe I’m biased because we live here, but I love the community support network and love how relaxed and friendly people are – everyone is up for some good chat and a bit of banter! The atmosphere of Broadway Market on a weekend is unlike anything I have seen in London. It’s like a little oasis.

http://portsideparlour.co.uk / @PortSideParlour / http://www.facebook.com/PortsideParlour
Under Off Broadway, 63-65 Broadway Market, London, E8 4PH
Cocktails start from £8

Photos by Addie Chin


  1. Steer clear! The management here are incredibly rude. My boyfriend put his name and number down as the place was full, and advised to wait upstairs. 90 minutes passed and no call so I went downstairs to investigate. The manager refused to believe that my boyfriend had left a number and was very patronising. When my boyfriend went downstairs to talk to him, he was again very rude and abrupt – despite the barmaid admitting that they did have his number. What I saw of the place was underwhelming – nowhere near the standard of other east London speakeasys. Would avoid and try elsewhere

    • It’s a shame you feel it necessary to slander the venue on a public forum with inaccurate information. Particularly seeing as unfortunately you didn’t get the chance to have a drink or actually experience the venue. Therefore what grounds do you have to say it was “underwhelming” or advise people to go elsewhere?

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