After being home to the handbag shop Cellini, which sold handbags and leather goods for more than a century, 6 Hotel Street has been renovated for new gothic bar Spirits – the first UK venue to incorporate a bar and escape rooms.
Combining older elements such as worn leather chairs, rustic chandeliers, and stained glass windows with modern features like a huge skull-themed lightbox installation, graffiti murals, and LED signs, the bar is certainly something new on a street that already hosts a range of bars and pubs. It’s not all just for show, however. Some of the art such as the light boxes and the striking statue of Icarus that looms over the bar contain hidden Fibonacci numbers that link to the themed escape rooms in the venue’s basement.
Escape rooms are a concept in which people have to work together to play the game, solving puzzles and problems in order to ‘escape’ from the room, and the owners, Dan Walford and brother and sister Selina and Grant Topp, certainly know what they’re doing in that area. Already owners of the Escape Asylum in St. Martin’s Square, the trio want to open another two branches of Spirits by the end of 2019, with Leicester being the first branch.
The menu focuses on cocktails, and is split into three groups: Classics, containing familiar favourites such as White Russian, Mojito and Margarita; House specialities, which are the bar’s own twist on classic cocktails, which include a Bitter Orange Mojito and Mango & Chilli Margarita; and Featured Cocktails, all of which are based around the escape rooms themselves, and involve mixology techniques such as colour changing and the use of dry ice.
Fancy a preview? One Featured Cocktail, named the RIIItual, links in with a King Richard III themed escape room below, which is said to contain skeletal remains. Its description is as follows:
Watch the mastery of the Ritual performed before your very eyes as our botanical and gin concoction changes colour whilst the fire infuses the earthly flavours, a drink for all the elements. Served with a palate cleansing gin and tonic.
This sharer for two is infused with botanicals such as lavender and star anise using alchemy-like equipment. You watch with your first gin and tonic, the palate cleanser, as over seven minutes the bartender explains the process behind making this gin-based concoction, infused with botanicals such as lavender and star anise, before it is served to you in a potions bottle.
While the escape rooms aren’t open at the time of writing, the bar is open for customers to sample the drinks and have their curiosity peaked. There are plans for five escape rooms in total, however there have been reports of strange occurrences happening in the fifth room which have currently halted progress. Fortunately, the other four are set to open soon.
Spirits bar is an unmissable experience if you’re a fan of weird and wonderful alcoholic concoctions, want to immerse yourself in the art, or simply enjoy a good Richard III theme.
Find Spirits at 6 Hotel Street.
Photography by David Wilson Clarke