The Pinnacle Guide

SIDE HUSTLE

London, UK

Inside the NoMad London hotel, Side Hustle offers a drinks menu influenced by Latin American flavours and an extensive collection of agave spirits.

AREAS OF EXCELLENCE

AREAS OF EXCELLENCE

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COMMUNITY ENDEAVOURS

Side Hustle places great importance on being a safe space for underrepresented groups – NoMad is the only five-star hotel in London that proudly displays a pride flag and has omitted the initial use of pronouns from their vocabulary when speaking to guests. Their executive team has reviewed all staff onboarding material to ensure equity and comfort for race, gender, sex, class, and sexual orientation.

DETAILS OF NOTE

Side Hustle has a spirit list that is representative of all agave spirits from Mexico, not just tequila and mezcal but ranges spirits like sotol and raicilla. Additionally they offer some rare and hard to find agave bottles and aim to work mainly with single estates, in order to showcase a true representation of the spirit and support a tradition of distillation.

The Pinnacle Guide

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Side Hustle sits within the original Bow Street police station, and guests can look out of the same façade some of London’s coppers did for decades. Much of this history has influenced its style, and inside it has been designed to resemble a traditional British pub-meets-brasserie, albeit with some nods to NoMad’s US roots and the bar’s Latin inspiration.

There are plenty of talking points for guests as they settle down in the forest-green booth seating or perch at the marble-topped bar. Six separate artists’ works were commissioned for the space and chief among them is Martin Parr, a renowned police photographer. LA streets and landscapes and a mixed bag of cassette tapes (NWA, to Oasis to the Beatles) add to the feel of what Side Hustle is. Intimate, yet lively. Opposite the bar is the Royal Opera House, and curtains are always drawn at a specific angle to optimise the best view of the building for guest.

Drinks here are based on the bar’s reimagining of classic tequila cocktails and rotating menus are designed with seasonality top of mind as the venue celebrates both agave spirits and the flavours of Latin America. Staff work in teams to undertake intensive research and development for new drinks – presenting their ideas back to management before a final list is signed off on. Aside from these new creations, guests can also expect a strong representation of NoMad classics from across the previous and current sites. Large format cocktails, for groups between four and six, are where the playful side of the team really shines, often adorned with barbies, skulls or birds, an upside down bottle of rosé or flashing lights. Cocktails are always beautifully presented, often in bespoke glassware, and garnishes are prepared daily, alongside fresh juices.

The menu itself is something to note – the covers are handmade by Globe-Trotter, and the images within the menu created by Mexican Street artist Joaquin Nava all have their own story. This artwork is dotted throughout the space, included on baking paper within the kitchen.

The space naturally lends itself to an intimate vibe, with plenty of more secluded seating options but Side Hustle does reach high-energy levels when busy, especially as it allows standing. Latin American music is most commonly heard although 90s RnB and hip hop are both played as well. Regardless of when guests visit, the team is incredibly welcoming and friendly and always happy to give thoughtful recommendations.

Behind the scenes, preparation is meticulous. Two staff work prep-shifts each day and ensure all the syrups and infusions are ready, plus the team have a ‘Line Up’ before each service which they take very seriously and for which every member of the team is always present. During these sessions the shift ahead is discussed, praise is given to anyone who has done well and there is a focus on a new element of training. 

Side Hustle aims to work with and find suppliers who work alongside B Corp companies. They try to minimise the use of glass, plastic and packaging, with 75% of their beer kegs being reusable and picked up via bicycle on a weekly basis. There is a glass crusher in-house, and every day the bar will break down all glass bottles that have been used to make for easier recycling methods.

“A bar that I would go back to in a heartbeat, a great agave forward spirits selection, impeccable food and super-friendly staff.”

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