Britain’s top 50 cocktail bars have been named – and York has two of them!

7 Jun 2018 @ 7.28 pm
| Food & drink

Here’s a large glass of brilliant news, with some sprinkles and a cherry on top.

Britain’s Top 50 Cocktail Bars have been revealed. And York has not one, but two venues in the list.

It’s enough to leave a York drinker shaken and stirred.

And the two are *drumroll*… The Evil Eye on Stonegate, and Jalou on Micklegate.

As the list is compiled by the bar industry, and based on thousands of votes, it is a pretty special accolade.

Evil Eye

Mojitos are among the most popular cocktails at the Evil Eye. Photograph: YorkMix
This is how the judges describe this special Stonegate spot:

Rough and ready, Evil Eye in York is the perfect place to sit quietly with a delicious cocktail to escape the fast pace of York

It clocks in at number 47 in the list.

Evil Eye general manager Dave Hartley said: “It’s good isn’t it? It’s against the entire country – and especially against London.

“We were probably the first cocktail bar in York. We’ve been here 16, 17 years. And I think we’re doing all right.”

The beer garden at the Evil Eye

What makes the Evil Eye so special? “All our cocktails are fresh, made with fresh ingredients. It’s all fresh fruit.

“Price-wise we’re competitive. And this is a cool looking building – it’s got an atmosphere. And the gin shop draws attention as well.”

Earlier this year, the Evil Eye earned itself a place in the Guinness World Records for for ‘Most varieties of gin commercially available’ – 1,028.


Hannah Warren serves up a Screw Pauls Drag Race for York Pride at the Jalou. Photograph: YorkMix
Described as “a premier late-night cocktail bar and club” by the Top 50, the judges say of Jalou on Micklegate:

Don’t let the late closing time and R&B music put you off, Jalou York may be a bit of a party destination in the city, but its cocktail credentials stack up.

Jalou comes in at number 48 on the list. After attending the Top 50 awards in Manchester, manager Dan Acock said: “There were some really impressive bars on the list from all over the UK.

The bar at Jalou
Jalou’s electric chandelier in Pride rainbow colours

“Many have been trading and established for years too. Major cities like London, Leeds and Liverpool obviously having a few top venues involved – however Jalou York was on that list too.

“It’s a big achievement to be recognised by industry leaders in such a short time.”

Jalou is the sister bar of another in Newcastle. It opened in April last year in the Grade II listed former St John’s Church.

This weekend it is serving up a series of themed York Pride cocktails – including the Screw Pauls Drag Race: Licor 43, Stoli Vanilla vodka, bubblegum syrup, strawberry sauce, ice cream foam and a cherry on top. Yours for £5.95.