The rise of the hipster sub culture is just about the best thing (fashion-wise) that has ever happened to me. Suddenly ill fitting vintage dresses, chunky cardigans, thick fringes, clunky shoes, wobbly old bicycles and an interest in books, art and baking have become cool. Without changing a thing about myself I have unexpectedly ended up on-trend. If only 1999 had looked like this I would have loved high school. Anyway, it seems like you can't throw a pair of dark rimmed spectacles in West End these days without hitting another new hipster hangout.
The End has some serious cred when it comes to hipsterisms it's located in the same space as the dearly departed Trash Video, the prices are pocket friendly, the door man even more so (no nasty 'you're not cool enough' door policy) and importantly, the bar staff sport an array of quite fabulous beards and moustaches and may even let you tug them if you ask very nicely, so as to confirm their authenticity.
For anyone who recalls the cavernous interior of Trash Video the refurbishment will come as something of a shock. Under all those videos is a decent sized space which has been used to full advantage. There are clusters of soft brown leather couches (with extra hessian sack/pouf type things if your group doesn't quite fit) and bar tables made of what appear to be re-purposed work-men's benches. Hanging from the ceiling are remarkably healthy looking pot-plants (remarkable because there isn't too much natural light inside) and coils of lamps, giving the place a pretty glow. As would be expected in a hipster hangout there are arty bits and pieces dotted about the place. My two favourite pieces are the huge print of a shelf of trashy video spines and an old fashioned red telephone as you first enter does it really work?
We visited on a Thursday and a Friday night. Both nights the music was great from toe tapping background beats to an 80's trash fiesta to end Friday night with. The drinks were priced very reasonably and requesting "something that tastes like being kissed by a minty dragon" resulted in a drink that tasted like being kissed by a minty dragon; excellent bar service by any standard. So, for this accidental hipster at least, this is definitely only the beginning of The End.