Ben Lovett from folk band Mumford & Sons opens Omeara, a new live music venue in London Bridge.
London is full of huge music stadiums, but what if you prefer to listen to music in a more intimate venue? Sam Rogg looks forward to dancing and drinking at new grassroots space, Omeara
London has no shortage of massive music venues, with Brixton Academy, The O2, Wembley Arena and the Roundhouse regularly attracting the biggest performers from around the world and the thousands
of fans who want to see them play. But where do you go in this city to hear the next big thing or listen to your favourite artist in an intimate setting? There are surprisingly few places for such a music-loving metropolis. So step forward Omeara, a brand-new 320-capacity live music venue in converted railway arches near London Bridge.
Set up by Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett (who co-founded the independent music label Communion), Omeara is divided into a large bar, small concert hall and separate informal dining area. ‘I’ve been playing and putting on shows in London for my entire adult life,’ says Lovett. ‘ Without the grassroots music venues in this city, the band and I simply wouldn’t have achieved what we have, so I have a lot to be grateful for.’
London Mayor Sadiq Khan adds: ‘ These venues, which are the lifeblood of our music scene, are often under threat. I know Omeara will be a massive success, helping fresh new talents to make their mark in the capital and have their music heard’.
Tequila takes centre stage on the drinks menu with multiple concoctions featuring the spirit. We recommend the Omeara Ora for its refreshing mix of tequila, strawberry purée, lemon and Prosecco. For something sweeter, try a Salty Caramel Flip, made with tequila, mezcal, crème caramel, agave syrup, bitters and popcorn. Seating options range from booths to balcony tables (look for the stairs to a hidden bar above the main room). Surrounding the bar, you’ll find lots of food options spanning several railway arches (collectively known as Flat Iron Square), including award-winning Mexican street food (Cantina Carnitas), modern Eastern Mediterranean dishes (Laffa), ramen from Barcelona ( Tatami) and Spanish dishes (EDū).
It’s early days but already the programming boasts some exciting acts, including moody folk-electronica artist Fyfe (1 Feb); Australian Idol finalist Lisa Mitchell (21 Feb); and Maggie Rogers (28 Feb), who was catapulted to fame after a video of Pharrell Williams listening to her song Alaska went viral. In the future, Lovett hopes to add comedy, burlesque and magic shows to Omeara’s offerings, but for now, treat your ears to live music through a state-of-theart sound system with a cocktail in hand. 6 O’Meara St, SE1 1TE. www.omearalondon.com