If you’re looking for a bar with a Megadrive, this is probably your best shout.
Simmons is a cosy nostalgia crypt not far from King’s Cross, run by a bunch of beardy hippies. Uncompromisingly laid back, they impart their tranquillity to the bar’s visitors, but can be briefly distracted by the experienced drinker who wishes to order from the list of bottled beers or wines. One can enjoy a reasonable night out by sticking to the bottles, which include the Turkish Efes and some Czech highlights.
The bar’s decoration includes a fair amount of kitsch, but manages to fall short of the brutal retro obsession that similar establishments around Old Street labour under. Simmons feels more like a kid’s bedroom; the objects are placed according to impulse, rather than to a hoarder’s instinct. The disabled toilet is completely decorated by Beano comics and features a blackboard for drunken scrawling. And after some heavy drinking, it’s not a bad idea to fire up the Megadrive sitting on the bar and blast through some classics like Road Rash or Micro Machines. But the most impressive feature is the Wall of Beer, a monumental edifice to a thousand hideous benders.
The food on offer includes both a ’cheap’ and ‘not as cheap’ range of toasted sandwiches. Fortunately they don’t mind people enjoying outside food on the premises. Cocktails clearly aren’t taken seriously here, which is a shame. There isn’t a cocktail menu, but novelty make your own cards are provided for those who wish to. I didn’t try the pinkish froth one of my companions ordered, and thanks to the system, I never will.
Update: It turns out cocktails are taken seriously here!