A Night at The Cuban

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By Emma Stanley on 12.2.2024

A Night at The Cuban

Walking along the high street, The Cuban’s relatively small door can easily go unnoticed; it’s dark and about a meter wide and the only indication that it is even there is a hanging sign that looks a bit like a scribble. However, following a girl’s night out I would highly recommend that you take a second look at that scribble and walk right in.

On entry you pay nothing (which we can all agree is a bonus) and step into a very empty, very dark, very narrow seating area lit only with candles, which makes you wish you hadn’t taken the advice of this review and instead gone to Spoons where you would have gone straight to your regular table and got wasted within half an hour. Persevere; it’s worth it.

After this somewhat misleading start, you will experience a ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’ sensation, as everything gets bigger and better. Ahead is a cocktail filled bar and you begin to hear the pumping techno-electro-bass mix that made me want to do the robot and bop. Scattered about are large leather sofas, tables, high stools and hanging from the ceiling are massive, glamorous chandeliers. The bare brick wall completes the flea market chic décor of The Cuban.

Another pleasant surprise is the drink deals that you will find available Sundays through to Thursdays – two for one on selected cocktails like Mai Tai, Margarita, Mohjito, French Martini, Raspberry Collins, Caribbean Punch and some other, less exotic sounding ones. It works out around £7 for two pint-sized cocktails that as the menu says, “really pack a punch”. Also, if cocktails aren’t your thing there are “buckets” of Kronenbourgs for £11 and bottles of wine for £10.

As well as a variety of drinks to choose from, there are also a wide variety of people who seem to have taken a liking to this hidden gem of a bar. There were groups of lads, cozy couples, clusters of students (obviously ahead of the trend) and arty looking wasters, all of whom were completely chilled out. The pounding music, the sultry darkness, the mismatched furniture and the combination of people create a classy feel but with a Skins-type edge that may sound weird but is really quite nice.

As a female, I believe that the toilets are the best indicator for whether a place is good or not and the toilets in The Cuban did it justice. There are about 10 cubicles so queuing is unlikely and there are lots and lots of mirrors, all different but all big. There is a small chaise lounge in there as well so you can sit and chat if the dancing gets too much. However, the multi-level function of this bar means that there are about three flights of stairs you need to climb to get there; which is unadvisable in heels. Even for the boys, the steps are tiny so you’d have to go on your toes. This is not very drunk-friendly and I know that I almost fell about five times.

The Cuban, for me, seemed multipurpose. You can eat, you can come with a few friends for a couple of drinks, you can get absolutely wasted and dance all night, you can take your girlfriend or your boyfriend. It can be romantic or sexy or cool. Anyone will enjoy it and it can easily fit into any night out. The Cuban I described was a Wednesday Cuban, but on the weekends it takes a more salsa side, so make sure you choose your night wisely and head to The Cuban, the up and coming student hot-spot.


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