DRINK: The Beat Cafe

The Beat Cafe
Little Clarendon St
(01865) 553543 With a name to live up to, The Beat Cafe could end up as one
of two things: a horribly pretentious artsy hangout, air thick
with lyrical, introverted poetic angst and the smoke which
accompanies it; or, a more laid back, dare I say, cheaper
alternative to its swanky neighbour, the Duke of Cambridge. But
the two are not mutually exclusive and it seems the Beat Cafe
ranks somewhere in between. Depending on the time of day you choose to visit, thirst can
be quenched with a delicious smoothie or the somewhat less
delicious and also hilariously named Osama Gin Ladan. But cocktails on the whole are reasonable, and when a bar
offers not only a happy but also a stupid hour, who are we mere
students to debate the finer points of cocktailmanship? And
anyway, I have a feeling the experience this bar offers is not
entirely centred around the drinks and the drinking. Indulge in political debate, literary discussion or simply
have a smoke and watch the world (or rather, the worldly
residents of Jericho) go by. Visit on a sultry summer evening
when the front is open and you could almost be in, if not San
Francisco, Barcelona. Which is what The Beat Cafe is all about.
With its terracota walls and romanesque fittings it wants to take
you to the exotic places its hanging pictures depict. Bohemian pretentions notwithstanding, you want to hang out at
the Beat Cafe. You too can deplore the weaknesses of the human
condition and solve the world’s problems, you too can write
heart-felt poetry, and on a sunny evening you too can pretend
you’re somewhere far far away from Oxford. This bar can take you to a more enlightened place. Head on up
to Jericho and go along for the ride.ARCHIVE: 3rd week TT 2004