So I’m gonna start with my favourite bar because I know I’ll find it easy to write about that! Alley Cat (location) is situated where the Roost Bar used to be on Church Lane. Apparently The Roost was a very popular spot, I walked in and walked straight back out one day just before it closed due to it looking like a hole with one bar fly. Alley Cat is fairly newly opened. The decor inside appeals greatly to my inner crazy cat lady, with a name like Alley Cat it has a very strong cat theme inside, with lots of cat graffiti on the walls, loads of ornaments and pictures. The crowd that you generally see is 20 to 30 year olds with the odd lost looking older couple.
The furniture is all mismatched chairs, sofas and tables. I know a lot of bars and restaurants are going for the mismatched, rustic feel at the minute and I feel it’s quite well done in this bar. I find a lot of places almost try too hard with the kitsch look. The bar has two levels, both of which have bathrooms and bars. There is a ground floor and a mezzanine level which opens later in the day when the ground level fills. I quite like upstairs as there are more little two seater tables and a big table in the middle if you happen to be in with a group. Downstairs is more four seater tables. The one thing I’m not terribly keen on with Alley Cat is the toilets, there is two girls cubicles and one sink. The toilets are small, the seats tend to be broken and if you’re standing washing your hands at the sink and someone opens the door it will bang into you. Pro points for the loos though is that I can never remember being in and there not being toilet paper (that’s actually a huge pro point!). There is also a lovely big mirror in it which you can use to check your sexy self out Obviously I can’t comment on the boys bathrooms as I’ve never been in there.
Food wise it’s all American diner type grub. Quick and greasy, hotdogs, burgers and fries. It’s very well done and although I’ve never even been outside of Europe it seems quite authentic to me. My favourite thing to get off the menu is the pulled pork sliders and the sweet potato fries which are amazing. Everything comes animal style (everyones food on one big tray) but they will give you a side plate to put your food on if you like. For dessert the crack pie is amazing, with an oatmeal crust and caramel filling -yum! It comes served with a big scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream (I’m not an ice cream fan so my Fiance gets doubles!). The burgers are really good too and can be cooked pink or well done, I think it’s nice to get the option! My Fiance’s favourite’s are the chilli dogs of which you get two, so double buns, dogs and chilli! They serve food until 11pm which is rare for Belfast (most bars stop serving food at 8pm).
So on to the music! I generally love the music in here, you won’t get any chart crap playing in the background. It is a nice mix of rock’n’roll, punk and alternative. The vast majority of the times that I’ve been in Alley Cat I have heard either the Clash or Rancid playing which makes me a happy girl. Once we heard Red Fang playing which made both me and the other half happy!
And what’s a bar without alcohol? Alley Cat in my opinion has a great selection of booze (not just the boring standard JD, Budweiser and Sailor Jerrys). They have a nice selection of cocktails, which are not the ‘standard’ Cosmo, Martini, Daiquiri types. They even have a bacon infused one for all you pork lovers out there! My favourite would be their Storm in a Teapot which is a bastardised Dark and Stormy. They are also one of the only bars in Belfast which stock my favourite drink Aspall, so they get massive brownie points from me for that! My other half in a big craft beer drinker and they have a few different ‘alternative’ beers and by that I mean not Budweiser. The only ones I can think of at the moment are Brooklyn Lager, Liberty Ale and Pistonhead.
I really dig Alley Cats website. For businesses like bars, restaurants and cafes I think the one pager type they have is great. It has everything you need (menu, opening hours and location). It looks nice and is easy to navigate.
So I think that’s it with Alley Cat from me! Oh! Just a little note to say the staff are polite and courteous, they let us hold a big table on a super busy night for quite a while. They could’ve told us no but they were super nice about the rest of our group being over an hour late.