23 Pelham Street,
(0115) 950 5078
The ViewNottingham Review
A bustling bar with a fashionable vibe that won’t leave you penniless. And when you realise it's run by independent record label, Heavenly, its better than average gig list suddenly makes sense.
As you walk up to the popular end of Hockley via Pelham Street, you will notice on your left hand side a rather large but unassuming establishment. That’s if you pass by in the day, however, after 5pm things start to pick up and low and behold the Bodega Social comes alive.
It's split into two levels, and from the main bar there are stairs leading up to the function room. This has a small yet homely stage and the Bodega Social is one of those rare venues that, despite its diddy proportions, hosts some of the biggest names in the music industry.
Comfy seating is dotted around the bar, with large sofas that are great for just lounging back and taking time out when things get a bit too hectic. Outside there's an alley/beer garden covered with strings of fairy lights, and this area has become predominantly a smokers’ escape since the ban.
This bar attracts a rich tapestry, from students through to professionals. Depending on the night, you might rub shoulders with indie kids or burlesque dancers, making this an interesting place to be.
The likes of the The Scissor Sisters, Bloc Party and Kid Koala have performed here, and the Bodega Social has a reputation for hosting acts just before they make it big. This shouldn't be a great surprise as it's run by Heavenly Records, the independent London-based label which has helped launch the careers of The Chemical Brothers, Manic Street Preachers, Beth Orton, The Doves and The Magic Numbers.
As a result of its credentials, the crowd is made up of music-mad men, fluffy haired art students and skinny girls in shabby chic clothes and smoky black make-up.
A heavily loaded bar awaits at Bodega Social. Whether your poison is spirits, wines or Continental bottled beers, you’ll find something to knock back. On regular nights, spirits cost around £3 with a mixer, while a can of Red Stripe costs £3.10 but, be aware, there is a charge on the door to go upstairs on a club night.
Check out Wednesdays for a cheap drinks night and the resident DJ is none other than the Reverend Car Bootleg, who is big in the game on the Nottingham scene.
The Last Word
Some might say it borders on the pretentious, yet Bodega Social is still one of Nottingham’s best options to start or end the night.
With the added bonus of diverse club nights there is always something going on, whether they will all be to your taste is for you to decide.