Berlin vibes with a canalside seat and a brand new labyrinthine music venue: Number 90 has become one of the Wick’s institutions and we went along for it’s 5th Birthday celebrations to tell you all about the craic.  

Take a second to throw your minds back to 2014. The Great Celebrity Nude Photos Leak, The Scottish Independence Vote, The Grand Opening of Number 90 Bar & Kitchen in Hackney Wick; those were undeniably simpler times. They say a lot can change in a year and in that case it should come as no surprise to anyone that 5 years down the line, Number 90 Bar (and the rest of the World for that matter) has undergone quite a transformation.

Situated right in the heart of creative Hackney Wick, with enviable prime canalside retail overlooking the constantly evolving Olympic Park, the team behind Number 90 had the right idea from Day 1. In an era that has too often been overshadowed by the closure of clubs and the numerous fights to save London nightlife, it’s a welcome relief to see such a vibrant, worthy venue celebrating a landmark occasion by chucking open its doors for one and all.

This past weekend, crowds flocked to Number 90’s 5th Birthday Bash. With free entry guaranteed before 11pm and 12-hour sessions running from 6 ‘till 6 it’s easy to understand why. The enticing line-up included legendary Dutch DJ Tom Trago, spins from London institution Phonica Records and Fabric’s new resident DJ Anna Wall to name just a few.

There’s the music and the venue, but it’d be sacrilege to skip over the food. It’s mostly burgers but the buns come in every colour of the rainbow and with not only 1 BUT THREE whole entire vegan options available. One of which is the seemingly unavoidable AVO BURGER. You must know the deal by now… instead of bread, it’s avo cradling both side of your burger. We didn’t try one for fear of accidentally sending this slippery beast straight into either our laps or each other’s face. But, if you’re a steady-handed sort and up for the challenge- it’s probably nothing short of revelatory.  And then of course, there’s the sides. Fries in every variety including the paprika heavy curly ones you’ve secretly been craving for the 10+ years since they banned them at school.

What the crowds may not have anticipated, however, was a full-on makeover inside and out. Hackney Wick has always been industrial, it’s always been alternative and it’s always been a beacon for London’s creative community. Those are some of the reasons why Number 90 and brand new neighbouring venue Studio 9294 commissioned artists Dale Grimshaw and Zabou to cover the venues’ 70 foot exterior with 2 new murals just in time for the occasion. The bright imagery wraps tightly like tattooed skin around the club, stretching as far as the canal-side terrace and bleeding into the cavernous, be-discoballed indoors. Above the bar, the quietly omnipotent drastic wall art is the brainchild of Number 90 muralist James Chuter. Its colourful and casual surrealism is the perfect compliment to the space as you look up at it wonderingly, sipping your drink…

Even the cocktail menu has had a celebratory shake-up; the steadfast fave Espresso Martini is now joined by a sophisticated (and salted) Hibiscus Margarita which packs one hell of a punch! All this alongside some East LDN faves, the on tap golden liquid of Camden Hells and, of course, neighbouring CRATE. We’ve not yet stopped imagining delving through the drinks lists in the upcoming Summer evenings on the canal side, which we’re assured is a verified treat. And as if the sun-soaked Berlin-esque terrace wasn’t convincing enough as a weekend destination, they’ve recently revamped the Sunday Roast offering so that it’s even better enjoyed in a group. An ideal hangover situation if there ever was one.

And what about those upcoming events… Firstly, we’re not going to ruin the surprise for you about the new venues they’ve created. They’ve been moulded from the former occupant, a printing press company which was hidden to the side of the original Number 90. Rooms with varying – and astonishingly large – capacities run through to each other, each complete with its own bar, stage and even the odd casual mezzanine level. Safe to say, they’ve taken over and it’s colossal: you’ll need to hold onto your friends because it feels like you’re down the rabbit hole and, unlike Alice, you’re probably not that keen to re-surface!

Check out upcoming events here!

Words by Sarah & Mimi