MSA is the hidden Shangri-La, two roomed; underground, basement cocktail bar tucked away up one of Grey Street’s many adjacent side avenues.
Walking down the stairs you’re greeted with neon signs of local, quirky quotes as you find yourself in a living room-esque setting furnished with plush round sofas and neatly tucked away lounge areas complete with their own bar.
More of a bar than a club, the venue is able to hold a capacity of up to 300 revellers, although the theme of quality over quality is consistent here. Forget Digi Mondays, it’s more about swilling that double single malt than downing a VK.
Music Slash Art – can also boast the likes of Mike Skinner entertaining crowds in this low-ceilinged, low-lighted venue in recent times, a respected figure and one of many in a long list of names expected to walk through its doors in times to come. More stairs await as you make your way further into the depths to a lower level room split into two separate parts – a dance floor and booth area, where consumers can quietly chat and enjoy their cocktails, with the surrounding bar lighting up the dimly lit booth area.
The range of cocktails on offer is impressive, with many of their own signature mixes ready to be concocted from a short novel of a menu as well as classic favourites such as mojitos and amaretto sours with a house twist – all uniquely presented may I add, the minute or so it takes to wait for the cocktail is more than made up with a variety of flavours that reminds you of that cocktail you had on a beach in Thailand that one time. Why be traditional and have your cocktail served in a glass when you can sip the sweet nectar from a copper mug?
In keeping with the fast pace of Newcastle’s student nightlife, the artistic designs are enough to satisfy the tastes of any independent art student as well as the terrace smoking area, littered with the graffiti of customers past and present, creating a hideout and homely styled atmosphere one can feel accustomed to whilst downing their can of red stripe – the flagship of student drinking. Don’t worry about twiddling your thumbs or scrolling up and down Instagram’s news feed whilst you wait for your drink either, the staff are a gregarious bunch and are more than willing to share local rumours and gossip with you whilst they engineer your tipple.
Thursday is generally conceived to be the most popular of days after a brief discussion with one of the bartenders, which was fortunate as this was the day I found myself there. Crowds starting filing through the doors at around 11pm consisting of a mixture of different age groups, with one thing on their mind – to enjoy themselves in this cosy retreat, inspired by the underground European clubs bars of Copenhagen and Berlin.
From teatime wifi and coffee, afterwork cocktails, evening endeavours, and late night escapades, MSA adhere to their loyal customers needs as they effortlessly demonstrate their versatility day in day out. Come celebrate the nights getting lighter at MSA and leave with that infamous Geordie smile on your face.
Address: 18-20 Hood Street, The Playhouse District, Newcastle, NE1 6JQ
Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday Closed (Available for private functions)
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