Tucked away in Guildford town centre is a small bar that you may well miss if you didn’t know what you were looking for. Tudor Antiques is an old-school cocktail joint that appears so intimate its customers need a door code to enter it.
Owner Jon Croxford told SurreyLive: “It’s a unique concept to Guildford – or at least it was until Cosy Club came along – but it has the sort of old vintage vibe of a prohibition speakeasy.”
Jon has owned and run the site as a bar since 2008 – but during the winter storms of 2013 its roof was damaged. He said: “The water came through and it blew out all the ceilings and we had to shut. We reevaluated the business as it gave us time to look at how the bar was running and what would work there.”
The venue, which has an intimate capacity of 80, was refurbished in 2014 and reopened as a prohibition speakeasy. Jon added: “We decided to go down this route because it really suited as the entrance of the bar was up this little passage with a little door.
“Then we thought about putting a coded entry on it so that people have to be in the know to come. We haven’t had to change the code for a while but if we change it then we announce it on our weekly mailing list – or through Facebook Messenger – which also tells you when we’re open and shut as we’re also available for private hire.
“And because we’re at the top end of town we often find that we get the 10pm swarm of people who’ve left their meal and want to come and join us for afters.”
The bar’s ornate interior touches include embossed wallpaper, wooden beams, dimly lit lamps, and leather seating. While the family-run business serves its wide range of cocktails – from mojitos to martinis – in an unexpected container.
Jon said: “The teapots are such a hit for people just to sit down drinking ‘tea‘ of an alcoholic nature. Also, the whole back bar was made out of antique pianos, including the shelves and bottle displays.”
The 46-year-old described Tudor Antiques, plus the nearby bigger Alley Bar that he also owns, as an “alternative to a nightclub” that offers beer and wine as well as cocktails. He added: “If you don’t want to be stuck to the carpet surrounded by students but you still want a drink once the pubs shut then come and see us.”
- Tudor Antiques is located at 144 High Street, Guildford, GU1 3HJ and is open every Saturday and Sunday from 8pm until late. For more information, click here.
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