I recently had the pleasure of meeting Christian and Emma, who have just opened Last Chance Saloon. Both have a background working in bars, but this is their first venture as husband and wife. Situated underneath a Grade II listed building on the corner of Stoney Street, Last Chance Saloon offers something different; a retreat off the beaten track to come and relax with friends in an atmosphere unique to Nottingham. Despite its name and the saloon doors at its entrance, these are more a nod to its focus on bourbon and bacon than a Western theme.
Inspired by their travels around America, the couple wanted to showcase their love of food and drink whilst avoiding the smokehouse route, making whisky the unsuspected star and bacon the perfect accompaniment. Think casual dining but fine drinking. Food is small plates or ‘bacon tapas’, starting at just £2.50 for ‘Snackulas’ including the incredibly moreish Shandied Bacon and the Bacon Bad Popcorn you just can’t say no to, and only £4 for larger ‘Face Smash’ dishes – the Buffalo The Vampire Slayer Wings come served in a takeaway box and are perfect to stumble home with. Happy Hour is 5-8pm and during this time you can grab a cocktail from the most wanted section and a Scranwich from the menu for just £10; the decadent ‘Do you brie-lieve in a thing called love’ with bacon, brie and homemade bacon jam is a must. For veggies, the dishes can be adapted or there is the indulgent five-cheese ‘Captain Scranet’.
For beer drinkers, you can pick up any food item and a bottle of devassa for just £7.50! Iconic to Last Chance Saloon is how much time and energy have been invested into making as much as possible by hand. From the hand made wooden bar stools to the banana and sweet potato syrups and chocolate whiskey wine used in drinks, there is nothing predictable here and Emma and Christian’s passion is evident down to the very last detail. With over 100 different whiskies, wines, bottled beer, gin and vodka, and over 80 ‘classic’ cocktails alone, you can expect a showcase of pre-prohibition and prohibition tastes and drinks you can’t make at home.
Christian’s background at the Boilermaker was a way of reintroducing fun into cocktails, and this is evident in the fusion of flavours – think miso or maple bacon ‘airs’ and presentation of the drinks served in anything from hipflasks to inside ice cubes that come with a hammer to break into! With whiskies from all over the world: Irish, Japanese, Scotch, South African; a barrel aged menu, a whiskey flight menu and seasonal cocktails, the decision of what to drink could be daunting but the team are more than happy to talk through drinks and pairings to cater to any palate. With whisky overtaking vodka as the most popular spirit in America, the drinks Last Chance Saloon offer are a perfect example of why and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for somewhere new or different.