A review of my favourite little artsy dive bar in North London. Come discover Jam in a Jar.
The ‘Jam’ in this bar’s name doesn’t refer to the preserve, or to the local traffic, but is used in the impromptu musical freak-out sense. Harringay’s Jam in a Jar marks a sea change for the particular stretch of Green Lanes known as Grand Parade. It forms a hat-trick alongside impressive refurbished Victorian boozer the Salisbury down the road and yummy mummy café Blend next door.
‘Qwerty’, stamped in higgledy-piggledy typewritten characters constitutes the bar’s main signage and reflects its laidback leanings. The intimate interior has exposed brick and bare wooden floorboards, with a couple of dark leather sofas and armchairs, art for sale on the walls and a giant old transistor radio and some bongos by way of ornament.
Jam’s drink selection is equally small but well formed. There are four or so cocktails (margaritas, mojitos), Kozel, Estrella and Pilsner Urquell on tap, two red wines, two whites, one rosé, and seven or so ciders and bottled beers. Brunch, dinner and snacks are covered by the food menu, whose high point is the Jam in a Jar Special: an epic stacked burger, with pineapple, bacon and a fried egg thrown in for luck, only to be ordered by the ravenous or particularly fulsome of stomach.
Yet, as the bar’s name suggests, what makes Jam exciting is not its refreshments but its embrace of local arts and music: revolving musicians play really rather good blues, jazz, garage rock and whatever else suits their mood on weekend nights, drawing artsy, beard-heavy crowds so large they spill on to the pavement. Get there before 7pm on a Saturday if you want a table inside: later on it really is like being jammed into a jar, albeit one full of nice tunes and booze.
By Becky Lucas
- Address:599 Green Lanes
- Venue phone:
- Transport:Tube: Turnpike Lane. Rail: Hornsey