Shrimpy’s & Fictitious Inspiration


Shrimpy’s, the latest pop-up from East London’s Bistrotheque collective, has three interesting things going for it that make it stand out from the usual transient masses:

1. Its transience is actually pretty long-term. A good few years at least, apparently. Sort of like Simon Rogan’s not-so-temporary Roganic, then (long-term transience; the ‘live-in not-spouse’ of the drinking world?);

2. Its Ruscha-esque signage and semi-transparent wrapping really do have a massive effect on the iconic King’s Cross Filling Station;

3. Old Shrimpy himself.

Shrimpy is the inspiration for both the artwork on the walls and the fishy (ahem) West Coast-ish menu. And according to the nice folks at Wallpaper*, Shrimpy is also an entirely fictional spinster that the Bistrotheque owners met during a similarly non-existant roadtrip across the somewhat more-existent American coastline. Just like the wonderful and wholly invented Aunt Wilhelmina who is the guiding force behind the Zetter Townhouse’s barZTH (have a read of the latter link for Tony C’s insightful description of Wilhelmina, her power and the thought process behind her inception).

Fiction and drink have long been a comfortable combo. Just think of all those authors and artists who have turned to the realms of booze for inspiration (and occasional support). Think of the (no-doubt) entirely allegorical histories of particular drinks (Magaritas anyone?).

The bar is an escape from the real world. It is a release from the drudgery and responsibility and certainty of Real Life. So why not have a little fun while you’re at it? A little myth, a little magic, a little illusory charm and intrigue… It’s a pleasure to see that occurring at such a committed level, running through the very core of a project: something so stated and up-frontedly deceptive, of which we hope (nay, suspect) we will see yet more.

Source: Shrimpy’s
Via: Wallpaper*