The Bletchley

You break codes to get drinks at spy-themed London bar The Bletchley

The Bletchley is a spy-themed London bar where you have to crack codes to order drinks.

To do that, you use imitation World War 2 Enigma machines which generate a unique code for every "agent." Orders are then transmitted via radio to the bar.

The venue is inspired by Bletchley Park, the site where British mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing and his team used to crack German codes during World War 2.

This is gorgeous, but two things:

  1. When I see a bar that seems to have made it very difficult to get drunk, I can't help but think, YOU HAD ONE JOB.

  2. The plastic wrap atop the Enigma machines really detracts. (Also it was only introduced commercially in 1949!)

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7 Responses:

  1. jwz says:
    Today's drink special:
  2. "It's impossible to order a drink. We never make the same drink twice."

    Are we sure Fred Armisen isn't running this joint?

  3. Nick Lamb says:

    If your goal is actually to get drunk, then a themed bar in Chelsea is probably not the right choice. As you'd expect from somewhere which doesn't have a menu as far as I can tell they're not actually pricing the drinks either, you're buying an experience and the booze is included, like old-school commercial aviation before people decided they'd rather flying was both cheaper AND worse than getting on a bus.

    I had assumed DNA Lounge was likewise not supposed to be about getting patrons blacked out and lying in the gutter as quickly as possible in exchange for the contents of their wallets. That's why you have bouncers and a stage show right? If people just want to wake up with a hangover in a stranger's bed they can buy their booze at the supermarket.

    • jwz says:

      Look, I have been to and enjoyed many "experiential" events like this, and they're great and all, but most people need a little lubrication to get into the spirit of things (see what I did there?) Maybe this place has an entry lobby for pre-gaming. That would work.

      For example, we do a little thing called the Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge (next one on July 16!) where getting a drink is a whole... process. But we still have a human bartender because sometimes you need to say, "This is hilarious and all but I just need a damned beer."

    • pavel_lishin says:

      There's a big wide comfy zone between "hoping this 20,000 piece jigsaw puzzle isn't missing any pieces so that I can use its completion to signal to the bartender that I'm worth of a glass of water" and "alcohol poisoning" that most bars strive for.

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