When local discovery app Locappy (like a cross between Foursquare and Instagram) announced that they were making a Breaking Bad-themed bar in an RV, in London, we were first in the queue. It’s been far too long since we spent some time with Walter, Jesse and sky blue.
Called ABQ London (for Albuquerque, where the show is set), the RV is based in Hackney and is scheduled to be open for three months – although we wouldn’t be surprised if it gets an extension given that it’s already sold out until October. At £30 a ticket, that’s some profitable shiz, yo.
When we arrived, a lady with a clipboard greeted us with “Yo, bitches!” and ushered us to the back of the building. The RV is outdoors, in a little park with a sandpit. About 20 people can fit inside at a time, but there’s a bar and food beside it that you can enjoy while you’re waiting to start cooking.
There’s a bar serving blue drinks and cocktails in science beakers (though sadly no Schraderbrau), and a table of food from La Belle Assiette including blue cakes, blue cheese and sachets of ‘crystal meth’ (dyed sugar). Staff members are easy to spot as they’re dressed in the lurid yellow jumpsuits of the meth lab, and seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves as they offered out drinks and talked about the idea behind the event.
At this point in the evening, the RV wasn’t yet open to us but was emitting mysterious puffs of smoke. True fans will notice that it’s not the exact model of the one in the show, but it’s pretty bloody close – ABQ have done a superb job of the paintwork and branding. That kind of attention to detail doesn’t go unnoticed.
At this point, the door to the mythical RV opened and everyone did a double-take – the lookalike Walter White they’ve brought in is ridiculously convincing:
Once we’d all had a good gawk at Not-Bryan-Cranston, it was time for the first half of us to enter the RV and break bad. Gasps rang out as we got inside – it’s pretty amazing:
We were a bit sad to see that the bottles were labelled with their actual ingredients instead of chemical symbols (would it be too much to ask for ‘BC’ instead of ‘blue curacao’, to keep up the pretence?):
But we soon forgot our nitpicking as our host started ‘cooking,’ with voluminous clouds of white mist issuing from the mixing bowl. He whipped up an alcoholic blue sorbet – our new favourite dessert – with the help of some of the audience. Meanwhile, his colleague was busy with beakers and what looked like our GCSE chemistry titration equipment, mixing up another cocktail for the second group of participants. At this point, we noticed that the stereo inside the RV was playing “Fallacies,” a song by Jesse’s band that’s briefly referenced in one episode of Breaking Bad. Again, the attention to detail is impressive.
Everyone at ABQ gets to try ‘cooking’ both cocktails, with one of each to enjoy (after the staff have had time to make one for everybody). Then it’s back outside while the other group enter the RV, to snaffle up more snacklets and enjoy the rest of the evening.
All in all, we had an amazing time at ABQ London. So should you buy tickets?