The Metra bar and club in London.

The Metra bar and club in London. (Sean Kimmons / S&S)

LONDON — It was well past midnight and we were desperate for a nightclub where we could get tipsy and sucker up enough courage to hit the dance floor.

So, we circled around Leicester Square, one of the city’s nightlife hot spots, past bumbling partygoers calling it a night and others stealing pizza slices from an outside vendor. But every club was too expensive, guest list only, had a long line or early closing times.

Then, out of nowhere, a promoter stepped in front of us and pointed toward the Metra club. Liking what he had to say about the place, we decided to give it a go.

The cover was a tad steep (10 pounds) but compared to other clubs nearby it was still a decent deal. Plus, it came with a free shot of some tequila concoction upon entry.

Inside, the dance floor was overflowing with partygoers getting down while others hugged its perimeter watching the spectacle unfold.

“It’s a very fun-loving crowd. A lot of interesting people come down,” said Richard Walker, the club’s general manager.

The dance floor had chandeliers overhead with orange-colored lights and a raised portion in the center for dancers. A few sofas, where groups of partygoers mingled, were behind the dance floor. More seats and tables were situated throughout the medium-sized club.

A lot of the music inside the club was reggaeton, such as Sean Paul, along with other popular tracks from R&B artists. Old-school tracks were intermingled into the mix, such as MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” and “Jump” by Kris Kross, which probably had some reminiscing about wearing their clothes backwards in the early 1990s, when the song first came out.

I ventured up to the bar, skimmed through its drink menu and ordered a cocktail jug called Illusion, a rum-based blend with Blue Curacao, Midori liquor and pineapple juice for 13.50 pounds. It’s probably a good idea to add a few more shots of rum to elevate its potency.

Another bright idea is to stake a claim away from the club’s speakers, which were turned up so loud that they could drown out the sound of artillery fire.

Despite the deafening music, the club on this night was a good choice and the wait to order a drink at its two bars was never too long. On top of that, the club bumped beats until 4 a.m., unlike many other clubs in the square that already closed for the night an hour earlier.

“We’re one of the latest clubs. We try to give people an extra hour to let the alcohol wear off,” Walker said.

See previous After Hours reviews here.


Location: 14 Leicester Square, inside the popular nightlife square.

Drink: There are 15 different variations of cocktail jugs at this club that sell for about 13.50 pounds. Single shot cocktails start at 3.80 pounds. On Tuesday and Thursday nights, the club has a two-for-one cocktail special until midnight. There is also the standard collection of beer, spirits and wine.

Hours: Monday through Thursday, the club closes at 3 a.m., Friday and Saturday at 4 a.m. and Sunday at 2 a.m.

Clientele: It was an ethnic melting pot on this night, dominated mostly by Asian clubbers.


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