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Plans for Breaking Bad inspired lab bar in Hackney Central arches blasted by neighbour for ‘making drugs fun’

PUBLISHED: 16:03 29 June 2018

Bryan Cranston, who plays Walter White in Breaking Bad. Picture Ian West/PA Archive

Bryan Cranston, who plays Walter White in Breaking Bad. Picture Ian West/PA Archive

PA Archive/PA Images

A “genius” Breaking Bad inspired cocktail bar could be coming to the Hackney Central arches – but one neighbour has blasted the theme for making class A drugs “fun”.

Baanq Ltd already runs one “immersive molecular cocktail bar” out of a camper van in Hackney Road named ABQ, and wants to open another off the top of Mare Street, in Bohemia Place.

Events at the bar, inspired by the crystal meth lab in the hit TV show, are based around the “mixing and infusing of drinks in innovative ways”.

The Hackney Road venue has been running for two years, and Baang said it had become one of London’s “best loved and reviewed bar experiences”.

But that hasn’t impressed one neighbouring business owner, who said the company was “mimicking a drug factory on wheels in an area of high Class A substance abuse” and had “intentionally set up next to a church business to upset an active and loyal community, St John of Hackney Church”.

They added: “I have operated my business in Hackney for years, created jobs and constantly engaged with the community on developing projects with both schools and cultural interest groups.

“Exposing our community to drugs being fun is not OK.

“I am warning Hackney Council licensing that allowing a business to operate and profit from mimicking Class A drug production will have no positive outcome to the safety, crime or children of our strong developing community.”

ABQ has a 4.5 star rating on Trip Advisor, with one recent visitor saying: “Loved the whole experience the staff the drinks it made my dreams come true if we didn’t break too bad and get kicked out we would of stayed.”

Another added: “My husband and I are huge Breaking Bad fans, so when I found this bar online, I was so excited! The bartender is a true genius! The way they’ve figured out how to mix odd ingredients with liquor and turn it into a science experiment is really neat!”

Councillors will vote on whether to approve the application on Thursday night at the town hall.

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