If you’re looking for a swish and swanky venue to strut your stuff on a Friday or Saturday night, Bar So in Bournemouth’s Royal Exeter Hotel is likely to fit the bill. The venue features a modern bar, restaurant and nightclub with champagne bar and heated sun terrace to match your occasion and your mood.
Bar So was established in 2003 and has been a key fixture on the town’s nightlife circuit since day one. It’s just a short walk away from Bournemouth’s beautiful seafront and equally close to the town centre with its bars, shops, restaurants and transport links and the beautiful lower gardens.
There’s so many aspects to this multi-level venue that you could spend a night working your way around the different areas. Bar So is also a great ‘stop’ on your way out to a club or your way home from a meal. Why not make a night of it in a mixed group and plump for one of Bar So’s new bottle packages? You can choose from seven different deals with various champagne, spirit and mixer options and reserve a table in one of four premium locations around the club – perhaps you want a booth right by the dance floor, maybe in the champagne bar or you could mix it up in the upstairs cocktail bar. You can always hire Bar So’s Private Bar for your own exclusive celebration or function if you want your own space but to still enjoy the club’s enticing vibe.
Although predominantly a nightlife venue, Bar So also has quite the reputation for its food. In the summer season, they will serve food in the upstairs cocktail bar and it’s been known to dish up a mean Sunday roast dinner – a delicious antidote to the refreshments enjoyed here the night before!
The downstairs bar brings a club element to the venue. It’s got a big dance floor, beefy Funktion One sound system and attracts a roster of big-name DJs playing a mix of house music, R&B, hip-hop, tech & club, freestyle, mashup, nu disco and electronic dance. Martyn the Hat, one of the town’s best-known DJs and a big name on the global circuit is a frequent fixture, delighting the crowds with his eclectic music collection and trademark delivery.
Resident DJ James Herkes is one of the town’s top mixers and a big name on the south coast circuit. He has shared the decks with global superstars like Roger Sanchez, Pete Tong and Judge Jules and toured with big names including Hed Kandi and Ministry of Sound. You’ll find him in Bar So’s Dome bar every Saturday night.
Lee Evans is an international DJ and producer and was resident at BCM for over 10 years. During this time, he worked with global artists including Tiesto, Deadmau5, Paul van Dyk, Calvin Harris, Tinie Tempah, Boy George and Erick Morillo. Lee fills Bar So every Saturday night with a dynamic delivery of feel-good house music.
Friday nights at Bar So are “Feel So Funky,” where Martyn the Hat plays a catchy mixture of funk, house, soul, disco and breakbeats. Each month, the club offers special guest “deck takeovers,” welcoming visiting talent like DMC World Champion DJ ‘X-Rated’ to entertain the crowd and welcome in the weekend. Happy Hour is 7 to 10pm, with selected cocktails half price and two Sol beers for £5. And you can toast in the weekend with Prosecco at £15 a bottle all night.
Wednesday nights welcome Salsa Explosion, filling the venue from 8pm to 1am with exotic and enticing beats. Whether you’re already a hot Salsa siren or you’re coming in completely cold, dance teacher Enrique Perez and his 5-strong team offers Cuban Salsa classes for all levels from 8.30pm followed by a night of salsa, timba, son, bachata, kizomba and Latino music for you to try all your new moves!
Bar So definitely has an image to uphold, and as such it enforces a few rules. The dress code is “Dress to impress – no effort, no entry.” Although it’s strictly smart casual, it’s best to scrub up if you want guaranteed entry! The venue’s doormen follow a “Challenge 21” policy – if you’re fortunate enough to look under the age of 21 you will be asked to show some ID. Bar So also cannot cater for stag or hen groups.