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A caffe and event space with splashes of pink and green give a beautiful sense of community to Mare Street.
69 Mare Street
There’s some establishments you walk past as a culture writer and think: ‘I need to write about that.’ One such place is Diddy’s Bar'; a modern remix of the local caffe that doubles up as a contemporary arts and event space. It’s an incredible splash of colour to an otherwise monotonous Mare Street, which has become known for its inventive and design-driven establishments (take boundary-breaking work-space Second Home or Mare Street Market, for example).
Diddy’s Bar both adheres to and bucks this trend; it’s a typically cool Hackney spot for sure, but quite a different ethos to its neighbours. Instead of profit margins and sponsors at its heart, the space instead champions a sense of community and collaboration. Aiming to have something on offer for everyone, the eponymous Diddy created the space in response to the often unattainable expensive haunts of East London.
With £5 pints, £1 cups of tea and extremely affordable food, the members of our community that feel excluded by the swanky hipster spots (with swanky prices to match) are invited and included in this re-imagining of the local caffe. Interiors are designed by architect Jayden Ali, who imagines a blank canvas of a space with intense splashes of colour in their chairs, exteriors and constantly rotating artworks on display (we’ll leave the discovery of the bright pink downstairs to you…).
“Diddy’s is a much welcome fresh face to Hackney.”
Proudly independent, Diddy’s Bar prides itself in only collaborating with friends and local creatives; immersing itself in the integrity of community and art. Most recently, the bar was the visitor centre for Beck Road’s Openhouse event; a celebration that saw the houses of local artists of the adjoining street open their doors to the public for an evening of exploration and discovery.
It’s an unlikely spot to visit on Mare Street, especially if you’ve been turned off by the expensive Hackney scene, but Diddy’s is a much welcome fresh face to its high-streets. We recommend visiting on a Friday night and see if you can find Diddy herself (be sure to say hello from us).
Words + Images : Hannah Crosbie