Boardwalk Empire Launch Event: The Prohibition Comes to London

So anyone who knows me knows I’m a HUGE fan of “mafia, gangster, organised crime” films and TV shows. The Godfather 1 and 2 along with Goodfellas are amongst my Top 10 greatest films and My DVD collection includes greats like James Cagney’s White Heat, Roaring Twenties and Angels with Dirty Faces as well as the original 1932 Scarface and the Al Panchino’s 1983 remake. On the small screen as far as I’m concerned the Sopranos and the Wire are two of the greatest TV shows of the past 10 years.

With that in mind when I got an opportunity to go to the launch of the DVD and Blu-ray Box set of Boardwalk Empire series 1, HBO’s award winning series I jumped at the chance and went to the event along with fellow GS member Christophe Montoya Timperley. Set in the 1920′ to the backdrop of the Prohibition era, when the sale of alcohol became illegal throughout the United States Boardwalk Empire stars Steve Buscemi as Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson the Atlantic City treasurer whose double role as politician and bootlegger makes him the most powerful man on the Boardwalk. The character is based on The series also charts the creation and rise of the American mafia with the young Al Capone, Meyer Lansky and Charlie ‘Lucky’ Luciano characters in the show.

Executively produced by Martin Scorsese and written by Terence Winter, the Emmy Award-winning writer of The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire’s first season received 18 Emmy Award nominations winning eight including ‘Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series’ and ‘Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama’.

An authentic slice of the 1920’s in London

The launch event took place at the Nightjar Bar inOld Street. Hidden between two cafes on City Road (and believe me when I say hidden as apart from the door only a small sign on the wall informs you it’s the Nightjar bar….a very authentic speakeasy hideout feel), the Nightjar is a hidden slice of old-school glamour on the fringes of Shoreditch. It specialises in cocktails from pre-prohibition era to modern times and live music from the golden age of jazz. We were treated to several cocktails from the era with names such as Scofflaw Nation, Bootlegger’s Secret, Atlantic Sour and New Jersey Julep. But the real treat of the Night that got Christophe and I excited was the chance to sample a 148 year old bottle of whiskey that was distilled in the 1800’s and bottled during the prohibition. No one wanted to confirm how much the PR company paid for the bottle but we were assured it was a lot.


As well as a band playing authentic 1920’s tunes and two fantastic dancers for the entertainment, we were also shown an extra from the DVD box set that toured 1920’s Chicago area speakeasy bars as they are today. The let-down of the evening was we didn’t get to see the deleted scene from the first season which I was looking forward to the most having watched all of the first season and currently being up to date with the UK showing of the 2nd season.

A fun evening was definitely had and I’m only upset as I was driving as I didn’t get to sample all those great looking cocktails.


So if you are a fan of HBO dramas such as The Wire, The Sopranos, OZ, Deadwood and Band of Brothers then you will immediate recognise the quality of writing and acting in Boardwalk Empire. This is a truly worthy successor to the Sopranos

BOARDWALK EMPIRE: The Complete First Season will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in a 5 disc box set on 9th January 2012. The second season will conclude in the UK on New Years Eve on Sky Atlantic.



Nightjar Bar

For more about The Nightjar, please contact [email protected], or call 0207 253 4101 (from 4.30pm every day except Monday). For bookings, please email [email protected] or use the form on the Reservations page of their website.

The Nightjar, 129 City Road, London EC1V 1JB

Opening hours:

Thursday, Friday and Saturday 6pm – 3am

Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday 6pm – 1am

Mondays – closed

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