Tucked underneath PLY on Stevenson Square, behind an unassuming doorway sits underground drinking den Guilty By Association (GBA).
The interior is classic Northern Quarter, and seating-wise there’s a mix of booths and high tables, which are perfect for large groups to congregate around. The upcycled car seat chairs have thankfully gone – whilst aesthetically pleasing, they just weren’t practical to sit around as a group and the extra table and booth in their place are much needed as this place fills up throughout the night.
GBA comes from the team behind Liquorice (among other bars) so it’s no surprise that the cocktails here are excellent. The list is well thought out with something for everyone. The Pornstar Martini and Mexican Mule, are particular TNQR favourites, and at two for £10 until 9pm everyday they are great value.
The beer of choice during our visit was 13 Guns – a tasty American IPA. There were sustained frothy-teething problems with pouring this brew when GBA first opened, but these have been ironed out, and the result is a very tasty tipple. An own-brew ‘Guilty Lager’, Amstel and Warsteiner make up the draft selection, with a fine array of bottled beers serving as back-up if those don’t take your fancy. There’s also a range of wine covering red, white, rose and fizzy for those who favour the grape over the grain.
The pinball machine and table football allow some of us to satisfy our competitive side. We’re still reeling at the change of pinball machine and the loss of the top score on AC/DC…although the new machine creates a fresh challenge which will no doubt be attempted over the coming weeks.
Old school R&B and hip-hop is the late-night music of choice, which creates a great atmosphere and keeps the party going through to 3am on Fridays and Saturdays. The popularity of this place means it soon fills up and the wait at the bar gets longer. Despite this, GBA has quickly established itself as a TNQR favourite.
Guilty By Association
Drinks: Cocktails, beer, wine, spirits
Related City Centre Establishments: Liquorice, Dockyard, Lost in Tokyo
Bongo Rating: 8/10