400 Rabbits: The quirky Nottingham tequila bar that tried to become a church during lockdown

Once you know it is there, the brilliantly vibrant cocktail bar is hard to miss Once you know it is there, the brilliantly vibrant cocktail bar is hard to miss
Once you know it is there, the brilliantly vibrant cocktail bar is hard to miss
The bar has a loyal congregation of ‘Bunny Believers‘ and ‘Reverends of the Righteous Rabbits‘

Tequila is, in my opinion, like alcoholic Marmite - some people love it, others can't stand the stuff.

And the chances are if you're standing firmly in the haters camp, it's because you did too many shots of it when you were 21 and now the smell alone raises the hair on the back of your neck.

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But haters I'm here to tell you, you shouldn't write off this zingy spirit - because you're about to see it EVERYWHERE.

At the end of 2023, in partnership with our sister site Derby World, we asked some local foodies what they expected to see from this year's food and drink trends.

The answers ranged from pimped-up pork pies as we make way for British fusion, to you guessed it, lots and lots of Tequila.

And you should also make way for Mezcal, Tequila's less famous little sister, who is set to have her moment in the spotlight.

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Nottingham's first and only Tequila bar

So when I learned about the existence of Nottingham's only Tequila bar, I just had to find out more.

400 Rabbits (great name), is located on Hurts Yard between Market Square and Upper Parliament Street in Nottingham.

Billed as Nottingham's first and only dedicated Mezcaleria, Tequila and cocktail den", 400 Rabbits specialises in crafting incredible agave nectar cocktails.

Tucked away up a little alley, you'd be forgiven for walking past 400 Rabbits (if you can miss the wonderfully colourful exterior). Inside awaits a world of vibrant Mexican décor and a drinks menu to die for.

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The show-stopping menu has drinks for every taste (even Tequila neophytes) with highlights including, Lemon Sherbet Slush, Lavender Vida Loca, Naked & Famous, and the Bunny Boiler.

Or if you prefer a classic cocktail, why not try Tommy's Margarita or a Mezcal Negroni?

More than just a cocktail bar

400 Rabbits was born in November 2015 as Nottingham's first (and only) Mezcaleria.

Then in 2020, driven by a desire to keep serving during Covid restrictions, the quirky cocktail den applied to become "an official place of worship".

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The website says: "Our aim was simple, to offer a place of worship to our deity the Mezcal Bunny. A place where you can drink mezcal without having to order a carvery dinner alongside it, a place where you aren’t kicked out into the cold heartless night at 10pm.

"A place where you can get away from the busy gyms, supermarkets, shops, beauty salons, massage parlours, cinemas, theatres, sports venues, Xmas markets, schools, universities, betting shops and literally everywhere else that was allowed to remain open while pubs and bars had to remain shut.

"Our application to be recognised as an official place of worship and open our doors was submitted to the registrar general. Our congregation of ‘Bunny Believers‘ and ‘Reverends of the Righteous Rabbits‘ began to grow!"

The move quickly drew attention from the world's press and in 2021, the church had a loyal congregation of 2000 followers, despite not being granted official church status.

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Then on April 12th, the bar officially reopened in line with COVID rules. Owners said: "Mezcal Bunny worship was still encouraged but not essential."

The bar now sells 'church merch' for charity, with epic illustrations of the Mezcal Bunny. All profits are donated to Emmanuel House Support Centre.

Songs of praise

Unsurprisingly, the combination of killer cocktails and rebellious rabbits make this a popular drinking spot in the city.

With a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Google and a string of reviews singing its praise, we'd suggest a trip here is akin to a religious experience.

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Jurate Ko wrote: "A tiny tequila cocktail bar hidden in the alleyway. Have a great tequila selection, creative cocktails and presentation. If you are not a tequila lover, do not worry there is a cocktail for everyone."

Elin T said: "The best place ever! Great drinks, modestly priced, and excellent service!"

Alex Jones wrote: "Great little bar with a nice atmosphere". 

'The Church' also offers cocktail masterclasses, private hire, and a happy hour every day from 5-8pm!

Find it: 15-16 Hurts Yard, Nottingham NG1 6JD