Earlham Street Clubhouse is a brand new cocktail bar from club entrepreneur Jez Hall, working alongside partners Tim Entwistle and James Hoole, and brings a mix of stylish drinks and delicious pizza to Seven Dials! The 160 capacity venue is situated within a basement site, formerly home to iconic ‘90s club Detroit, and offers up a slice of New York in the capital!
Leading commercial interior designers, Raw Design were responsible for the interior of Earlham Street Clubhouse. Raw Design have a vast experience working in the hospitality industry, having previously worked on projects such as Gatecrasher Nottingham, Bed Bar in London and Apres bars throughout the country.
Keen to find out a little more about Earlham Street Clubhouse, Premier Hospitality caught up with Raw Design Owner and Earlham Street Clubhouse shareholder Matt Rawlinson, to discover what the new venue is all about.
“Detroit, the venue that was previously housed at this site, had become quite dated, so when the site was taken over by its new owners I was given a call and asked to come in to create the interior of the new venture.”
“Earlham Street Clubhouse has an East Coast vibe, mixed with a touch of Ferris Bueller and Animal House about it, giving it a little bit of an ‘80s twist, albeit in a contemporary fashion.”
Earlham Street Club House features an extensive cocktail menu, utilising fresh ingredients and premium spirits. The drinks offering is backed up by a tempting selection of New York style wood-fired pizzas – served by the slice – with a range of toppings.
Work began on Earlham Street Clubhouse in October, with the project being completed in just three weeks! This was an extremely quick turnaround, but something which Matt was able to take on the chin without losing his sense of adventure.
“This project had an extremely quick turnaround time, but it was something which we knew we could take on regardless. The biggest challenge was not knowing what we would uncover once we got going! The site was covered in render, so we got a team in to expose the brickwork, which then allowed us to gauge what was there before we could carry on. This did lead to some good surprises though, for example, when we took some steel cladding off the walls at the entrance we found lovely arched ceiling!”
The existing render was not the only stumbling block that occurred along the way, as Matt soon discovered.
“We also had a few issues with a poor sprinkler system, which delayed us by a week – something not particularly helpful on a three week programme”, joked Matt, “but generally the work ran smoothly.
“We are used to tight time frames, perhaps not quite as tight as this one, but it is something which we can do. This project involved a lot of thinking on our feet, but I believe it made the finished result much more eclectic and creative.”
As Earlham Street Clubhouse is housed below ground, the external area of the site has been largely left untouched, with the exception of its entrance. When operating as Detroit, the venue greeted guests with two stainless steel doors covered in portholes, so during its transformation the doors were replaced and new signage was installed to reassure guests that this is definitely a new destination.
Earlham Street Clubhouse has lots to discover in the design, with booths hidden in secret passages, exposed brick work and reclaimed panelling.
“The site is a bit like a rabbit warren, with tunnels and interesting little areas dotted around, so it really suits a design that looks a little crazy. At times it has been a little bit of a trial and error scheme, but that all added to the fun!
“One of my clients, who we worked with on the Apres bars replaced some of their furniture, which meant that we were able to recycle it to keep the budgets down and be eco-friendly at the same time.”
As a shareholder in Earlham Street Clubhouse, the project has understandably been a very personal project for Matt, but a very rewarding one too.
“All projects are a bit stressful but this one has been very enjoyable. When people walk in the venue the interior simply blows them away, which is brilliant considering the tight time frame and budget which we stuck to,” said Matt.
“With this site completed the plan is to open up a few Clubhouses moving forward. We wanted to get the brand up and running on Earlham Street first and then take it to new locations.”
To complete the interesting interior of Earlham Street Clubhouse, male staff are dressed in blazers and slacks, whilst female staff wear tartan skirts and silk blouses. Visitors can phone drink and food orders to the bar and contact other tables via retro phones. Guests are also able to choose the music they want to hear, through the use of a smart phone application connected to the club’s jukebox.
Earlham Street Clubhouse is open all day Saturday and Sunday and from midday during weekdays.