Café KaiZen, an all day and all night central London venue, has now opened following a four month renovation process.
Located in the heart of Mayfair, the venue offers guests an array of activities to indulge in; they can sample dishes from the Oriental-inspired menu, browse boutique stalls at the quirky indoor market or sip coktails and party the night away at the cocktail bar-come-nightclub.
We caught up with Dan Kapp, CEO of Café KaiZen, to find out more; he told us where the inspiration came from for the venue:
“Myself, my partner and my friends realised we were growing up and felt there was nowhere in central London that was growing up with us. We love london nightlife but felt that there was no successful bar culture, especially in Mayfair, with a lot of the trend setting bars and lounges popping up in North, East, West and South London. This reflected badly on central London.
“I wanted to create a venue that could evolve from a bar into a nightclub; I don’t feel there needs to be a divide between the two different venues. I wanted to open a venue where guests could chill out in the afternoon, visit for after work drinks and then stay on into the night to party. I feel a night out should happen organically and if the venue has the right atmosphere then the space can evolve into a nightclub. If the venue feels more mellow on other nights then it will remain as a lounge cocktail bar.”
The site was previously home to a nightclub which was very dark and was themed in a 90’s style. Dan was eager to completely strip out the space and create a more organic and interesting space. Works began with a complete strip out of the interior with the space being taken back to its core of concrete walls and floors and exposed pipeworks.
Exposed concrete is very much in vogue and so the team were keen to pursue this urban, industrial theme. A three week demolition programme began before the space was dressed in order to soften the masculine interior.
Dan Kapp and 44th Hill worked together on the interior design of the venue and Maze Construction undertook the construction works with other friends and artists helping out on the finishing details.
The venue’s entrance is very understated as Dan and the design team liked the idea of concealing a hidden gem inside the doorway. Guests are led downstairs and are surrounded by a mixture of urban industrial blockwork and concrete walls. These industrial features have been married with exposed copper pipes, old vintage furniture and an extensive modern art collection.
Items within the boutique include a mixture of ready-to-wear clothing, lingerie, accessories, pet toys and vintage goods. After perusing the shops guests can relax in the quirkily designed space which is open daily from 3pm to 3am.
The main feature of the 5,500 square foot venue is a large four metre cherry blossom tree, which lies in the centre of the room. The seating has been arranged around the tree and reinforces the venues Japanese focus as well as adding to the spaces indoor-outdoor atmosphere.
When being used as a cocktail bar and lounge Café Kaizen holds 450 people, as a casual dining space there is room for 180 covers. During the day 20 designers populate the indoor market space and guests can browse the quirky fashion boutiques before tasting the array of dim sum and sashimi dishes. There is also a full dessert range which is all gluten free and is prepared by the venues in-house pastry chef.
Dan Kapp said:
“For me the reward comes when friends and clients start to genuinely enjoy the space; there is no reward for me until people start to enjoy it. Until I see people enjoying the space I am just doing my job and building somewhere I hope people will like; as I would like to hang out there.”