The City of London has just gained two stylish brand new bars – The Arbitrager and Demon, Wise & Partners – created within the Grade II* listed Draper’s Hall on Throgmorton Street in the heart of the City of London.
The project, designed by architect Hannah Darby, in collaboration with Eliska Sapera, was carried out for Blood & Sand Ltd by main contractors AGL Construction.
In the basement, the chic new Demon, Wise & Partners is a seated only venue focusing on classic cocktails with a great selection of the world’s best spirits.
Hannah Darby said: “The concept was to appeal to both the future and the past, male and female.
“Surrounded by the grandness and history of the City it was impossible not to acknowledge this and to that end, we aimed for a sumptuous feel with subtle hints of decadence and grandeur.
But importantly we wanted a distinctly feminine element – the City’s past is traditional and masculine but Cocktails are not traditional and professional women are part of the Citys present and future but this is not adequately reflected in the majority of the Citys drinking establishments.
“So we aimed for a cosy yet elegant look that was both female friendly but still in keeping with the surroundings.
A key element of the design the burnt sienna, copper, burnt orange and gold colour scheme. The bar features mostly banquette seating with chairs in the centre area. The bar top is in copper and the bar front features a distressed, studded design, also in copper, completed by Brixton Retrograde.
“The back bar incorporates illuminated boxes containing all the spirits, together with copper mosaic tile details.
“A section of the ceiling was raised to incorporate hanging rusted ‘bauble’ lights, with led lighting used to highlight the raised section.”
On the menu are top-of-the-range spirits, with around 130-140 bottles used on a 12-drink cocktail menu. The menu will change every three months and will include a few original drinks, but will mostly focus on classic, ‘serious’ cocktails fit for City drinking.
The newly refurbished Arbitrager (which has retained its old name) had been trading as a pub since the 1980s, but had been empty for a couple of years, so the project presented the opportunity to restore this iconic drinking establishment to its former glory.
Hannah Darby said: “When the client took on The Arbitrager, the interior was thoroughly dilapidated and needed a complete overhaul. The entrance to the bar is at the front of the building, with the bar located upstairs to the rear. Internally it is a long narrow space with the serving area at the back and long banquette seating along one wall, with the majority of the space left as a standing area. The colour scheme is generally in different tones of grey.
“A distinctive element of the new design is the bespoke feature pendant, wall and table lighting by Jessica Found It, made from materials including clocks, copper piping and brewery funnels.
“We also refurbished tin tiles and used them on the bar frontage. The tiles are American-made and are from the mid-1800s.
“Another design element is a large sepia coloured map showing London breweries which has been printed on vinyl and covers one wall.”
This part of the project also included the installation of a cold room on the same floor to store brewery kegs.
“The project was challenging in that we had to consider neighboring businesses and limited City of London working hours, plus the fact that the building is Grade II* listed, which meant that we had to work within planning restrictions,” said Hannah Darby.
The Arbitrager serves London brewed beers and London-distilled spirits only. The menu is mostly gin, but with a selection of vodkas, vermouths and aperitifs too, with mixers used rather than cocktails.
AGL Contractors Ltd
AGL Contractors Ltd is a building contractor, capable of delivering a broad range of services, from internal decoration and loft conversions to kitchen installations and general construction works. The company has been in operation since 2010 and within this time has worked on a range of domestic and commercial projects.
More recently, AGL Contractors Ltd was appointed as the main contractor on The Arbitrager and Demon, Wise & Partners project which the company was very proud to be a part of.
Angel Angelov of AGL Contractors Ltd, said:
“This project was really important for us to be involved with. Working on commercial projects such as this allows us to truly showcase our work to more people.”
“At AGL Contractors Ltd we are proud of our ability to offer a professional service, which demonstrates our attention to detail.”
ecoRoofing primarily specialise in the supply of zinc and copper cladding and roof sheeting for the construction industry. However, following numerous requests by a French restaurant in Maida Vale, ecoRoofing attempted its first ever zinc bar top and hasn’t looked back since.
Speaking to Premier Hospitality, John White of ecoRoofing, said:
“As sheet metal workers, we have operated as zinc and copper cladding specialists for 22 years but after completing our first bar – which was only eight years ago – we have been happily surprised with the interest in this area, which increases year after year.”
Previous projects that ecoRoofing has been involved with include the VIP bar at the 02 arena, as well as the Jockey Club at Aintree racecourse. Most recently ecoRoofing was responsible for the copper bar top on The Arbitrager. The bar includes a coach bolt/stud effect to the face, as well as natural patina to give the copper an antiqued look.
Commenting about the project, John, said:
“All our projects are important to us, however the bar itself is situated in London’s financial sector and so in a very influential part of town, where businessmen and women from all over the world come to do business – what a great opportunity to showcase our work!”
“Like all companies, customer satisfaction has to be paramount but as well as that it is the standard of the work which we feel sets us apart from our competitors, our experienced team leaders and knowledge of our trade means that we can fulfil the most demanding of clients’ needs at very competitive rates.”