BRICK & LIQUOR – Clapham’s new hospitality hotspot
Down in South London, locals are flocking to a new Clapham hospitality hotspot – BRICK & LIQUOR – a bustling neighbourhood bar offering up creative cocktails and ‘Social Eats’.
The concept is the dream of former Novus Leisure & Inventive Leisure hospitality professional David Layton, who is on a mission to bring Manhattan-esque service, to less central but equally discerning locations.
After 12 months of runaway success, including accolades such as GQ’s ‘Bar of the Week’ and features in The Guardian, The Evening Standard and The Sunday Times, the Newcastle born BRICK & LIQUOR founder has ambitious plans to open further similarly styled neighbourhood bars over the next year;
“The concept has been hugely successful in our first location in Tooting Broadway and we’re hoping to replicate that success again in Clapham. We’re proud to offer a level of hospitality rarely found outside the city centres, and we’re constantly on the lookout for new communities where we could make a great addition.” – David Layton, Founder
The 100 capacity Clapham bar is larger than the team’s first Tooting site, whilst still retaining an intimate atmosphere and table service throughout. After transforming a former Filipino grocery store in Tooting, the Clapham venue was a similar transformation as the team renovated a former John D Wood estate agent which had been lying vacant for over a year. The team worked with building contractors RDF Ltd and partnered with DesignAtSource on the design.
The design itself takes inspirations from Manhattan’s East Village, with a warm colour palette featuring original brickwork and reclaimed wood panelling, alongside brass fixtures, fittings and pendant lighting. The venue’s focal point is the solid steel, double tiered feature bar.
“We wanted the bar to be the main attraction in the room and we fell in love with a two-tier style; allowing our bartenders to prepare cocktails on the upper tier whilst guests sit around the lower tier below. It all adds a little bit of fun and theatre and gives our team the stage they deserve!” – Shane Dobson, Assistant Manager
Even the bar utensils, cocktail shakers, measurers and kitchen lamps are a warm rustic copper. The end result is a look which is soft, cosy and inviting.
Given the venue is relatively small at 1000sqft, optimising spatial planning was a critical element in the design process. Great consideration was given to people flow, table layouts and seating heights to ensure the atmosphere was equally right during a morning brunch session, as it was at midnight on a busy Saturday night.
Lighting layouts provide the venue with intrigue, texture and importantly are modular in some sections, to permit furniture to be moved around, and fixed in others, whilst ensuring symmetry in the overall design.
‘Kerb appeal’ is also a key factor, with David a firm believer that you ‘fill from the front’, dressing the front window and providing the most comfortable seating at the front of the venue to ensure the bar always looks busy – even in quieter periods.
BRICK & LIQUOR’s ‘Social Eats’ food offer consists of finger-friendly sharing plates of European and Asian influence. Popular dishes include their ‘Chorizo Arancini’ – delectable hand crumbed risotto croquettes, stuffed with gooey mozzarella, chorizo and served with home-made white truffle mayo.
“We wanted to remove the formality from the dining experience and create a sharing menu that lets the drinks do the talking.” Antonio Barton, Head Chef
A separate brunch menu is offered at weekends, featuring classic dishes alongside creations such as ‘The Great British Pancake’; a decadent collision of home-made savoury pancakes with a full English breakfast.
Sticking to its cocktail roots, brunch is of course served alongside the team’s bespoke Bloody Marys and prosecco cocktails, ensuring the venue retains its vibrant atmosphere throughout the day.