Doctor’s orders: The Breakfast Club’s hidden bar Doctor Kluger

Doctor Kluger

The Breakfast Club has created another cool bar hidden inside its latest café in Canary Wharf in London

Tucked away around London is a set of bars that take “speakeasy” to a new level. As well as being cafés popular for brunch and dinner, The Breakfast Club has created bars such as The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town hidden behind a Smeg fridge door at its Spitalfields site. For cocktail lovers, the arrival of The Breakfast Club in the new Crossrail development in Canary Wharf can mean only one thing: another cool, quirky bar.

As with the other sites, Doctor Kluger’s takes its name from TV sitcom Cheers – a doctor who tried to help Kirstie Alley’s Rebecca to stop smoking. The look of the bar, across two levels, is inspired by New York City hotel lobby bars but with quirky additions such as oversized disco balls. To enter, you go through The Breakfast Club to an unassuming back-of-house door and tell a member of staff, “I have an appointment with Dr Kluger”.

Breakfast Club Canary Wharf Doctor Kluger door

The Breakfast Club owners have turned again to hospitality specialist Finch Interiors, headed by Sophie Finch. They were inspired by the plush, relaxed lobby bars of historic New York hotels such as The Jane in the West Village, explains director Nick Finch. “The NYC hotel bar concept is a theatrical idea of that moment when you take unplanned refuge from the hectic maddening crowds outside in a spacious and comfortable vintage interior that you just simply stumbled across.”

It features eclectic vintage furniture, pictures and bric-à-brac as if collected over a number of years plus a classic timber bar and timber wall panelling. Stained glass windows high up add to the feeling of escaping the hustle and bustle outside.

Breakfast Club Canary Wharf Doctor Kluger

Open from midday seven days a week, Doctor Kluger’s trades until 11pm and to midnight at weekends, with DJs on Thursdays and Fridays. There are oversized, strengthened low tables specifically designed so people can dance on them. Doctor Kluger has prescribed some “Good Time Tonics” in bottles such as An Effing Good Time made with sloe gin, Kamm & Sons aperitif, lime juice, ginger and tonic, as well as a range of Aperol-based cocktails such as the Jamaican Alps, mixing Aperol with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, pineapple and bitters, topped with prosecco.

Beers on draught include Camden Hells, plus Kona’s Longboard Lager and Castaway IPA from Hawaii among several in bottles. Alongside bar food such as poutine (chips, gravy and cheese), a three-hour bottomless brunch at weekends offers unlimited prosecco, beer, Bucks Fizz and a Breakfast Club brunch for £39 from midday to 5pm.

With all the bars, the goal is to create something unique, Nick adds. “However, the over-riding concept for a Breakfast Club bar must always be somewhere unpretentious, relaxed and comfortable and feel like a discovered hidden local treasure.”

Dr Kluger’s, The Breakfast Club, Unit CR30, Level Zero, 1 Crossrail Place, Canary Wharf, London E14
Tel: 020 7871 9986

Breakfast Club Canary Wharf Doctor Kluger tonics

Behind the scenes
Design: Finch Interiors
Contractor: Embassy Shopfitters
Furniture: Andy Thornton
Project management, quantity surveyor: PSE Associates

Originally published in the December 2015 print edition of Bar magazine.

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