Leading bar and restaurant entrepreneur Alan Lorrimer is to open a cocktail bar and restaurant in London featuring live musicians playing songs on request.
He has taken over the basement of a listed landmark Victorian warehouse in Farringdon to create “house of song”, The Piano Works (pictured), due to open in July. At its heart will be two pianists and accompanying musicians who play songs solely requested by the audience.
Alan’s vision was to revive the saloon concerts in pubs that preceded Victorian music halls. He said: “Singing is the primary form of our earliest human musical activity. It takes something incredibly intimate and personal, a sound or lyric that begins inside you and is then safely shared with a group of strangers that amazingly returns to you as harmony.”
The Piano Works, located on the corner of Farrington Road and Ray Street, will be run by cocktail specialist and operations director Tristan Moffat who was previously general manager of Novus Leisure’s Grace bar in Soho, London, and Guanabara in Covent Garden.
The new venue will offer a long list of cocktails with a contemporary twist together with a food menu prepared by head chef Fedja Stanic who shelved his own plans for a restaurant under his own name to join The Piano Works due to his lifelong love of live music.
The 400-capacity late-night venue has been renovated by film and TV set designer Mark Stevenson and will include a private area holding up to 80 guests. He has blended Victorian industrial architecture with highly functional and operational elements, incorporating furniture by Devon craftsman Marky Tungate and revolving big boy stools shipped from Chicago.
The music will be headed by musical director Andy “Pianoman” Johnson, a talented composer and pianist, who will bring in musicians to perform the repertoire of continually current songs.
Alan’s track record of restaurants, bars and clubs covers over 30 years and includes London venues such as Guanabara, Tiger Lil’s and Charlotte Street Blues.
The Piano Works will be open Monday to Saturday from 4pm to 1 am and on Sundays from midday to 1am.