The pair have created a “real pub” on the ground floor of The Running Horse in Davies Street in Mayfair (pictured), but are also planning to open a cocktail bar called The Whip upstairs at the end of November.
Upholstered in jockeys’ silk, the upstairs bar will “hark back to the glory days of the Kentucky Derby” – the classic US horse race – taking its cue from the race’s celebrated drink, the Julep.
Served in pewter tins, a range of juleps will feature seasonal British flavours and homemade preserves. Inspiration has also come from New York City’s acclaimed cocktail “pub”, The Dead Rabbit.
Speaking about The Whip, James said: “Dom and I have always had a vision to create something we feel is game-changing – a new experience for London that allows us to showcase a few forgotten techniques along the way.
“We will stock a host of homemade ingredients alongside the very best, independent spirits, offering our guests the chance to learn about each one of our suppliers.”
The pub serves seasonal ales and high-quality pub-style food, created by Andrew Justice, a quarter-finalist in Masterchef: The Professionals.
In keeping with the ethos of James’s own family business at Chase Distillery, they are working closely with independent food and drink producers from outside of London. Key dishes include The Chopped Burger with Jockey whips (chips) alongside Jacobs Ladder, cooked low and slow.
It is also the first site in the UK to serve Chase’s spirits on Optic.
Dominic, who was formerly bar director at Sketch and bars manager at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge, met James during a tour of the Herefordshire distillery four years ago.
He said: “Finding the Running Horse was a real gem. Championing the best British producers, from the drinks at the bar, to the food we serve, will be a labour of love.
“We aim to create an unrivalled, relaxed, seasonal public house and kitchen in the heart of stuffy Mayfair.
“The Running Horse is a place we intend to have a lot of fun with and are thrilled to be a part of its long history.”