Jam Tree team to open bar inspired by cult villain Fu Manchu


fu manchu logo

The team behind London’s Jam Tree bars are to open a new late-night dim sum and cocktail bar inspired by the fictional Chinese master criminal Fu Manchu.

They have taken over the former premises of late-night bar Arch 635 in two old railway arches in Clapham, south London, and plan to reopen it as Fu Manchu in May.

The classic villain was created by Sax Rohmer in a series of novels in the early 20th century and he went on to feature in TV, comic books and films where he was played by actors such as Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee and Peter Sellers.

Combining the feel of a Victorian opium den with a modern graphic edge, the décor is set to be dramatic and visually stunning, setting off raw brickwork with striking light installations created by lighting designer Louisa Smurthwaite.

Featuring raised seating areas framed by a long bar, the space promises to be airy and open but full of hidden corners.

The cocktails, inspired by Fu Manchu’s shady associates and elaborate criminal plots, will be made from Chinese tea infusions, Asian spices and exotic flavours, with names such as The Kiss Of Death and Manchu’s Mind Control.

The food menu will centre on a range of delicate and fragrant authentic dim sum, served in combinations and in wicker baskets, making them suitable for sharing.

Later in the evening, DJ and live music will help the venue to move smoothly from early-evening dining to late-night dancing. It will open Monday to Friday from 5pm and Saturdays and Sundays from midday and operate till midnight Monday to Wednesday, 1am on Thursdays, 3am on Fridays and Saturdays and 11pm on Sundays.

The new bar in Lendal Terrace, off Clapham High Street, follows the success of The Jam Tree in Chelsea’s Kings Road and Clapham Old Town, which were launched by Yann Roberts and Ashley Letchford.

Yann said: “We’re looking forward to bringing something new and exciting to Clapham. Having established The Jam Tree, this is the first of several new concepts we hope to deliver to London in the future.”

The sale of Arch 635 was completed by leisure property specialist Davis Coffer Lyons. Its associate director Chris Bickle said: “The Clapham High Street area is one of the most desirable locations in south London and we are constantly receiving enquiries for opportunities.

“Properties in railway arches are highly sought after due to relatively low passing rents, unobstructed floor space, free-of-tie leases and benefiting from late licences. Jam Tree’s exciting vision for the space was clear and we managed to quickly conclude an off-market purchase.”

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