Leading ‘style bar’ replaced by New York-inspired venue

Detroit Bar Seven DialsOne of the pioneers of London’s cocktail scene in the 1990s, Detroit in Covent Garden, is to close and be replaced by a new venue with “the preppy American feel of an East Coast beach club”.

Earlham Street Clubhouse is to launch in Seven Dials this November, mixing “upmarket elegance with light-hearted pleasure-seeking” and offering sophisticated cocktails alongside pizza by the slice.

The 160-capacity basement venue is currently Detroit which became a leading player in the UK’s emerging new “style bar” scene in the 1990s after it was founded by top bartender Dick Bradsell. Dick later moved on to run other top bars and currently heads up The Pink Chihuahua bar beneath El Camion in Soho.

Detroit has been taken over by bar and club entrepreneur Jez Hall, formerly involved in London venues such as Firehouse, Dolce and The Wardour and one of the co-founders of The Lucky Pig in London’s Fitzrovia, which opened in 2011.

He has teamed up with Tim Entwistle and James Hoole who developed on-the-go Go Food outlets in Spitalfields and Chiswick Park, specialising in pizza and bread.

The interior is being designed by Matt Rawlinson of Raw Design, a specialist in bars and clubs such as Gatecrasher.

The proposed new look is described as “classic clubhouse interiors with vintage boardwalk glamour”. Reclaimed wood panelling, exposed brick and battered suede seating will sit alongside recycled tin advertising signs and Coney Island fairground lights.

The bar stretching along one side of the venue will be clad with Victorian mahogany doors and a bespoke copper top and fitted with retractable cocktail menus attached to the ceiling.

Booths hidden down secret passages will be fitted out with their own phones and boast a vintage gas pump serving ice-cold beer directly to the table.

The Earlham Street Clubhouse will feature an extensive cocktail list designed by leading drinks consultancy Soul Shakers, all made with premium spirits and fresh ingredients and served in beautiful glassware.

Inspired by the parties of New York’s affluent Hamptons, the drinks list will feature inventive twists on American classics, with a selection of punches, coolers, Sea Breezes and Margaritas. Cocktails will be priced from £7.50 while a schooner of beer and a glass of wine will start at £4.

Accompanying the drink offering will be a selection of New York City-style thin-crust wood-fired pizzas, using high-quality, seasonal ingredients. They will be made with a sourdough base and feature toppings such as pulled pork, salmon, fennel sausage and baby kale. Sold by the slice, and in 12-inch and 20-inch sizes, the pizzas will range from £3.50 to £18.

The staff will be kitted out in Earlham Street Clubhouse’s preppy style, with men in blazers and slacks and the women in pleated tartan skirts and silk blouses.

Guests will also be able to choose the music they want to hear from the Clubhouse jukebox by selecting their favourite songs using a new ‘secret DJ’ app on their Smartphone.

It will be open all day Saturday and Sunday and from midday during the week.

Earlier plans to develop the site into a bar called Chuck’s Clubhouse, inspired by the 1990s and college parties, have been postponed for a possible second site in London.

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