A members’ bar that has been a London institution since the 1930s has been named restaurant of the year in the FSB London Business Awards.
The Phoenix Artist Club (pictured), tucked away beneath the Phoenix Theatre in Charing Cross Road, picked up the award after stepping up its food offering under head chef Ian Marvell.
The annual award ceremony run by the Federation of Small Business (FSB) champions the best independent businesses in different sectors. The runner-up for restaurant of the year was Japanese group Sen-Nin in north London.
The venue’s manager, Ken Wright, said: “This is a really significant award for us. It’s been a real team effort here, so for that dedication to be recognised not only by our customers but also industry experts, it really is fantastic.”
The Phoenix Artist Club’s brasserie menu, available from 5.30pm to 9.30pm Tuesdays to Saturdays, offers dishes such as venison and vegetable pie and pan-fried sea trout.
Since July, the bar has begun opening from 10am to 5pm to the public as an “artists’ hub”, offering freshly brewed coffee, teas, cakes and pastries alongside use of its wi-fi and power points.
Open to 2.30am Monday to Saturday and 1.30am Sundays, the bar has also added cocktails inspired by the West End, such as Luck Be A Lady, a twist on a Mojito served with a chocolate poker chip, referencing West End show Guys & Dolls.
The bar is a treasure trove of signed original posters and artwork and was developed out of the former dressing and rehearsal room of the theatre where Laurence Olivier made his debut in 1930.
Ken added: “Our customers old and new always return for the lively atmosphere here. We’ve always done our best to make sure that the restaurant and bar offers delicious house cocktails and incredible freshly made small and large dishes – something that little bit extra.”
For a full list of winners in the awards, visit http://businessawardslondon.co.uk/winners-2016/.
Pictured below (left to right): The Phoenix Artist Club’s development director Peter Dunbar, head chef Ian Marvell, company secretary Joanne Corrigan and managing director Ken Wright.
Pictured top is the main bar. Photograph from venue booking specialist Canvas Events.