Tony Bee and Jon Clark have moved more into food with a second site in Essex operating as Faces
For nearly 22 years, Faces nightclub in Gants Hill, near Ilford, has been pulling in party-goers from north-east London, Essex and beyond. Its owners Tony Bee and Jon Clark are now building on its success with a second Faces, this time in the Essex town of Chelmsford, taking over a site previously operated by Kornicis as simply The Bar. This time, it is more than just a club but a restaurant and bar that evolves into a more up-tempo venue late at night.
Tony and Jon worked on Faces Kitchen & Bar with leading Essex-based hospitality specialist Breley Design which has been creating club, bar and pub interiors for over 30 years. They were briefed to take the existing Faces brand and interpret it as a modern bar and restaurant open for coffees in the morning through to lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and late-night dancing.
Customers are greeted at a high-gloss reception desk and go through to the restaurant and bar which are spread across different zones on one floor. There is a striking black-and-white island bar, with 26 pendant lights above, as well as bespoke oversized picture frames and images and suspended timber frames. The open-plan kitchen features dark blue tiles and stainless-steel strips and a black ceiling – a finish that is carried through to the back-of-house areas.
Open from 11am, it offers a lunch menu of smaller plates and sandwiches as well as modern British dishes including an 8oz rib-eye steak cooked on a Josper Grill, fish and chips and a chicken caesar salad. The Josper comes into its own for the evening menu, cooking up steaks as well as chops, lobster and other seafood. In between, the bar promotes afternoon tea, offering treats such as finger sandwiches and warm buttermilk scones, jam and Cornish clotted cream with tea, Illy coffee or champagne.
Around 10.30pm, some of the tables and chairs are moved away as the venue steps up the tempo for dancing and DJs, staying open till 2am Wednesdays and Thursdays and till 3am on Fridays and Saturdays. Faces also hosts regular live entertainment including DJs on Fridays and Saturdays and jazz with Sunday lunch.
Alongside a good selection of wines and beers, the bar offers plenty of classic cocktails, with a Mojito and Pornstar Martini being two of the favourites. Priced between £7.50 and £9.50, the list includes champagne cocktails and original recipes created by bar manager Steve Cox, formerly at TGI Friday’s. Spirits are also available by the bottle for customers booking the VIP areas. “We’re offering a complete ‘night out’ experience with something for everyone,” says general manager Nick Harmston who joined Faces Leisure from an extensive background running bars, clubs and pubs.
He says that Faces has quickly become a popular new destination since opening in October, benefiting from being close to the Odeon cinema and the Meadows Shopping Centre. “It is perfect for shoppers looking for brunch or lunch or the night-time vibe that Faces in Gants Hill is famous for.”
Faces, Kings Head Walk, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 6FH
Tel: 01245 888 999
Design: Breley Design
Builder: Doubleday Building Services
Shopfitter: Kroeze Interieurbouw
Mechanical engineer: Elmstead Mechanical Services