Located in the heart of Margate town centre, The Clockwork Cocktail Company is a one-of-a-kind cocktail experience, offering a city-feel in one of Kent’s most beloved seaside suburbs. A decadent yet modest venue which plays host to bespoke steampunk-inspired design, and a menu boasting almost 50 cocktail creations, The Clockwork Cocktail Company is the jewel in the crown that is Margate’s ever-growing nightlife.
The minds behind the masterpiece are Anna Strindberg and Chris Kirkland, an eclectic duo who draw inspiration from their well-travelled backgrounds.
“We wanted to bring knowledge that we had learnt in bars we had worked in and visited all around the world (like London, Manchester, New York, Chicago and Barcelona) to Kent, and give people an experience like they were in a cocktail bar in a city. We wanted a place where people can just come in, sit down and have a couple of great looking and great tasting drinks.
“Our décor is heavily steampunk-inspired, and we have done the majority of the work ourselves. We built the bar itself from resin and cogs. All of our seating, curtains and copper pipe rails are handmade, we wanted the inside to look almost like a submarine. Our wallpaper is one big world map, which we thought fitted perfectly considering we have both worked worldwide.”
The bar opened in October 2017 and has since been the go-to cocktail hot-spot in Thanet, with customers returning time and time again to enjoy the ‘theatre’ of cocktail making. Anna and Chris take pride in giving guests the ultimate experience and offer customers mixology masterclasses so they can recreate some of their wildest creations.
“We have a smoked Old Fashioned, which we serve in a bourbon-oak, smoke-filled bell jar that releases smoke when opened, The Edisons Elixir is a mango and vanilla concoction served in a lightbulb, and a Zombie that’s served in a skull glass on fire!” explains Chris.
Upon hearing the government announcement that the hospitality sector would have to close in March 2020, Anna and Chris were devastated, but so determined to keep their business going strong.
“When we were told that we could reopen with the restrictions, we gave the place a little bit of a facelift; fresh paint, new signs and made it COVID-safe. We spaced the tables out, removed the bar stools and did everything that was required. It was very strange not having guests sat at the bar, standing around talking to each other. We didn’t quite have the same buzz or atmosphere, but still we were fully booked every weekend and people managed to enjoy themselves.”
New announcements of a tier system meant that yet again, parts of the industry would have to close.
“We decided to set up a click-and-collect takeaway service so customers can still enjoy some of our most popular cocktails, wines and beers. People can order and pay online with PayPal, and collect on Friday or Saturday evening. All cocktails are freshly made the same as if you ordered them in the bar. It does give us something to do at the weekends, but we can’t wait to get back and open again and do what we love to do.”