Members’ club Trade to launch app and rebrand in covid-19 pivot

Kate Malczewski

Kate Malczewski

22 June 2020

Trade, the Soho-based hospitality industry members’ club, has announced plans to rebrand as a wine bar open to the public, while launching the Trade app to provide ‘a hub for hospitality professionals’

Xavier Rousset MS and Gearoid Devaney MS, co-owners of Trade, have decided to call the Frith Street venue The Black Book – named after the little black book of rare wines and spirits that Trade has become known for since it launched in January 2019. Existing members of Trade will receive discounts on food and drinks at The Black Book, which is set to open in September.

‘We thought long and hard about the future of the physical club and realised the only way to thrive post-pandemic was to open our doors to anyone who appreciates good wine and food,’ said Rousset, who won Imbibe’s Restaurant Personality of the Year award earlier this year along with Devaney. 

‘We expect many of our hospitality friends and members to return when we reopen; Trade quickly became the industry’s hangout, and we don’t see that aspect changing.’

Meanwhile, the Trade app will act as a ‘virtual version of the former members’ club’, aggregating useful information for the hospitality industry in the wake of the pandemic. The free platform plans on featuring licensing and lawyer contacts, news, job listings, discounts and deals, mental health resources and a marketplace to buy and sell goods.

Current members of Trade – which total 1,600 – will be made founder members of the app, granting them special access to other members’ clubs such as 67 Pall Mall.

Devaney sees the new app as a continuation of Trade’s original mission to bring the hospitality community together. ‘Xavier and I considered what the industry would find useful in the wake of the pandemic, thinking back to the vision we had when we first launched Trade,’ he explained. 

‘Now seems like a better time than ever to launch an app-based hub in which to share resources, advice, news, ideas and jobs. There is so much hospitality-related content out there but no one place to access it – until now.’

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