When Sovereign Loss closed its doors earlier this year it left a void in the hospitality industry post-work drinking scene. But now the pair behind that fine establishment - Chris Dennis and Joe St Clair-Ford - have partnered with the team behind Barrio (Ferdie Ahmed and Ani Kyriacou) to fill that void, this time in a basement in Soho.
This morning Imbibe visited the building site that will soon be Disrepute, just off Carnaby Street. It's a site that's rich with history, once home to the Pinstripe Club in the 1960s (with clientele like Peter O'Toole and Marilyn Monroe), and the Kingly Club in the 2000s. Its most recent incarnation was as Bitter Sweet, by the company behind the Dirty Martini chain.
Disrepute (or DRP to its friends, apparently) will be taking its inspiration from the venue's 1960s heyday, with a contemporary take on that era's mix of both establishment and counterculture. This will be reflected in the bar's lavish interior. 'We have all of the UK's brass supply,' explained St Clair-Ford. While the Barrio team have mainly taken a background role, according to Ahmed, both parties have influenced the design. 'It's a happy medium - they've brought in some colour,' confirms St Clair-Ford.
'With the si ties it's difficult to not become an over-the-top Austin Powers parody,' added St Clair-Ford. 'That era has such iconic imagery though, so we want to honour that, but bring a modern take to it - it's still a twenty-first century cocktail bar in London.'
The 95-seater venue's main focus will be its long bar, visible as you descend the stairs. There will be limited standing space too, and some seating at the bar.
Like the decor, the 1960s will inform the drinks list, with a focus on spirit categories like cognac and vodka, and some tongue-in-cheek additions like Mateus Rosé and Babycham reductions making an appearance. The cocktail list, with narrative-style descriptions for each drink, is divided into three headings: Counter Culture, Screws of Convenience, and The Pinstripe Lining.
There will be a focus on the wine offering too, with an emphasis on bottles from England.
The bar's small team is already in place, and apparently consists of of some well-known industry faces. 'We want to increase that interaction between repeat guests and the team. And it's a good team, with good experience,' said Dennis.
There will be a membership system in place, with a founding-member tier that comes with certain additional privileges. Details are yet to be confirmed, but memberships 'won't be difficult to acquire,' Dennis told Imbibe. 'It'll have the feel of an exclusive members' club, even though it won't be particularly exclusive.' added St Clair-Ford.
With doors planned to open on 5 December, Disrepute will be open until 3am Monday to Saturday (1am on Sundays) - late for most, but this will seem decidedly moderate to the team after the hours kept by Sovereign Loss.
This isn't the only high-profile partnership going on between two bar teams in Soho at the moment. Over on Old Compton Street, Nightjar's founders are working with Mia Johansson and Bobby Hiddleston to open Swift on LAB's former site. It's expected to be ready towards the end of the month.
Disrepute, 4 Kingly Court, London, W1B 5PE