Please refresh the page and retry. The address was 45 Dean Street in Soho just next door to the Colonyand the institution they ended up building set Soho — and the rest of London — alight with a new concept. The Groucho was the original media members' club — a cabal of eccentrics, hearty drinkers and influencers whose A-list all-nighters became the stuff of legend.
An attitude and Groucho club soho london ability to live up to the club's name a reference to a telegram Groucho Marx is reputed to have Groucho club soho london I n fast and furious succession, Soho lit up with alternative establishments.
The original Soho House, Blacks, Century and Union soon set up shop and the cult of the members club grew and grew, until its tentacles were not just gripping the seedy heart of the capital, but had the whole world in its wraps.
In the 30 years since, did Soho ever lose its edge?
Certainly, but the embers somehow stayed warm, despite the endless string of cooler, Groucho club soho london competition opening across town acting like a magnet to the newer generations. Cut tohowever, and Soho is once again aglow with promise. With major works, reopenings and refurbishments reinvigorating several of these now seemingly ancient institutions, London's media scene, the cultural curators of the hyper-connected new century are flocking back to the borough.
Authenticity, originality, and quite possibly the experience that comes with age — what these clubs have in spades cannot be replicated. T he Groucho is celebrating its 30th birthday this year with a complete and long overdue overhaul. Michaelis Boyd Associatesinitially just briefed to integrate a lift into Groucho club soho london centre of the aged building, widened the scope of the commission bit by bit until they were looking at a cohesive reworking of the entire layout of the club, which had grown organically over the years.
The new Groucho Club design, which has taken two years to execute, uses a subtle new architectural plan to knit the entire rabbit-warren space together in a more natural way. That scheme then became Groucho club soho london catalyst to refurbish the interiors of all the main rooms, and then it seemed like a good idea to give a little life to some "Groucho club soho london" the less used rooms in the process.
Along the way, Boyd has brought back to life much of the original charm of the building. The main staircase and the timber panelling on the walls have been stripped back to reveal their original beauty. Elsewhere new floors, furniture and fireplaces throughout complete a rich and comfortable, fresh yet informal new feel. Characterful and charismatic, with no snobbery or pretentiousness — the design is a just reflection of the club itself. J ust down the road, the building that once housed champagne bar Kettner's on Greek Street is soon to reopen as Soho House II — merely metres from the original location which will close for a major refurbishment to mark its 20th anniversary.
And when the original reopens? With ever more members internationally to accommodate and a waiting list that stretches to the moon and back as the group opens more and more properties across the world this can surely be no bad thing. Unless of course, you prefer your clubs cosy. In which case perhaps the newly revitalised Blacks Club over on Dean Street is more your style.
More happily today, the new owners are dedicated to preserving and restoring the historic building with love and care. As the confines of the building and its elderly status would restrict anything other than it being what it is, a dark coloured Georgian house with a series of small rooms over three floors, nothing will be changing there. The open fires and leather sofas and wood "Groucho club soho london" tables are all remaining, as is the famous boudoir, the ultimate romantic spot for dinner for two.
A nd meanwhile The Union is expanding into the neighbouring building to meet the needs of its increasingly peripatetic Wifi-hungry members. Today, it seems every other doorway in W1 is an entrance to a relaxed, boozy, open late, laptop-friendly and crucially — freshly updated — new world.