What do Mike Tyson, Ricky Hatton or Amir Khan have in common with Soho’s latest sophisticated cocktail bar opening this week? Not much, but the tenuous link is that Jack Solomons, is both the inspiration for this new bar and also the father of modern boxing.
Built on the site of a former boxing gym, Jack Solomons found fame and fortune in British boxing’s golden years following the Second World War. His tactic of bringing big fighters from the US and Britain together to maximise audience, publicity and takings was a stroke of genius that continues today. Jack Solomons Club hopes to encapsulate the spirit of the colourful world he inhabited; the founders’ mantra is ‘if Jack Solomons had a bar, this would have been it’.
So expect to be transported to a world of old school glamour, harking back to classic Soho, where the gritty underworld of London’s underbelly intermeshed with the glamour of London’s film and music world, all greased along with plenty of money. The opulent style, plush finishes in velvet, the red leather walls and pewter bar counters all hark convincingly back to the classy clubs of yesteryear. Throw in the speakeasy style and you have a convincing experience and one we can’t wait to throw ourselves into.
Getting into Jack Solomons Club is distincly underworld, access is via a hidden door off a street-side deli. Descend past a neighbouring kitchen’s butchery chamber before reaching the basement, following the sound of the music at the bar. Inside, though, guests will be suprised at the scale, Jack Solomons Club will have space for nearly 400 guest, 150 at tables and all no-doubt sipping from a selection of whiskies (Jack Solomons’ favourite was Scotch and cocktails will range through the names of characters who loomed large in Solomons’ life, from Nipper Morris (a Solomons promoted bantam-weight boxer), made with Glenfiddich 12 year, plum syrup, lemon juice and egg white, via Black Jack (his favourite greyhound), a combo of Laphroig, maraschino liqueur and lime juice through to Old Guard (the nickname for Charlie Rose, a journalist of the time and Solomon’s personal nemesis) and consisting of Woodford reserve bourbon, bitters and apricot brandy.
Not to be out-done, the bar snacks and small plates will relive Solomons’ pre-boxing days as a fishmonger and will includeCrab Croquettes, Hot Smoked Trout with Horseradish and Rocky’s Fish & Chips.
Expect everything from this new den of wonders on Windmill Street, except perhaps a right-hook and an upper-cut.
Jack Solomons Club: Opens Friday 1st December, follow their Instagram here