Thursday, 25 June 2009

Pop Up Bars - Opera Quarter Bar

After Double Club's great success some Friends of mine ( Bar Gurus Lincoln Hall & Douglas Ankrah) decided to set up the latest fly bar concept to hit London: 

Opera Quarter Bar™ 

The World’s Most Exciting Pop Up Bar 
A blend of art, design, music & mixology
13 – 15 Tavistock Street, Opera Quarter, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7PA

Open for a short period only, the Opera Quarter Bar will be the best bar in the world.
A stunning Grade II listed Georgian Townhouse in the Opera Quarter, Covent Garden’s historic food quarter, the Opera Quarter Bar will showcase the world’s leading bartenders, designers, artists and bands. 
The brainchild of Douglas Ankrah (multi award winning co founder of Lab, Townhouse and author of ‘Shaken & Stirred: Douglas Ankrah’s Cocktails’) it is a collaboration of the best people in their various fields and the aim is to create an inclusive bar open to everyone.
“We don’t have any big backers on this project it’s literally a bar by people who love bars for people who love great bars. A lot of what is in the bar such as the antique furniture has been generously lent to us by friends who have joined our little Opera Quarter collective” Douglas Ankrah, Founder 
“Our aim is to create somewhere exciting in which to enjoy summer 09 in London, especially as many of us aren’t going to be jetting off anywhere exciting this year.” Lincoln Hall, Guest Relations 
In keeping with this community spirit prices are going to be kept affordable and there will be music, art and all sorts of happenings throughout the summer for the public, starting with a pre Glastonbury warm up with White Lies band members DJing on Wednesday 24 June. 


Art Curators Lee Johnson and Bakul Patki aka 'Watch This Space ( will be using the space to exhibit work from a selection of exciting contemporary Artists. 

This will be the inaugural show for Watch This Space, whose mission is to encourage creativity in these challenging times. Artists confirmed so far are Nick Cunard (above left), Sky Sharrock, Ilaria Conte, Monkey Punch III (above centre), Sarah Kate Wilson (above right), Sohrab, Izzie Klingels, Suzie Q and the owls and Hazel Atashroo.

Watch This Space for updates. 

The building is a beautiful Grade II Listed four storey Georgian townhouse. 
Dave Knight and Dom Taylor from dtwo (designers of Callooh Callay amongst others) are responsible for creating an exciting and comfortable lounge bar using the Georgian features such as wooden panelling and open fire places but giving them a twist, introducing contemporary art and design to create stunning juxtapositions. 
As it’s a pop-up and only here for the summer they are able to create some spaces that just wouldn’t be practical in a long running bar such as featuring antiques borrowed from a leading antiques dealer. 

Ground Floor/Main Bar Design:
“Think reclaimed cottage kitsch tables giving a bit of character to the new wave for Covent Garden – were planning to lift the tops off and insert clear polycarbonate tops so punters can look through and into the draws and compartments containing weird and wonderful items and neon up lighters making the drinks look sublime….The tables in the ‘Snug’ will reflect the cabin/open fireplace feel by using cut logs cellulose sprayed in a one tone lairy colors and held together with ratchet straps more commonly used by truckers….

Expect OSB (oriented strand board) usually found on building sites to adorn the wall and floors – ripped into parquet batons, stained and screwed to the floors and curving up and around the walls with decorative ‘snake eye screws’ paving the way. The only thing to break this pattern up will be the clever use of dtwo’s warped wallpaper and the pressed tin ceilings bouncing light around the space and mimicking and distorting around any architraving, light switches, mirrors or artworks.
Lighting - Think old school candelabra only we’ll be replacing the candles with edgy T6 tubes and floods of warm neon glow & opulent amber chandeliers towards the back.
Intertwining the old and the new dtwo will be dipping antiques in rubber, allowing them to ‘drip dry’ in another exciting twist.

Reflecting the hygienic aspect of the bar are we are proposing to tile the whole area after raising the floor level. Walls floor Bar carcass and back bar.” 
The brand identity, website and menus have been designed by Hijack Studios. 
Music Mark Beaumont is an NME columnist, DJ, promoter and author and will be bringing his canny musical ear to the sounds of Opera Quarter Bar. He'll oversee celebrity DJ sets every Wednesday providing a VIP atmosphere to a free-for-all bar, and curate acoustic sets from the best up-and-coming acts in the country every Sunday.

Wednesdays will be the Moonlighting Sessions with well known band members moonlighting as DJs. 7pm – 12.30am, entrance free. Confirmed acts so far: 
24 June 2009: Akvinta Pre Glastonbury Warm Up with the White Lies 
As one of 2009’s biggest rock success stories, Ealing’s White Lies have enjoyed numerous hits and a Number One album in their January debut ‘To Lose My Life’. Their impeccably tuneful take on the dark pop sounds of Joy Division, Editors and Interpol has seen them straddle rock boundaries, playing sold out shows across the country. They are currently preparing for their biggest UK tour to date, taking in a show at London’s Brixton Academy.
15 July 2009: The Holloways DJ

Currently putting the finishing touches to their eagerly-awaited second album, The Holloways take a well-earned studio break to show the Opera Quarter Bar the impeccable musical taste behind such jaunty hits as 'Generator', 'Two Left Feet' and 'Happiness And Penniless'.

5 August 2009 – Dave Gedge (the Wedding Present) DJs 
As singer and fulcrum of legendary indie outfit The Wedding Present, David Gedge has been a major influence on alternative music for over twenty years. His classic tracks such as ‘Brassneck’, ‘Kennedy’ and ‘My Favourite Dress’ have often been imitated but never bettered and The Wedding Present are still going strong eight albums later, releasing the fantastic ‘El Ray in May last year. The Wedding Present also hold the record for the most number of Top Thirty singles in one year, equalling Elvis Presley’s record by releasing a single a month throughout 1992.
Check out for the latest guest star DJs, dates and times. 


The Opera Quarter Bar is Douglas’s biggest project since he cofounded Lab & Townhouse. He will run it himself with assistance from some of London’s top bartenders including Bar Manager Roberto Valle (ex Whiskey Mist & Trader Vics).
The drinks will be second to none. Drink menus will cover different themes i.e. Prohibition, Tiki, Disco, Hollywood Glam etc plus Douglas’s top ten best creations including his world famous Porn Star Martini. 
World famous mixologists will be making special Guest Star Appearances including Salvatore Calabrese and internationally acclaimed molecular mixologist Eben Freeman from NYC and the UK’s own Heston Blumenthal of cocktails Tony Conigliaro. 
For details of the Guest Bar Star events please check out 

Cocktail Master Class 

Every Saturday 12pm – 3pm the public can join Douglas and his team of leading mixologists for a cocktail master class where they will learn to blend, muddle, shake and stir with the very best in the business.
The Master Class will include lunch and students will be given a cocktail kit to take home with them. 

Perfect for groups and a sophisticated way to start a stag or hen party. The Master Class costs £150 person with a 10% discount on bookings of ten or more.


The Opera Quarter Bar will serve delicious Japanese tapas style dishes daily from Midday.
The menu has been designed to encourage diners to select a variety of dishes in almost random fashion to be shared amongst the table so that a combination of taste and flavours can be enjoyed. 

Perfect for light, healthy summer dining the menu has been created by a top chef to satisfy the most discerning palates and sit perfectly with Ankrahs 'to die for drinks'.

Private Parties & Events 

The ground floor bar will be open every day from Midday to 1am, serving teas, coffees, food and of course cocktails. There is also outside seating – perfect for a sunny afternoon’s drinking or al fresco lunch. 
Floors 1 and 2 each feature two rooms and can be reached by a separate entrance, making them perfect for private parties, events and meetings. When not being used for private functions they will be open to the public. 
This will be THE place to have a party or event in July/August 2009, but book early to avoid disappointment. 
The following people are part of the collaboration that is the Opera Quarter Bar and are available to interview. 
Douglas Ankrah – Founder & Head of Operations
Roberto Valle – Bar Manager / Head Bartender 
Lincoln Hall – Guest Relations 
Art – Watch-This-Space 
dtwo design – Interiors
Hijack Studio – Website & Branding 
Mark Beaumont – Music Director 
Schedule of Events & More Information 
Check out who and what is happening at the Opera Quarter Bar at 
More information on the Opera Quarter, London

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