Interesting pictures have been released of the Soho House & Co’s blockbusting new opening, slated for spring 2017 in the City. The club with the famous ‘no suits’ policy has chosen a 317,000sq ft Grade I-listed site above Bank tube station, former home to Midland Bank, to house The Ned, a 252-bedroom hotel and spa spread over eight floors, with no less than nine restaurants ranging from traditional French to a New York-style Jewish deli.
Exciting news for the Square Mile. Historically, the City has always had its own rhythm and requirements: long lunches in clubby basements and a roaring after-work trade that cut dead at 9pm and deader at weekends. All of which made it pretty hostile territory for most restaurateurs, bar a few city specialists who no doubt appreciated their weekends off.
However, more recently, we’ve seen Shoreditch and Spitalfields livening up the restaurant and bar scene on the fringes with a raft of credible chains and independents like Blixen and Taberna do Mercado. In the City itself, food-heavy developments such as One New Change have been championing street food and fast casual concepts alongside chef-led operations like Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa and Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen. Another key player, Leadenhall Market, is looking to modernise its offer with a strong food focus.
Most significantly perhaps, SushiSamba and Duck & Waffle in the Heron Tower and M on Threadneedle Street have demonstrated that restaurants in this part of town can attract diners from beyond the Square Mile – and outside traditional city hours. For restaurateurs, weekends here are no longer just viable, but actually thriving, and a landmark hotel opening in spring next year will put Bank firmly on the radar. Is this bastion of expense-account lunches about to become a weekend destination for eating and drinking?