Club 31 was a Spanish Capital classic, but its new redesign has brought it bang up to date
Stepping into Club 31, a culinary monument beloved of the Madrileños, you feel temporarily flung back to 1950s New York, to the days when women wore cocktail dresses to dinner and men always wore a hat. With its lounge bar feel and low, cool lighting, it's a throwback to an old Manhattan cocktail joint but located smack in the heart of Madrid and an established favourite for generations of Spanish high society.
Following renovation by interior design firm Garcia de Vinuesa, only the original wooden panelling remains. New low-hanging lights give a poker table feel to each dining area and Philippe Starck Louis Ghost chairs encircle the central tables.
But wallflowers will naturally gravitate to the best bits – the walls.
They're lined with metre upon metre of synthetic white ostrich skin from Italy and covered in slanting mirrors that begin at the bar and flow right down to the hidden kitchen.
Executive Manager Miguel Angel Garcia (a heavyweight, with several other highly rated restaurants in the city) chose a design that gave a 1950s New York lounge feel to the restaurant begun by his father – a photograph of him smoking a cigar hangs proudly on the wall – but original elements of the club remain, such as the gigantic tapestry hanging in the private dining room. It was deemed only fair to the scores of adults who ate there as children and still love it today. Ángel Paracuellos, Head Chef for more than a quarter of a century, has added new dishes to the menu, but steak tartare, carré d'agneau, and langoustines keep the locals coming back time and time again.
Club 31 Calle de Alcala 58 club31.net +34 915 310 092