Second The London Cocktail Club bar for BBC's The Restaurant winners

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cocktail

The London Cocktail Club in Shaftesbury Avenue is the second site for previous winners of Raymond Blanc's BBC TV show The Restaurant
The London Cocktail Club in Shaftesbury Avenue is the second site for previous winners of Raymond Blanc's BBC TV show The Restaurant
Less than 12 months after opening their 'gin palace' bar, The Restaurant winners JJ Goodman and James Hopkins have opened a second site under The London Cocktail Club brand with partners David Moore, Sarah Willingham and Raymond Blanc who has designed the canapés.

The 'tattoo inspired British navy rum bar' opened last week in Shaftesbury Avenue by the pair who won the third series of Blanc's BBC TV show The Restaurant in December 2009.

Bartender Sarah Mitchel joins the new site after previously working for Graphic in Soho's Golden Square and the London Academy of Bartenders bar while Matt Arbitrage moves to the new project from the Goodge Street site.

Rum bar

Although it is the pair's second site, Goodman told BigHospitality it was not a simple re-creation of the first.

"With Goodge Street we set out with an intention to recreate a 'gin palace' in modern day. I've been drinking white spirits for a long time now and loving gin but I have fallen back in love with rum. There is just a real lack of great rum bars in London and I think it was time to build something that wasn't a 'tiki bar'," he said.

The 'tongue in cheek' design incorporates a history of alcohol and, in particular, rum in the British navy with a range of cocktails starting from £7.50.

Rum rations

The team will also be offering drinkers a 'tot' or 71ml of the military's last consignment of rationed rum from 1970 which has recently been re-discovered. For £100 buyers of the limited supply of dark navy rum will also get a personalised silver tankard.

Goodman said the Goodge Street site remains successful after a very strong first few months. "I would be surprised if there was another opening last year as successful as that. It broke even in six months and churned out massive profits, the feedback has been amazing and it still looks great."

Knowledge of the customer's desired price, keeping the quality high and a less pretentious atmosphere are the secrets to the success, Goodman claims.

Raymond Blanc and The Restaurant

Goodman and Hopkins beat eight other couples to win BBC's The Restaurant​ with Raymond Blanc in 2009. After the show the pair opened the Goodge Street site with Blanc​ and advisors from the show, David Moore and Sarah Willingham, after closing their previous establishment with the same name.

At the time of the win the pair described getting to work with Blanc as a dream come true. The chef has designed canapés for both of The London Cocktail Club bars

Despite Goodman's lack of experience in the kitchen during the TV show he has since worked at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons and several Hart brothers establishments including Barrafina, Quo Vadis and Fino.

Turning to the future, Goodman said they were looking at other possible sites but were in no rush to expand unless the right situation emerged. "If we're doing one or two sites a year I think that would be ambitious. Two sites this year would be great but we won't force anything for the sake of it, we're quite happy," he added.

Related topics: People, Pubs & Bars, Venues, Business

Related news

Show more


Follow us

Hospitality Guides

View more

Featured Suppliers

All suppliers

Free Email Newsletter

Subscribe to BigHospitality

The trusted industry reference point

Get the latest news & analysis from the UK hospitality sector straight to your inbox!