James Chase and ex-Harvey Nichols bar manager join forces to launch The Running Horse pub

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Floor, Alcoholic beverage

The Running Horse has re-opened in Mayfair after refurbishment by its new owners James Chase and Dominic Jacobs
The Running Horse has re-opened in Mayfair after refurbishment by its new owners James Chase and Dominic Jacobs
Chase Distillery owner James Chase and Dominic Jacobs, a former bars manager at Harvey Nichols and bar director at Sketch, have joined forces to re-open Mayfair pub The Running Horse. 

The pub in Davies Street officially re-opened today after a week under soft launch with the aim of providing 'an authentic, timeless drinking experience' serving British ales and spirits and seasonal food. 

Jacobs, who worked at the Fifth Floor Bar for several years before going on to Sketch as bar director for a few months, said the pub marked a new direction for himself and Chase, who he met on Chase Distillery's first tour four years ago. 

"We got on well and continued to keep in touch after the tour. We both had the had a desire to open a pub and found we shared the same values for a business, so started looking for a place we could open together," he said. 

The pair spent two years looking for the right site before landing The Running Horse, a Mayfair fixture since 1738. 

“Finding the Running Horse was a real gem. We can't wait to put all of our experience from our year in the industry into this institution," said Jacobs. "Championing the best British producers, from the drinks at the bar, to the food we serve will be a labour of love. We aim to create an unrivalled, relaxed, seasonal public house & kitchen in the heart of stuffy Mayfair."

Drinks and food

In keeping with the ethos of Chase's Herefordshire-based family business, the Running Horse will work closely with independent food and drink producers from outside of London, to support those behind the production process. 

The pub will also be the first site in the UK to serve Chase's spirits on optic alongside a selection of seasonal beers. 

When it comes to the pub's food offering, Chase and Jacobs have employed former MasterChef: The Professionals quarter-finalist Andrew Justice to head up the pub's kitchen. Jacobs said Justice's menu would be 'pub food done exceptionally well' with dishes including The chopped burger with jockey whips (chips) and a selection of pies. 

The Whip

While the pub takes up the ground floor of the five-storey building, the new owners plan to open a cocktail bar on its first floor called The Whip next month, which will be upholstered in jockeys' silk and will specialise in the drink of the Derby - the julep. 

"It's the next project that we're focusing on now," said Jacobs. "We will aim to get it up and running as soon as possible. It's just a case of trying to haul ourselves away from what's going on downstairs."

Other floors will be turned into training spaces for staff and meeting and event rooms for hire to local businesses. 

"There is a real requirement for meeting rooms in Mayfair and we have a few companies already interested in using the space, so we are confident that we will be supplying a demand," said Jacobs. 

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