What: Swingers West End, the crazy golf-street food-cocktail bar hybrid has opened a new site in central London. Housing four food vendors, four bars and two golf courses, it is the second site for the group, which already operates a 1920s golf club-themed site in the City.
Who: The duo behind the concept, Matt Grech-Smith and Jeremy Simmonds, have been working together since 2004 when they founded youth events company Rough Hill. Since then, they have launched the Institute of Competitive Socialising, which started as a Swingers pop-up in Shoreditch in 2015. Following its success, they acquired their first permanent premises in 2016.
The vibe: Located in the former BHS building near Oxford Circus, the 300-cover Swingers West End is based around an English Riviera theme. The two nine-hole crazy gold courses feature miniature fairground rides, with a helter-skelter and a ferris wheel taking centre stage. Four themed cocktail bars contribute to the seaside theme, with a ‘Bandstand Bar’, a ‘Grand Hotel Bar’ and a ‘Promenade’ overlooking the golf course, designed to recreate the “faded glamour” of 1920s seaside towns. A 3D photobooth is decorated with flowers, and private side rooms named The Palm Lounge, The Sun Room, The President’s Committee Room and The Pergolas are available for private hire. The side wall, along the promenade, houses four food vendors.
The food: Four London street food traders operate from a line of counters at the side of the venue, with menus displayed next to their counters. Diners have the option of three vendors for a main dish, and one gelato option. Wood-fired pizza vendor Made of Dough is serving a selection of pizzas including the Brindisa chorizo and salami; and the mushroom pizza with fior di latte, truffle oil and roast garlic. Burger expert Patty & Bun is offering its classic menu, including the ‘Ari Gold’ beef burger and the ‘Hot Chic’ chicken burger. It has also created the ‘Colin Montgomery’, which is exclusive to Swingers, made with Montgomery cheddar cheese and bacon. The final vendor in the savoury line up is Breddos Tacos, which is serving a selection of tacos, tostadas and side dishes, some of which are exclusive to Swingers. Hackney Gelato brings the sweet element to the site, with a selection of ice creams, sorbets and sundaes served in either a cone or a cup. To prevent backlogs of queues at the counters, diners order at the bars where drinks are served, and look out for their assigned order number on the screens around the venue to collect their food.
The drinks: The Bandstand bar offers an all-day cocktail menu, whilst the Grand Hotel Bar provides a wider selection of drinks including beers and wines. The offering at the main bar includes ‘frozé’ frozen rose wine, dispensed from slushy machines, in either strawberry or berry flavour, as well as negronis, which is the house special. Whilst diners are playing golf, staff are available to take orders from the course and bring the drinks to the group as they play.
And another thing: The former BHS site is soon to become home to another big London food and drink attraction. Pitt Cue restaurateur Simon Anderson is taking over the rear half to open what is billed as the largest food hall in the UK.