Experimental Cocktail Club, Chinatown, London

Experimental Cocktail Club LogoIt’s true, the rumours have been circulating for a while but the Experimental Cocktail Club will be coming to London. I had the opportuntity to chat to Xavier during London Cocktail Week, and rest assured this will be a place well worth visiting!

The team behind the new bar includes Romée, Pierre-Charles, and Olivier, the French trio behind the Experimental Cocktail Club, Curio Parlor, and the Prescription Cocktail Club, three bars that have shaken up Parisian nights and revived the City of Lights.

The bar is located in London, Number 13 Gerrard Street in the heart of China Town and will be known as the Experimental Cocktail Club, China Town or simply the ECC China Town.

The concept is simple – unpretentious service, exquisite déco, the freshest ingredients marrying the finest spirits to offer exceptional cocktails, all mixed together to create a happy mess, a jolly time, a memorable mélange.

From the 1st December 2010 expect to open a nondescript door, somewhere in Chinatown, the heartbeat of SOHO, and find the Utopia of cocktail bars, with lush décor and secrets in the air, very fine drinks served with requisite French flair, gin, champagne, whiskey, a candle here and there…a must visit!

The door will open in one month, the Wednesday 1st of December at 6pm.

[Information received from Xavier and reposted.]


  1. Anand says:

    A copy of an email I just sent to the management of this venue….

    I want to express to you how appalled I am at the reception I got at the ECC last night in London. It was the most disgraceful scenario I have ever encountered at any venue in London.

    Although I had a reservation I was told that the venue was full and that I could not go in.
    The door staff at first denied that I had a reservation, until I pointed out my name on the list.
    They then suggested that I was late (I was not, they had kept me waiting outside by refusing entry).
    They informed me that my table had been given to other people.
    When I asked to speak to the manager I was told that he refused to speak to me because he was too busy.
    No one apologised, no one went to investigate what could be done, no one offered any explanation.

    First, how is it that my reservation was confirmed, my name placed on the list but the table was not kept?
    What is the point in having a reservation system if your staff just ignore it? You just waste people’s time.
    Second, it is unbelievable that the manager would not even speak to me to explain. I was treated as an unwanted visitor, and rudely turned away at the door.

    I have never been treated in such a way, and I want to inform you that your business is a disgrace.

  2. TL says:

    WAY TOO MUCH ATTITUDE – and that’s just the reservation and door staff….

    Let me just preface this by saying that never have I ever felt so enraged with an establishment that I have bothered to write a review online to signal out such poor service. Well done ECC for being the first.

    I phoned ECC on a Friday to make a booking for 2 people that evening at 8pm. The staff member of the phone told that “I didn’t need to make a booking and that entry at 8pm wouldn’t be a problem”.
    We arrived at the bar at 8.10pm and asked the door girl if we could enter. The door girl responded with a short and sharp – NO. Words can’t communicate the look and tone with which the denial was given. There was no attempt at trying to explain why we couldn’t enter or that they were sorry entry was being denied. After a moment of being totally thrown off by the harsh treatment my partner explained that we had called earlier during the day to reserve a table at 8pm that evening but we were specifically told that no reservation was required and that entry at that time of evening would not pose a problem. Based on this information we had confidently decided to venture across town to try out the new bar.

    This is when the attitude was amped up and ECC broke out the absurd…..

    The door girl then told us that “even if we had a reservation we would have been turned away because the bar was filled to capacity earlier in the evening and that THEY WERE TURNING AWAY BOOKINGS”. At this point I asked the door girl to clarify what she had just said – that if a reservation had been made, ECC doesn’t necessarily honour it. The door girl replied with another short and sharp: “Tonight we have turned away bookings”. No apology was given for having messed us around with their shoddy advice or an opportunity to make it up to us on another occasion. It was just all so inhumane and stuck up.

    Feeling like we had been stiffed by ECC I phoned them the following week to discuss the situation with the manager – the person I spoke with said they often get full quite early on Friday evenings and that they never know what time they are going to reach capacity. I said I understood that they might not know when they are going to reach capacity, but that it was wholly misleading to so confidently tell me that I should not bother booking because I would have no problem entering at 8pm. From here we just went round and round in circles without ECC ever acknowledging that the information they provided was misleading.

    To cap off the appalling behaviour the man on the phone then speculated that the reason we were turned away because we might not have “looked right”. He then tried to correct his poor English by saying we weren’t dressed appropriately. I was just completely over ECC by then and couldn’t be bothered to discuss the matter any further.

    Such a shame that this place is managed so poorly – I was looking forward to a good cocktail…..

  3. John K says:

    I went to ECC about a week ago and got in ok (it was quite early). That’s where the good news ends however! Ignorant bar staff and I have to say, poor drinks. Everything all looks nice and shiny, but I really wasn’t impressed with the two cocktails that I had.. badly put together and overpriced.

    If i’m in the area again I’ll sooner go to Rules/Hix, or venture further afield to Purl or Colebrooke Row.

  4. katie says:

    I find this so odd- i’ve been there often since the opening and never had anythning other than exemplary service from the door to the bar to the cloakroom.
    all clubs have the discretion of whether or not to let people in, and paris has a very different system to londn. here we mess about with guestlists but there they have a ‘face policy’. if you look right, you get in. i dont know whether that’s ‘fair’ but i’m also not sure whether fashionable nightclubs have to be fair. what they do have to be is cool, and ECC is undoubtedly the coolest spot in london right now.
    it’s a real shame for those that dont get in, but for those that do, well, it’s a otal treat: full of what can only be described as extremely good looking people, the drinks are great, the music is sexy and fun, it’s a very private atmosphere, almost like someone’s (very luxurious) house.
    i guess the tough door policy makes it feel like that. what can i say-i’ve never had a bad night there!

  5. holly says:

    It’s quite interesting to read the above comments, as I came here last night for the first time & didn’t encounter any problems. There was a group in front of us that didn’t get let in, and I assume it was their clothing, simply because when you go inside, you realise that there seems to be a type in there. Lots of cool funky people, lots suits (but it was weekday).
    I had a good cocktail & an average one, which were averagely priced at about £11 each (not incl service). It had a nice atmosphere & the staff seemed friendly, definitely not rude. I’d return here again, but I would be embarrassed if I got turned away at the door!

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