The Earlham Street Clubhouse

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Square Meal Review of The Earlham Street Clubhouse ?

Under new owners, the serpentine den that once housed Detroit now looks elsewhere for inspiration. A New England boardwalk bar circa JFK is the retro theme for cocktails and well-judged, wood-fired, sourdough pizzas topped with, say fennel sausage or mushrooms and ricotta. Design your own app-controlled soundtrack on a 60s Wurlitzer jukebox, and choose drinks from menus dangling from the ceiling – perhaps a Clubhouse lagerita or power ranger (a Bulleit bourbon, red wine and apricot jam sour). Fun touches are set to include at-table beer pumps and table-to-table phones for flirting in true 50s style: invite the new apple of your eye to share a spring break (one of various bowls from £38). Otherwise, this buzzy, loud basement has ‘schooners’ of beer and wine from £4 a glass, as Coney Island comes to Covent Garden.


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  1. Published : Tuesday, 15 July 2014

    MotleySpicer :: Review: Earlham St Clubhouse

    Thanks to the new job, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything let alone gone out for a big night. But it was Dan’s 25th birthday party and that seemed like a good excuse to finally get around to checking out Earlham St Clubhouse – a solid contender for the best pizza in London. ESC is 90s themed bar that happens to also serve up a pretty good pie. The décor is eclectic and kitschy– from the phones at each booth (ours was a red stiletto) to the ingenious use of suspenders to hang menus from the ceiling – but it does all add to the charm. Price-wise, the pizzas and cocktails are both reasonable so it’s a spot almost everyone can be happy checking out...
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  1. Published : Wednesday, 23 July 2014

    Wrap Your Lips Around This :: Earlham Street Clubhouse

    Situated in a vaulted underground quarter of Covent Garden, Earlham Street Clubhouse produces New York styled pizzas blasted in a wood-fired oven. The Americana extends into the décor of the subterranean space, and includes beachy alcoves straight out of the sunny East Coast, chalk-on-board menus and a classic Wurlitzer jukebox.

    Cult classics inform the dishes on the menu, even if only in name. The pizzas are classical New York and can be bought in single slices, as a whole 12” or enormous 20”. The fiery ‘Ferris Beuller’ is a mean pizza dominated with scotch bonnet chillies and chilli chicken. A cooler ‘Happy Gilmore’ is trailed with San Daniele Ham and rocket, whilst the veggies will be pleased with the grilled courgettes and aubergine on an ‘American Beauty’. If you are more a child of simplicity and easy eating then the ‘Plain Jane’ is for you, resplendent in buffalo mozzarella and smoky pecorino...
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  1. I went clubbing recently. Twice. This is noteworthy trust me, the last time I went clubbing was when I was young and foolish enough to think that one should only leave the house for a night out at 11pm and not the target time to be home so as to not ‘waste the weekend sleeping’. And I could usually follow that up with a shift at my weekend job without even blinking an eye. Even the thought now has me breaking out into a cold sweat.

    So imagine my delight when I walk into the underground vaults of Earlham Street Clubhouse, where beats from my university days are pumping, there are some episodes of Fresh Prince of Bel Air running on the screens and Lady Loves Cake greets me by waving a juicy cocktail menu at me...
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  1. Published : Wednesday, 11 December 2013

    Samphire and Salsify :: Earlham Street Clubhouse

    Earlham Street Clubhouse is a newly opened bar that serves wood fired thin crust pizzas on Earlham Street in Covent Garden (the same road as Flesh and Buns). I was invited down to give it a whirl and as I’ve recently become addicted to pizzas thanks to the likes of Homeslice and Pizza Pilgrims I was a touch excited.

    It was quite an unusual layout as there wasn’t one main area – there were plenty of nooks and crannies. At both ends there were booths for larger parties and in the middle a narrow and slightly cramped bar. We were seated opposite the open kitchen by the entrance area. As it’s a basement restaurant it was dark and the music was very loud; it had a fun clubby atmosphere...
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  1. The final way I took advantage of an empty London before Christmas was to go down to Earlham Street Clubhouse with a few friends and not even bother to make a reservation. I knew the place had a sort of retro 90s feel (how I am groaning that the 90s are now considered retro enough to be a theme) that did pizza and cocktails, which seemed like the perfect combination over which a group of girls could have a gossip.It actually wasn't as retro as I was picturing - it was in fact, quite stylish, with white plus booths in cosily lit smallish nooks. Only the odd touch provided the 90s reference points and a bit of quirk - the hanging cocktail menus for example (practical as well as fun) and the burger phones at every booth. I'm sure I remember reading that you could call up other booths to have a flirt or whatever, but when we tried calling our own booth from the phone next door, nothing happened. Disappointing.It was all a tad disappointing actually. We had two cocktails apiece and we weren't blown away by them all. My Axel Foley with Don Julio blanco tequila and ting was refreshing but a little bland with not much fizz to it, and my friend who had the Heather's Revenge also said it was a little watery. The Prom Queen I ordered for another friend was more successful - the strawberry puree and cream made it a touch more indulgent, and so was my second drink, the Power Ranger which had more of an alcohol kick with its bourbon base, and apricot jam and red wine providing the interesting flavour. They were all very reasonably priced though, at £7.50. We all cringed at and delighted in the awfully corny names they had for everything, which, being 90s babes, all meant something to us in some way. The only food they serve at the moment is pizza, each of which comes with another silly, 90s-reference name. You can get a few of them by the slice, or in 12" or 18" mode. For the true American feel, you should really get the 18-incher. My friends' eyes practically popped out of their heads when the massive pie was set down in front of us, but they haven't had the real deal before. This wasn't it, of course, but size-wise it came close. You could almost fold these slices in half. However, I was in the States recently and two slices of pizza there filled me up. Here, I easily managed to eat half the pizza and still not feel completely sated. Admittedly, they don't claim to be serving NY-style pizza, but given the American theme, you sort of assume that's what they're aiming for. So me and my friend Claire shared a Screech - salami picante, chillies and oregano, and my other friends had a 12" each - one The Fresh Prince with mushrooms, fennel sausage and scamorza and one the Marty McFly with mushrooms and ricotta.I thought my pizza was okay, but it didn't excite me the way Voodoo Ray's did when I first went there, or Homeslice. Perhaps my ingredients were too ordinary, though I love even the 'boring' margherita at Homeslice. The Screech was a spicy one but the heat was inconsistent - only appearing every couple of bites. Having said that, the chillies did pack a punch when you got one. The base was nice and crispy but I think it could have done with larger pieces of salami. Or less crust. Or more tomato. Or something, just something to make it a little more memorable. The others seemed to like theirs, but there were no squeals of delight. I get the impression they all just thought it was pretty standard pizza.It served its purpose of being somewhere casual to hang out with a group of friends, and cocktails at £7.50 are nothing to be sniffed at, especially in central London so it's good to have this 'in your back pocket' if you find yourself in town, and want somewhere that's not going to decimate your wallet. But given the plethora of new bars in London, this isn't one I'm aching to return to.
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  1. Published : Thursday, 14 November 2013

    laymytable :: The Earlham Street Clubhouse

    If I’m totally honest, having been disappointed by places with a bit of a gimmick, or several, I arrived at Earlham Street Clubhouse very skeptical.

    It was described as ’90s American pop culture (think Clueless, Fugees) meets East Coast chic (preppy, tartan shirts, slacks, pleated skirts à la Upper East Side school girl intertwined with Abercrombie). The decor features an eclectic (‘you plug your box in the wall and you get power, stupid.’ ‘Not electric, eclectic. Stupid.’) mix of reclaimed wood panelling contributing to beachside Hamptons boardwalk glamour, vintage tin signs, high school yearbook photos of celebs and imported Coney Island fairground lights crossed with battered suede seating. There’s a main area, styled with exposed brick, framed varsity flags, a jukebox, a beautiful copper topped Victorian mahogany long bar and a wonderfully open kitchen, which features a wood-fired stone pizza oven...
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