This week marked the opening of Bloomberg Arcade, bringing with it 10 restaurants for business lunches, private dining and exclusive hire. But this is just the latest in a slew of hip new venues luring groups to this once-formal corner of the City
Words Anna Hart
Another change is the dress code. The arrival of tech businesses such as Amazon and Deliveroo has introduced casual, food-obsessed millennials to the streets at 6pm every night. At Swingers, a crazy golf venue near the Gherkin, groups of suited bankers sip craft beers and eat Patty & Bun burgers or DF / Mexico tacos next to a younger checked-shirt crowd.
‘The City has changed massively,’ says chef Neil Rankin, who has just opened a Square Mile outpost of his hip barbecue restaurant Temper. ‘It’s mainly down to a lot of tech companies setting up, and the City itself becoming less formal and stuffy – but also with Shoreditch and Clerkenwell straddling it, there was always going to be some bleed-over.
‘There are also some amazing spaces you just can’t get or afford elsewhere. That’s a draw for businesses, and almost worth the gamble in itself.’
And what about that post-apocalyptic vibe at weekends? ‘We get decent days for events and group bookings on Saturdays now too,’ insists Neil. ‘I can actually see the City becoming a bit of a playground at the weekends. After all, there are very few residents to bother in Bank. So, you know, party, party, party…’
Must-book venues in London’s new nightlife quarter
+ Grace Hall by Camm & Hooper
Grand art deco hall in Leadenhall. Hosts 200 guests for meetings, 170 for dinner and 600 standing across four spaces.
020 3909 7980
+ Temper City
Second branch of Neil Rankin’s hit meat-centric barbecue restaurant and cocktail lounge. Offers a mezzanine with seating for 60.
020 3004 6984
+ Vinoteca City
Wine bar giant’s sixth outpost in the much-hyped Bloomberg Arcade. Semi-private dining mezzanine with seating for 30 people.
020 3150 1292
+ The Ned
Soho House group’s City-based members club and hotel. Complete with six Grade I-listed meeting rooms and two outdoor terraces, hosting between 10 and 200 people.
020 3828 2000
Crazy golf, cocktails and street food next to Liverpool Street station. Exclusive hire for 500, a 16-seater Committee Room, plus three ‘clubhouses’ hosting 50, 60 and 100 people.
020 3846 3222
For some of our favourites place to host a meeting in the City, click here.
Photo Steven Joyce (Temper)