On Friday night myself and Huncle cruised over to the new Joe Cools in Fulham, London for their opening night, the place rocked however it did have a few teething problems which can be put down to opening night woes.
We rocked up at about 8:30pm and the place was already heaving with a decent portion of the saffa population in South West London, as there were familiar faces everywhere I looked. Instantly I knew this was going to be one hellova night. The bars were pretty crowded but managed to organise a drink from a mate who was just about to get served, so we decided to have a little snoop around. Now obviously with it being the venue of the old Zulu's the layout was kinda familiar, well sort of in the sense of the rooms themselves, the stair cases and bathrooms which would obviously be there since they didn't tear down the building down and build a new one. The main entrance has now changed to the other room where Zulu's had a bar which is now on the opposite side, that led into the dance floor area with the stage. The ground floor dancefloor is still there due to the size of the room with a DJ box where the stage was. The old main area is still a main bar area however instead of having the bar along the wall it is now a huge round bar in the middle of the room. Going down stairs you enter another bar area which has also changed the bar along the back wall into a square shaped bar against the same wall. Walking on through, the old main dance floor is still there but has had a major face lift which some nice black and white tiles put down, and the old DJ box is now a shooter bar with the new DJ box on the opposite wall. I had to laugh when I saw the two poles in the middle of the dance floor because those two poles have probably seen more of women's inner thighs and cleavage than most guys I know Moving on into the other bar area where they used to have the bar in the corner, this has now moved to the other side of the room also in a square shaped bar.
The decor itself is very well done out, you can see alot of bucks was spent into getting it to look like it does. Alot of carpeting on the floors and walls downstairs give it a softer classier feel. If you've been to a few of the owner, Guy Van Der Post's clubs in SA, you'll know what I mean, he tends to use a similiar decor style which always looks great. If you liked what he did with the Grand when they revamped it, then you'll love this, similar but effective.
The vibe was awesome, its always good to see multitudesof familiar faces when a new place opens because not only does it increase the likeliness of having a banger of an evening, but it also sets your crowd standard and likeliness of going back because you know its a good decent crowd. My only complaint throughout the evening which also seemed to be common feedback that I got from a number of people was the difficulty getting drinks from some of the new bar staff, although you could see the more experienced staff were on the ball. I had my own episode down in the bottom back bar where I was left standing for 35mins waiting to get a drink where the bar lady would get to the guy next to me on my left, then skip me and serve a person a few people down to the right, once was ok, the second time agitating, the third time I was starting to get annoyed, during the forth time just as she was skipping me I waved both arms out and called to which I got the reply, "I have to serve them first" I thought, really? how does that work if you are serving people from left to right in a sequence, I looked for a mirror to see if I had "Don't serve me" written across my fore head or a massive leaking chorb on my face that she couldn't stand to look at. Now those who know me will know me as an extremely patient person reinforced with the fact that I know what its like working behind an extremely busy bar, I've been there, some will remember PharSide's Pigs Nights back in the day… ja, nuff said but for the first time in my life I completely lost it and went absolutely nuts at the bar lady and the barman when they stood infront of me pouring drinks, to which he replied sorry they were really busy, so I said fine but how many times is she gonna skip me before I get served? its not like I was hidden behind any beer taps or anything like that. At the time this was happening, a friend who was helping behind the bar that night heard me venting my frustrations, ran across from the other side of the bar and in record time, got me the two drinks I'd been so patiently waiting for. Now given it was opening night, new tills, mostly new staff who may be inexperienced in a high demand bar, its not uncommon that something like this could happen so I'll put it down to a teething issue, coupled with the fact that I know that the management are more than well aware of the problem so I have every faith that after Friday night, we'll see a massive improvement next time round no doubt.
The door staff seem like a good bunch of guys to the extent that I actually felt quite welcomed when I walked through the door which is quite rare but always a good thing when it happens, I reckon this may have something to do with the head doorman coming across as seriously decent oke when we were handing our tickets in at the door.
The music is pretty much exactly what most saffa's will enjoy from a commercial point of view, which is a main catalyst for an awesome night as it caters for virtually all tastes. I even found myself squeaking a takkie downstairs at one stage
The jol closes at 1am which is obviously down to licensing laws governing the area as this was the same for Zulu's, however it does give you enough time to catch a few dops in Wimbledon for an hour or two before heading home or the location of where your walk of shame will commence in the morning
All in all, it is an excellent jol which is definately going to be a massive hit here in London, good music, good vibe, seriouisly good jol!
Well done guys! It Rocks!