With a long and rich history within London’s live music and nightlife scene, The Garage in Islington has always been regarded as one of the city’s landmark venues. Now, relaunching in February 2017, under new ownership and following an extensive refurbishment, The Garage will be transformed into a destination venue and its iconic reputation reignited. As well as housing the legendary music venue, the building will also be home to a daytime coffee spot, craft beer and cocktail bar, a cutting edge nightclub and an exciting new programme of live concerts and immersive club nights.
Having recently been acquired by DHP Family, the dynamic team behind Oslo in Hackney and Nottingham’s Rock City, every element of The Garage will be dramatically updated. In addition to refurbishing the main music venue and adding a brand new sound system, three new spaces have also been created within the building, united thematically under the Garage concept.
Harking back to the filling station stores of small-town America, the newly designed ground floor will now feature The General Store, an all-day café and bar serving craft beer and cocktails. The design of The General Store will feature reclaimed gas pumps, huge beer fridges and superlative coffee. Expect a range of cocktails served from items you’d find in the store, such as cornflakes packets and Campbell’s soup tins, alongside a changing selection of American and British craft beer.
Upstairs, Thousand Island will be an intimate space hosting breaking acts and specialist forward-thinking acts most evenings and late-night socials later in the week featuring an unpretentious programme anchored by collaborative club nights and Thousand Island presents shows. Operating independently from the rest of the space, the room will feature a mirrorball-stuffed ceiling, faces of friends of the venue across one wall, and a condiment-covered dressing room.
In addition, at the right hand side of the venue will be a new coffee station and snack bar kiosk, serving takeaway speciality coffees and teas, alongside a range of freshly made breakfast snacks, cakes and sandwiches, all to-go.
As part of their new programming for the venue, DHP Family have created Precinct Presents…, a series of immersive club events that will take over the whole venue complex every Saturday and change its theme every six weeks. The first event, Precinct Presents… “Lost In Tokyo”, will be a never-seen -before experience that transports guests into a dark and dystopian Japanese-style street scene. Guests will be invited to dress up and enter a multi-sensory world where shady characters lurk behind vitriolic noodle vendors, and anime girls huddled in neon-lit Izakaysas. Think Blade Runner meets Baby Metal via Tarantino, soundtracked by Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show.
Since opening in 1993, The Garage has hosted artists as diverse as Radiohead, Lil Yachty and Red Hot Chilli Peppers. DHP Family will retain this history while also programming the stars of tomorrow and a roster of leading club nights, ensuring that the overall experience is at the high level expected of a world class venue.
“The Garage has been on my radar for about 10 years now when I first looked to buy it. For one reason or another we have just missed out on taking over this iconic venue and breathing new life into it. Its location layout and history are perfect for what we are looking for in a venue and we look forward to reinventing the space for a new generation.” – George Akins, Managing Director