Inception Group has announced the launch of a new 1940s train station-themed cocktail bar, Cahoots on Kingly Street in Carnaby, Soho, this November. This will be the innovative hospitality company’s second addition to the Cahoots network, and whilst it is located in a neighbouring building to the original, it will be a totally separate venue, extending its eclectic group of London venues, including Mr Fogg’s and Bunga Bunga, to eleven sites.
Charlie Gilkes, Co-Founder of Inception Group says of the opening, “Building on the great success of the original Cahoots, we are so excited to be opening The Ticket Hall & Control Room next door, and look forward to welcoming guests into this 1940s-inspired train station-themed cocktail bar with lots of new immersive experiences and surprises in store.”
Staying true to the much-loved Cahoots brand, the new venue will reignite the post-war spirit of the 1940s, however, unlike the original, which opened in 2015 and is solely subterranean, the new venue spans two-storeys and has been converted into two distinct spaces, giving those who already love the underground even more to look forward to overground this autumn.
The story goes that the Scoundrels behind Cahoots have successfully knocked through the shell of a neighbouring damaged railway station and commandeered the old overground Ticket Hall and disused Control Room, turning it into an illicit and immersive cocktail bar.
The Ticket Hall
On the ground floor, opening onto Kingly Street, the Scoundrels have taken over a vintage ticket hall, which will transport guests back to the 1940s by way of an old-school ticket window and repurposed station kiosk. Alongside period train schedules, phone booths, and ticket machines, which add authentic nods to this iconic era, the interior is reminiscent of a quaint quintessentially British tearoom, complete with comfy armchairs, linen wall drapings, and ornate lamp shades.
A tasty array of hearty 40s fodder will be served throughout the day from 11am to 5pm, and the menu will be divided into a British section, including some of the nation’s favourites, such as pie, mash & liquor and fish-finger sandwiches, and the second section will be dedicated to our American allies, and features chicken & waffles and a Sloppy Joe bun.
The innocuous ticket hall frontage is merely a façade to keep those suspicious coppers from sniffing around Soho’s latest illicit and experiential cocktail bar tucked behind. Passers-by would be none the wiser to the debauchery that descends when the station clock strikes five…
From then, the lights dim and The Ticket Hall becomes a buzzing cocktail bar destination, serving up tantalising tipples and live entertainment until 1am. Think cocktails served in tin cans over the old station kiosk, high-spirited swing dances, and squiffy Scoundrels dressed in vintage attire, providing a 1940s experience from start to finish. The most notable cocktail on the ration book-styled menu will be the Churchill – a potent concoction of mysterious ingredients sourced from the Scoundrel’s allotment, served in a ceramic vessel designed as the British icon’s head.
To accompany the playful period tipples, after 5pm both The Ticket Hall and Control Room will serve a selection of top-notch nibbles, featuring black pudding sausage rolls with piccalilli, mini scotch egg poppers, and ham grenades with sour cream and chives.
The Control Room
Hidden below The Ticket Hall, accessible only to those in the know, lies the old station Control Room, which has been repurposed to offer the most daring wrongdoers something entirely different.
The stealthy few who can get their hands on an elusive clock-in pass, will venture through the derelict mine shaft and into the reservations-only Control Room. Upon arrival, guests will be met by a sensory explosion with bright red buttons flashing, cogs whirring, live switchboards, and levers emerging from the walls, setting the scene for an immersive underground experience like no other. From the depths of the Control Room the scoundrel’s run their hi-jinks and have transformed the myriad of technical equipment, once used to control the trains, into a secret headquarters to broadcast pirate radio signals and codes to not only customers in the bar, but to their many secret outposts across the capital. These industrious fellows use the Cahoots Broadcasting Station to communicate the latest hauls, forbidden parties, and most importantly, to stay one step ahead of the coppers.
This hideout also plays host to live entertainment and experiences such as immersive movie evenings, musical quiz nights, and ‘Cahooch’ cocktail masterclasses. The cocktail menu in the Control Room will be highly experimental, incorporating fermentation, preservation, and long forgotten ration ingredients. Notable menu highlights include the elusive cocktail called Suspicious Activity, which is a lethal mix of Woodford Reserve Rye, Scoundrels’ Falernum and Crème de Menthe, topped with an edible mint ice ball and served out of a discrete waiter’s trench coat, and the Knob Twiddler, a tongue-in-cheek tipple consisting of Dewars, Amontillado and rhubarb sherbet, which comes smuggled within a closed radio box and must be tuned to pop open.
While the original Cahoots is famed for its life-size tube carriage, the Control Room will be the Scoundrel’s new worst kept secret.