Luxury restaurant-music brand Spiritland makes its next move.
It’s a cocktail bar and record shop. It has “one of the best sound systems in the world”. You can use it as a workspace and linger over a £2.50 coffee but equally there is a “heavyweight, pedigree chef” so, if you’re staying for lunch, “it doesn’t make sense to be serving average burgers”; the offering is “elevated”. It is part-inspired by Shibuya’s Dining & Bar Kitsuné in Tokyo. In the evenings you might nod along to a talk by Irvine Welsh or tap a foot to a DJ set from Jarvis Cocker. There is no dancefloor, but there is a state-of-the-art recording studio.
“It can be hard to explain,” says Spiritland’s evangelistic founder Paul Noble. “The best thing is to come and see it.” Since the venue opened in 2016 in London’s King’s Cross, part of the Granary Square redevelopment housing Central Saint Martins and Google, plenty of happy customers have done just that. If Spiritland is hard to pigeonhole, just think of everything coming back to music. “I’m a music lover and didn’t find anything was speaking to me,” says Noble. “It was either grim bars, places bands play, or jazz clubs where the music’s great but the food and drink is not. We wanted somewhere where DJS and music lovers could explore all genres in a beautiful space with a rich sound system.” That system is hard to miss: custom built (valves imported from Italy etc), in surely the only place you can enjoy billionairelevel hi-fi with your burratina.
Last year, the Spiritland Headphone Bar opened in Mayfair. Just eight beautifully designed square metres in size, it is unique. Now Spiritland has more ideas. “We’re talking to people about taking the Spiritland experience on the road, so there’s a mix of talks and album listening sessions during the day, then a party at night,” says Noble, who is about to go venue hunting in New York, part of his plan to open Spiritland in “other cities with similar musical cultures”. He’s also on the lookout for a second, bigger London venue. “It’s basically a luxury brand with music at the core, so it could go into nightclubs and restaurants. There’s a ton of potential.” spiritland.com
Speakers’ corner: Spiritland offers coffee, cocktails and an enormous handbuilt PA system