LONDON — It’s been a Soho landmark for decades, and now the basement club formerly known as Murray’s Kabaret (and simply Kabaret when it was owned by London club guru Piers Adam) has a glittering new face and an X-rated vibe.
Officially reincarnated as Kabaret’s Prophecy, the club, which opened Friday, is already drawing the party-loving crowd. Jade Jagger recently hosted 30 friends there; the boys from Blur have paid a visit; Damien Lewis and Bridget Hall have dropped in, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Duran Duran have booked the new space — at 16-18 Beak Street — for parties.
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Designed by David Collins, the walls and bar have built-in digital lighting systems that can re-create everything from William Morris wallpaper to galloping horses to twinkling stars.
“It was done as an antidote to the superclub,” says Collins. “I wanted it to be intimate, sexy and service-oriented, so that when you go there, you’re not just another face in the crowd.”
Sex plays a big role, too.
Cult cartoonist Jamie Hewlett, a creator of the animated band The Gorillaz, covered the bathrooms with characters drawn in exaggerated, ultra-suggestive poses. London-based artist Natasha Law, filled the entrance’s glass-paneled walls with erotic sketches of girls and boys embracing.
The space is open to the public until 9:30 p.m., after which its policy is prebooked guests only. It serves drinks and comfort food, including black cod fish fingers, fries and chocolate-covered strawberries. The club has also hired DJ Nathan Gregory Wilkins, who has worked for Prada and Gucci Group.
Collins thinks Kabaret’s Prophecy, which is privately owned by a London businessman who prefers to remain anonymous, will be good for the neighborhood. “With Soho being overrun with Starbucks, and with licenses so difficult to get today, this place is a real landmark. It’s part of Soho’s underground.”
— Samantha Conti