After many years serving Soho the iconic bar and industry hangout Lab will close on Sunday 11th September. The site will reopen in November as a new bar run by Bobby Hiddleston and Mia Johansson, who will own the bar in partnership with fellow husband and wife team and founders of Speakeasy Entertainment (Nightjar & Oriole), Edmund Weil and Rosie Stimpson.
A true training ground of bar industry greats, including Dre Masso, Andrea Montague and Tim Stones to name just a few, the new owners will be working with Lab to host a weekend of closing parties from 9th – 11th September. Paying tribute to Lab’s contribution to the bar industry and the iconic characters that have passed through the doors, bartending legends that worked behind the stick at Lab will be invited back for a series of final guest bartender shifts to remember and celebrate the great times that were had at the bar.
Tim Stones, ex-Lab bartender and now Global Brand Ambassador for Beefeater comments: “Lab has been the start of many bartenders’ careers. If you look at the alumnus of the place, it reads like a who’s who of drinks industry legends. I was lucky enough to spend the best part of four eye-opening years there and it became a turning point in my career. I still proudly reference it any chance I get, such was its influence. Lab will always be a special place to me and I will be sad to see it go. Having seen the passion and dedication that Bobby and Mia put into their drinks, service and venues I am looking forward to the great things they will do there. I will be among the first through the door.”
Bobby Hiddleston and Mia Johansson will lead the concept and offering of the new venue. Both are firmly established within the London bar scene and have worked at leading bars around the world, they comment: “We’re very excited for the project ahead and the new plans we have for a venue that we know means a lot to many in the industry. It’s great to be working with our new partners Edmund and Rosie, and we can’t wait to join everyone for a final get together at Lab.”
Edmund Weil and Rosie Stimpson opened the award-winning Nightjar in 2010 and were at the forefront of the speakeasy, craft cocktail trend that swept the capital. Since then Nightjar has consecutively been included in the top three of the World’s 50 Best Bars. In November 2015 they opened their second site Oriole, which recently won Best New International Cocktail Bar at the Spirited Awards in New Orleans. On partnering with Bobby and Mia they comment, “We’re very happy to be working with Bobby and Mia, they are both very talented and we can’t wait to see their vision for the new bar come to life. We’ll be joining everyone for a final farewell of Lab, before embarking on this new project together.”
Details of the guest bartenders returning to Lab and the closing parties will be announced shortly via social media, follow @LABclosingparties on Instagram and @labclosingparty on Twitter to stay updated. The new bar will open in November, more details on the concept and offering to follow.