The bunny is back! Playboy Club London opened its doors once again in Mayfair last June after a 30 year hiatus. The new gaming and entertainment venue features the Dining Room Restaurant with private dining, Salvatore’s bar, Players Bar, a Cigar Terrace, Grooming Salon, Live Lounge, and state of the art gaming which includes high-limit sale privés. Creatively designed by Jestico & Whiles to incorporate influences from the original sixties Playboy Club, the venue integrates gaming with contemporary nightlife together in a sexy and sophisticated environment.
The most attractive feature of Playboy Club London is, of course, the iconic Playboy Bunnies. The beautiful Bunny hostesses, croupiers and cocktail servers have a worldwide, and well-deserved, reputation for their style and graciousness.
The response to the club’s launch proved beyond doubt that now was the perfect time to bring the club back into the cosmopolitan hustle and bustle of London. In the sixties Hugh Hefner was asked who the ideal playboy customer was, and his answer was ‘somebody with money and taste’. The 2011 club, which is members-only, remains true to Hef’s criterion today.
The club has already played host to famous guests including Cee Lo Green, Snoop Dogg, Katy B, Paloma Faith, Dita Von Teese, the Glee Cast, Jermaine Jackson, Chris Noth, Lewis Hamilton, David Haye, Ant & Dec, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Fearne Cotton to just a few.
This is complemented by the impressive names tied to the venue. These include the famous mixologist Salvatore Calabrese, who has made cocktails for the likes of Robert De Niro and Beyonce. Judy Joo, executive chef in the Dining Room Restaurant at Playboy who has worked with Ramsay and Blumenthal before stepping into the driving seat at Playboy. Most recently Teresa Tarmey has stepped in to operate the high-end unisex grooming salon within the club.
With an exciting year ahead – the club is celebrating its first birthday on May 31st – as well as transforming the glamorous Stoke Park into the Playboy Mansion on the eve of the Olympics for the first ever Playboy Summer Party, it’s a club that’s going from strength to strength
The history of the Playboy Club
January 1960 saw the first Playboy Club open in Chicago. As the operation expanded to LA, New York, Jamaica and London in 1966, the venues quickly became the embodiment of urban sophistication around the world. There were more than 30 Playboy Clubs at the height of its success, with he London venue regarded as the jewel in Hef’s crown. Situated on Park Lane just 100 metres from where the club now resides, it attracted some of the most influential clientele in London including Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Joan Collins, George Best, Jack Nicholson, John Cleese, Roger Moore and Muhammad Ali.
Salvatore Calabrese – one of the world’s leading bartenders – has over 30 years of experience in the business and can now be seen in action at his own bar Salvatore’s at Playboy Club London on Old Park Lane, Mayfair.
Famously known as ‘The Maestro’, Salvatore’s passion for mixing cocktails developed at an early age, “There is no such thing as ‘under age’ in my native Maiori on the Amalfi Coast, I started working as a commis bartender when I was 11,” he says.
It was in his twenties, in 1982, that Salvatore came to the UK and got his first job in London at Dukes Hotel in St James’s. With just a small bar at his disposal, Salvatore still managed to attract a big crowd, “I came up with the idea of selling ‘liquid history’, I sourced a bottle of Hine cognac from 1914, and sold it for £25 a shot. I started a search for really old spirits. Peoplebegan to talk and our takings went from £400 per day to £10,000 per table on one occasion,” he says.
Moving to the illustrious Lanesborough Hotel in Knightsbridge, where he worked as head bartender for 10 years, Salvatore established himself as, quite simply, one of the world’s greatest barmen. Off the back of these successes, Salvatore opened his first solo venture in 2004 with Salvatore at FIFTY in London’s St James’. During his time here ‘The Maestro’ served a host of celebrities from around the world, who flocked to enjoy his incredible cocktails, creating a buzz across London.
Salvatore’s ability to mix a one of a kind cocktail is matched only by the distinguished list of awards he has gained. His most recent win was an Outstanding Service to the Industry Award in January this year.
Playboy Club London, 14 Old Park Lane, Mayfair
For more information about the club visit www.playboyclublondon.com
Playboy Club London tailors memberships to suit the requirements of its international clientele. If you would like to discuss your personal membership preferences simply email your contact details to email@example.com and the Club’s membership manager will arrange a convenient time to contact you.