JFA DESIGN

Interior Design Blog

The definitive prohibition bar in London. Steam & Rye.


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Promoter Nick House (Mahiki, Whisky Mist and Bodo Schloss co-founder) and Kelly Brook have come together to create the latest themed bar in London, a prohibition inspired venue in the City of London. The venue is called Steam & Rye and encapsulates America’s Gilded Age and its Glamour time in the impressive Georgian old Bank of New York Building close to Bank Station. Inspired by the United States of the 1920s, the decadent bar and restaurant offers live music and dancing with a classic American theme open Monday-Saturday from 4pm-3am. There is an interesting blend of Great Gatsby together with the Wild West and the sound of rock ’n’ roll. Upon entering the grand building guests receive an all-American warm welcome in the dark and mysterious reception area with a hint of things to come. Walls are deep red and there are big old portraits with big ornate golden frames.

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The production designer Jonathan Lee has been on board to fully ensure visitors are transported to another world.  Steam & Rye contains four main elements. The Main Hall and Station Gardens which are modelled following New York’s Grand Central Station and offer an over-whelming impression . The room features a beautiful sculpted bar, a stage, living clock, and its very own Eastern Pacific Steam Train Dining Carriage with comfy leather banquettes. There is so much going on that it may sound almost wrong but it works to perfection.

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If you want to explore a bit further you may find a winding stairwell leading to the mezzanine level and the Cargo Hold; an impossibly crammed collection of ephemera, taxidermy and jetsam with a glass fronted wall offering a bird’s eye view over Grand Central Station. It takes time to explore the treasures accumulated in the room because of the dim light but it looks like a collection created over a lifetime of travel to extraordinary destinations. Finally the basement 1st Class Cocktail Carriage with rich sumptuous velvet and intimate leather-lined booths create an opulent den to delight yourself with exotic cocktails from the  bar. Ideal for private parties and outlaws hideouts.

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