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Friday, 12 October 2012

KCz ( formerly SofaKingCool), Soho

‘Have you tried Sofa King Cool?’ asks a pal. I’m affronted. Do I look like I'm in the market for a leatherette three-piece suite and matching pouffe from some DFS-clone off the North Circular? Sofa King Cool - say it quickly if, like me, you’re a bit slow on the uptake - is Soho's 'modern newest gay concept venue', it transpires. It promises a ‘cosy setting for wanna-be-lovers to fawn over each other’ and a ‘trendy retro feel.’ That'll be 1990 revisited, when, If easyJet did VIP lounges, I imagine they’d have looked like this. All orange, black and shiny with ‘high poseur tables’, stylistically, it's a bit ‘gay’... in the Peckham patois sense of the word. All shiny sculpted cheekbones and matching hair, does our retro-tastic bartender moonlight in a New Kids on the Block tribute band when not making margaritas, I wonder? Served with £4-a-pop bites -  calamari with spicy mayo, fish goujons with chilli mayo and food last deemed 'fancy' when Simon Mayo was still a rookie DJ - ‘professionally prepared cocktails’ include Manhattan, Million Dollar Mojito (£8) and Lavender Martini. Sex on the Beach, also appears: the déclassé Benidorm binge-drinker’s favourite might help lubricate Leroy, a junior crimper at suburban salon Curl Up and Dye - the ‘wanna-be-lover’ some dodgy sugar daddy aims to have his wicked way with, rating him ‘sofa king horny.’ 
23 Frith Street, W1D 4RR 7734 3268 

Postscript: a mere three months after launching, it seems SofaKingCool has singularly failed to pull the Soho Cool. How else to explain its transformation, according to its female CEO, into a "womens only resteraunt (sic) and bar." She tells the Standard newspaper the new venture is to be 'a place .. by women for women...(but) not just for gay women. Networking is the main thing.”  Hmmm why am I thinking Candy Bar crossed with spendy dames-only members club Grace (yours to access for £5,500 pa) in Belgravia? This niche market is notoriously tricky to call. As a DJ in my 20s, I laughed in the face of a straight Northern male club owner who planned to cash in, launching 'Lez Dawson's' - a putative Pimlico gay club for big girls and their fanciers. The sisterhood was not amused: Lez's lasted two weeks. In December, the Canadian rugby-playing female CEO of NotSofaKingCool's replacement canvassed the Twitterati for suggestions as to what sort of bar/ restaurant 'da girls' might be currently hankering after. Given the CEO's idea of a 'yummy meal' (see pic right and at @KCGATES ) coupled with the new venue's  handle "KC'z", what modern wimmin want now, presumably, is something that sounds like a Doncaster dykes disko circa The Hitman and Her.

Post-postscript: 9.15 pm, a wet Thursday night in February 2013: an animated KC is out on Old Compton Street pressing 2-4-1 promo flyers on passers-by like a desperate Playa del Ingles tout. We take one and venture into her kingdom (queendom?). The place looks much the same as before only with even less punters. We leave. Where is the Sunshine Band when KC needs you most?

Post-post-postscript: March 2013. News reaches me that KC'z latest guise is to be as a restaurant called LABELS - which sounds more like a naff designer boutique in Burnley circa Hazell Dean. Apparently, one of its dishes is to be breaded mushrooms with garlic mayo. make that circa early Helen Shapiro....the sort of nice young girl KC'z older target audience might remember fondly.