Over the last five years, a new and possibly unique group of bars has opened in South London. Unlike many that have been open by big groups or by pub chains, the Adventure Bar and Lounge offerings have been set up and established by a group of four young entrepreneurs who had all trained as bar tenders.

Thomas Kidd, one of the four directors, explains, “The four of us had all trained as bar tenders but the time had come when we all felt that we wanted to do something different.

We felt that there was a need for a bar and lounge that was open during the week and at weekends, that did not have a pretentious atmosphere, that was warm and welcoming. It was a struggle to raise the money between us back in 2005 as young people without a great deal of security to offer.”

“However, we managed it and in January 2005 we opened our first bar on Battersea Rise, near Clapham Junction. At that time, we did not have a grand plan but we knew what we wanted to create. The site had been a Japanese restaurant and then turned into a bar. We bought it and changed it and so that was where we started.”

Then, through a friend, an episode of the TV programme ‘Property Ladder’ was filmed in their bar and they were told about a site that was available in Balham. As Thomas explained, “We were not looking to expand so quickly but it was too good an opportunity to turn down and so we scratched around to raise the funds.

The site was twice the size of Battersea but as one of our original four is now a builder, we carried out a self-build and opened, against all odds in September 2005!”

This was a big jump for the four 25-year olds and gave them increased headaches in terms of coping with all of the legislation, training and managing staff. “It was a rapid learning curve” said co-director Toby Jackson, “but it did enable us to build valuable relationships with our suppliers.”

In August 2008 they opened their third outlet – in East Dulwich. As Toby and Thomas said, “We originally had no plans, we were not designers but we tried to create something that met our requirements as bar tenders. So far, each one has worked out to be better than the last but then this year, we had the offer of a site in Covent Garden. A decision was made in just half an hour and were into fund raising again – but this time our record of success, plus the fact that we already owned three sites and our good trading record with our suppliers made the job easier. We now have four sites that are aimed at people over 21 who have money to spend on an evening out in a pleasant environment where they can enjoy comfortable surroundings, good service, enjoyable background music and a wide range of drinks and cocktails.”

For further information please telephone 0207 497 0254 or visit www.adventurebar.co.uk

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