Soho’s iconic Lab bar set to close

16th August, 2016 by Nicola Carruthers

London institution Lab Bar in Soho will close its doors next month, but will reopen this autumn as part of a collaboration with Nightjar founders.


The creators behind the infamous Porn Star Martini – LAB, in Soho, will close next month

After many years serving Soho, LAB will close on Sunday 11 September and reopen in November as a new bar run by Bobby Hiddleston and Mia Johansson, who will own the bar in partnership with Nightjar and Oriole owners, Edmund Weil and Rosie Stimpson.

Established in 1999, LAB has been at the forefront of London’s cocktail culture for over 15 years and is widely credited with creating the Porn Star Martini.

LAB also became a training ground of bar industry greats, including Dre Masso, Andrea Montague and Tim Stones to name just a few.

Its new owners will be working with LAB to host a weekend of closing parties from 9–11 September.

Tim Stones, ex-LAB bartender and now global brand ambassador for Beefeater said: “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.”

Both firmly established within the London bar scene, Hiddleston and Johansson have worked at leading bars around the world, including Milk & Honey, The Dead Rabbit and Callooh Callay.

Hiddleston and Johansson said in a joint statement: “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, and we can’t wait to join everyone for a final get together at Lab.”

On partnering with the pair, Weil and Stimpson added: “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.”

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 before the final closure.

Details of the bartenders returning to LAB and the closing parties will be announced on the bar’s Instagram and Twitter.

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