By Sacha Delfosse
John Ibrahim, Poata Okeroa and Dave Auld have opened a new luxury nightspot in Kings Cross called 21, which has Andy Penney as its licensee and general manager, and Joong Charpentier as its bar manager.
Although the venue was originally going to be called No Vacancy, the name 21 was chosen instead and pays homage to the infamous Kellett Club, which occupied the space in the 1920s and was renowned for having operated Blackjack in the Prohibition era.
Andy Penney says he drew some inspiration and style cues from many of the London and New York bars he worked in previously but made sure the new venue has a fun, club atmosphere.
Apart from creating a fun space for people to relax and have a good time in, 21 is also offering a late night location that offers good quality cocktails for the more sophisticated Kings Cross visitors, especially those who come to one of the many restaurants.
“There is nothing around here late at night that can offer good quality cocktails. We want to be a place for people to come to after they go out to eat, a late night option if they want to have a few good quality drinks,” Penney said.
The interior of the venue is inspired by the relaxed feeling of a New York loft style apartment and includes original brick walls and exposed concrete, reclaimed timber, graphic laser cut motifs and standout copper features.
The upstairs bar can hold up to 250 people and is decked out with black mirrors, soft leather and Chesterfield couches, as well as five private seated booths that offer bottle service.
“There are five booths that fit eight people each and they can be booked and reserved. The booths will have bottle service, and we also provide fresh juice made to order, lots of hand cracked ice, nice glassware and some food offering,” Penney explained.
There is also a smaller a lounge style bar located downstairs that can comfortably accommodate up to 40 guests.
“The downstairs bar area has a good one-man bar that we can open when we need to, or use for trade events and things like that,” said Penney.
Apart from the booths it has individual seating and a decent sized dance floor that is illuminated by a huge brass disco ball and bordered by a large window overlooking the main Kings Cross strip.
“The window is great, people can be drinking cocktails and watching all the excitement of the Cross without being too close to it,” Penney joked.