Soho is finally getting a replacement for iconic music venue The 12 Bar Club. Moving into the space is The Lower Third, a multi-story neighbourhood bar and music venue with a cocktail program helmed by former Savoy head bartender Shannon Tebay. The space is also expected to bring an impressive line-up of performances back to the history space on Denmark Street.
The 12 Bar Club was an icon of Denmark Street’s rich musical heritage for decades until its closure in 2020. As well as an exceptional drinks programme based around accessible twists on classic cocktails, beers, wines and boilermakers, the The Lower Third team want to honour and reinvigorate the London neighbourhood’s contribution to music through a commitment to showcasing up-and-coming artists and performers.
The venue will consist of multiple distinct spaces and performance areas. On arrival, guests are welcomed into the The Lower Third bar, which features stripped back wood, dark leather and warm lighting for an intimate and informal feel. Passing through an atrium the venue opens into The Forge, with low level tables and banquette seating, and a small stage for acoustic performances. The venue looks to its music history via a vaulted ceiling and a wooden beam adorned with a rope light that alludes to an amp cable. Downstairs, the Club Room will be a larger-capacity music venue that will serve a smaller selection of cocktails, as well as beers and wines.
Leading the bar’s operations will be Shannon Tebay, known for her work at acclaimed bar Death & Co in New York, and more recently at The American Bar at The Savoy hotel in London. Taking centre-stage in Tebay’s drinks will be an accessible but refined drinks menu featuring 16 cocktails, the majority of which will be twists on classic drinks, and all named after albums by influential artists who have recorded on Denmark Street in years past. Examples include Hunky Dory (£12.50), a smoky, boozy pear old fashioned combining Jack Daniels, Caol Ila Single Malt Scotch, Pear, Eucalyptus, Angostura Bitters, Absinthe; One-Trick Pony (£15) a refreshing, lightly-bitter, rhubarb spritz with Belsazar Rose Vermouth, Sipello Aperitivo, Rhubarb, Sparkling Wine, Seltzer; and Technical Ecstasy (£12.50) a verdant vesper martini using Ketel One Vodka, Tanqueray Gin, Tio Pepe Fino Sherry, Tomato, Shiso.
Alongside the cocktails, boilermakers will share the spotlight, featuring US and British whiskies paired with a range of beers, including Lakedown Brewery. A wine offering based around premium canned wines created especially for The Lower Third by distributor Boutinot Wines will be available, while the bar will also offer bottles of natural and organic wines from independent producers.
“The approach we took when conceptualising The Lower Third was quite simple: open a bar that we, ourselves, would want to spend time in,” explained Tebay. “The cocktails are approachable yet inventive, and the space is inviting, comfortable and energetic. Live music and cocktails go hand-in-hand, and we’ve aimed to create a space that encapsulates the best of both of those cultures in the ideal location: one of the most historically important strips of pavement in music history.”
The Lower Third is the brainchild of Karrie Goldberg and Tristan Hoffman, both of whom have a strong affinity with the music industry. Karrie is founder and CEO of venue and talent booking agency The Kagency and has a decades long career programming and managing unique spaces around the world, whilst Tristan is a seasoned operator with a rich pedigree in bars and nightlife venues in New York City & London.
“We wanted to create a space which honoured the venue’s history and is very much a part of the neighbourhood, but that also provided an elevated drinks offering that matches up to the experience of enjoying live music in venues such as this,” said Tristan. “Shannon’s background, particularly at Death & Co in New York, makes her the perfect partner – she has the energy and vision to create this whilst maintaining the spirit of Soho”.
While The Lower Third’s distinct venues will occasionally play host to internationally recognised bands and artists, it will retain a focus on promoting local talent and giving a platform to up-and-coming artists, via both headline sets in the Club Room and solo performances and acoustic sets in The Forge.
The Lower Third is located at 26 Denmark Street, London WC2H 8NH, UK. It is open 7 days a week beginning at 5pm.
For more information or to get tickets to a show, head over to the official website.