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tricky. “There is nothing shy and retiring about the Ned; therefore, for it to feel alive it needs to be busy and so the reality is that there will be no gentle introduction for staff. They have to have stamina, resolve and experience, as well as a lovely attitude – that is what has been challenging to find.” While it is expected that the Ned will attract an enormous amount of attention from its opening, Jones is under no illusions that for it to be successful it will have to see guests and customers returning on a regular basis. “The Ned is for everyone and I really hope


that people find there is something here for them, whether it is a pizza at Cecconi’s, a baguette at Café Sou, or much more. Not only will it appeal to people who live and work in London, but I can also see it as somewhere people will come in to from all over the home counties and suburbs on a Sunday, not only to eat and drink, but also to have a massage or a haircut. The entertainment will also make it a destination.” Membership of the Ned, which is separate from that operated by Soho House, is effectively full, with 1,500 people signed up at a founder membership fee of £2,500 (£1,500 for under- 30s). The mix of members is said to cover a wide age range, be split equally between genders, and include a cross-section of industries, including finance, technology and media. With Soho House having been replicated many times across the globe, could the Ned now be the start of a new brand? Jones


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national openings have been earmarked for Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Austin, Texas.


Expansion plans Zobler is more cautious about the possibility of a second Ned, but is thrilled to have had the experience of working with Jones, who he describes as “the ideal partner”. Hav- ing now dipped his toe in London, he is on the verge of announcing the expansion of Sydell’s NoMad brand to the capital, with the development of a 100-bedroom hotel in a yet-to-be-disclosed location. The City may not have been on Jones’s hit


believes it could. “We would need to find a brilliant build- ing first, but I think big cities like New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Tokyo could certainly take Ned’s brother or sister,” says Jones, whose hands are currently full with the ongoing expansion of Soho House. Later this year will see Soho House launch in Brook- lyn, New York, and Mumbai; with 2018 open- ings due to take place in London in the former BBC TV Centre in White City and in Greek Street, Soho. Meanwhile, other future inter-


list as a location to develop a hotel, but now he is excited to be opening there. “At one time the City was regarded as being in the east of London, but now I think it is very much in the centre of what is happening,” he says. Having evolved from somewhere wine bars


used to close at 8pm just 10 years ago to some- where that is about to witness the opening of a 24-hour mega entertainment operation, the existence of the Ned is proof indeed that the City is set to become a serious leisure destina- tion as much as a work one.


28 April 2017 | The Caterer | 23


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