The Thin White Duke opens in Soho with a Bar and Recording Studio concept

Launching in March 2022, The Thin White Duke is a brand new, all-day drinking and dining venue  to work, play and create. Offering cicchetti, cocktails and speciality coffee, alongside members’  recording studio suites, this beautifully designed space on Great Windmill Street is set to become  a Soho hub for music-oriented creatives and contemporaries in which to collaborate, create and  celebrate. 

The Thin White Duke is the brainchild of production designer Sasha and musician Giovanni  Almonte. Stylish and experimental, with nods to Berlin and Japan, the venue’s design and  aesthetic reflects the many styles of David Bowie. Featuring an all-day cicchetti menu, an expertly  designed cocktail menu from Dav Eames and coffee by Girls Who Grind, The Thin White Duke  will offer a social and creative space, day and night.  

Eames’s drinks, which are subtle references to Bowie records, include:  

Just Visiting – Quince infused Tequila, blood orange & rosemary syrup, Prosecco  Rum from the Shadows – Golden rum, punt e mes, ginger liqueur, cynar bitters  Lovers’ Eyes – Apple brandy, aperol, rhubarb & ginger syrup, lemon  

Gin & Milk – Pink pepper gin, almond milk & white tea syrup 

Four Walls Black – Coffee bean infused Bourbon, antica formula, cherry heering, chocolate  bitters 

“…away” – Mezcal, yellow chartreuse, maraschino, lemon absinthe  

Bel-Air Boulevardier – Rye whiskey, Campari, punt e mes, antica formula, absinthe  

Equipped with all the gear, instruments and acoustics needed to create amazing recordings  across two unique control rooms and a shared overdub room, The Thin White Duke is a space  where people can meet, create and be inspired by each other, all in a nurturing and muse-worthy  environment. Whether it’s grabbing a coffee, working from a laptop, an evening cocktail by night  or a supper between friends; everyone is invited to sit down and stay awhile in a beautiful setting.  Regular performances from members and artists will take place alongside talks, readings,  screenings and workshops. Members will have access to a set of subterranean studios manned  by an in-house engineer, offering a unique opportunity to make and create in the moment of  inspiration and conception.  

There will be a tiered membership offering launching in spring time for use of the recording  spaces, which will range from a full all access option to restricted timings, as well as more 

affordable options for young musicians who are finding their feet in London. Membership will  cap at 60 to ensure members have enough access. 

The Thin White Duke is a distinctly design-led space, paying homage to Bowie’s love of culture  and self-expression. His Thin White Duke persona was inspired by the Queer Cabaret scene of  Berlin during the 1920s and 30s; a scene the Nazis did their best to stamp out.  

“I am a set designer and Giovanni is a musician. We have dedicated our lives to art, beauty and  community. We see this place as an extension of who we are and in honour of a man whose life  was an example of fearless living that flew in the face of oppressive attitudes, which we also aim  to embody.” says founder Sasha Almonte. “Like all of Bowie’s personalities, the Thin White Duke  was not without his controversy; yet the Duke was never meant to be a straightforward hero.  Rather, Bowie – a contemporary Pierrot, was interested in reflecting flaws through adopting  satirical personas of social criticism and commentary, just as he explored the dangers of drug  abuse through Major Tom or the dark side of celebrity worship through Ziggy Stardust. One need  only listen to Bowie’s anthemic anti-skinhead protest song ‘Under the God’, which excoriates the  rise of Neo-Nazism, to see where his true feelings lie.” 

The design is led by two different and discordant visions, healed together – as in the art of Kintsugi  – to reveal surprising elements as guests explore the space. Upstairs, an industrial aesthetic  reflects mid 70s Berlin. An Irezumi tiger mural painted by tattoo artist Claudia de Sabe leads down  to the recording studios and introduces a more fantastical style of decor, reflecting Bowie’s love  of oriental fashion and design. Unique in their emphasis on design, the recording studios regard  beauty and function in equal measure. The first studio – the Kyoto Room – is a relaxing salon space  inspired by 19th century Japonisme and Bowie’s fascination with Japan, while the second – the  Seminary – features a high church aesthetic and a stained glass mural of Bowie surrounded by  adoring saints, created by Danielle Croft of Luna Glassworks. They are linked by the vocal booth  – a fantasia with floor-to-ceiling designs from Christian Lacroix.  

‘We are so excited to be opening The Thin White Duke on Great Windmill Street ’ Co-Founder Giovanni Almonte shares. “David Bowie was a lover of culture, made a home of the world, made  a life that was far from oppressed or oppressive and we celebrate these values too. The Thin White  Duke is a special, welcoming site in Soho, which we see as the epicentre of bohemian spirit and  creativity in the UK music scene. We really want our guests to feel like they are entering not just  another bar, but an immersive space – an inviting realm of surprise and inspiration.” 

The Thin White Duke will open on Great Windmill Street in March 2022. 

Open seven days a week, hours vary. Booking advised. 

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About the Author

Loves long walks along the beach, holding hands and romantic 80's power ballads, partial to electronic music and likes to make the odd mix or two.