Brixton Blog went behind the scenes at Electric Social, a new bar on Acre Lane, before its launch this month
Jamie Edwards wants to create a “new brand” of bar. His vision for Electric Social is a friendly cafe/restaurant by day and a bar and music venue by night. It’s not exactly the newest idea in the world but he is so enthusiastic that one can’t help but hope he succeeds in a notoriously difficult patch – on Acre Lane, in the site previously occupied by Gold Coast.
The decor of Electric Social (which we visited when still not fully complete) is eclectic – this place is not satisfied with one, or even two, different wallpaper designs. Wallpaper printed with a bookcase on one wall, fake stags heads on another and Chippendale sofas in both upstairs and downstairs bars – Jamie wanted to create the atmosphere of an “English country manor house”. That creates a slightly odd vibe and it’s all a bit overdone, but the good intention – to make this a fun and relaxing place to be – is all there.
Electric Social will be open from midday to midnight every day except weekends, when it will close at 3am. They’ve got an abundance of plugs by the tables (all school benches sourced from a closing school) to encourage freelancers and students with laptops to come during the day. There will be live acts every Wednesday from a mixture of indie and electro artists and, excitingly, the young Ted Lavender – the 12-year-old reggae DJ who recently played at Notting Hill Carnival and Lily Allen’s wedding – will host his own Sunday set here every three weeks.
The team behind Electric Social are mostly south Londoners and Jamie is very keen not to be seen to be landing unannounced into the community. “We want to be an addition to what’s already good in Brixton, we want to invite people in. Acre Lane and this site have been hard for some previously, but it should be good for us. We’ll have chairs out front and the footfall from people going back and forth to the tube. If you look at the White Horse, it’s clear that people aren’t afraid of walking a bit out of Brixton centre either.” Part of the evidence of this desire to be bedded in the local area is that Jamie wants to use the huge upstairs space for DJ and dance workshops for local kids when it isn’t being used as a music venue.
Electric Social opened this week. Will you be going? Leave your comments below. Oh, and it has nothing to do with Electric Brixton, opening at the end of September.