You’d be forgiven for thinking that Jak’s is a sprawling underground club. Having replaced the vast space that was ‘Public’ on Lots Road, that’s exactly what I assumed. Described by my sister as a ‘must-see, chilled underground bar’, I felt obliged to see for myself. The reality didn’t disappoint.
A completely unique concept, Jak’s is a treasure-trove of character. Walking in is like stealing a peek into the Parisienne bohemia of the Moulin Rouge. Like peering down the kaleidoscope of an eclectic mind, one thing Jak’s is not is mainstream Kings Road chic. Second to the Walton Street branch in South Kensington, the Chelsea hideaway is much larger, more magical and feels like a well-kept secret known to few. Dim lighting illuminates earthy woods and rich leathers, vintage rocking horses and other circus-like trinkets – most un-yah.
A jaw-dropping delicatessen runs the length of the main sitting area with gastronomical delights a-plenty. Whether you’re after a scrumptious array of pitta, humous and feta or zingy prawn kebabs, this is a feast fit for a prince. With a cocktail menu as long as your arm and old-school sofas in every direction, Jak’s is an escapist paradise you can really sink into.
One of its USPs is the juxtaposition of space and cosiness. Spanning the full breadth of the old club, you can choose from sitting in the vast lounge area, the candle-lit bar or the adjoining lounge with cosy seating hubs perfect for intimate catch-ups.
Despite its distinctively eclectic vibe, Jak’s maintains a refreshingly civilised ambience – something of a contrast to its more raucous predecessor. A wonderfully relaxed setting, it combines a sense of occasion with understated wow-factor. Big enough to dodge a wrong-un and intimate enough to woo a good-un, this would be a great venue for a first date – the visual extravaganza providing ice-breakers aplenty.
Open from 8am until late, with feasts for every palate, I really couldn’t rave more. The only note of caution would be to avoid eating here on a Saturday night. The club vibe awakens proper at the weekend and it’s fair to say that skimpy dresses, high heels and full-frontal cleavage merge less than seamlessly with a low-key evening meal… The knock-on effect is delayed service and slightly cool food.
That said, if you’d like a trip to the magical French capital but can’t quite stretch that far, this would be a pretty good second prize.
Address: 533B King’s Rd, London SW10 0TZ
Nearest tube: Parson Green/Fulham
Tel: 0207 751 4400
Capacity: 400 people
Free rental and wifi