Soho House propose extensive overhaul of iconic building
Considerable refurbishment planned for the former Foubert's
Interest in what the new owners of the former Foubert’s are planning for this building has been as intense as the debate on who was going to acquire this Chiswick icon in the first place. Well now the wait is now over as the Soho House Group has unveiled detailed plans for their latest venture.
Soho House, a private member’s club who expect membership to be around 1,500, will be utilising every inch of the building with facilities on all floors.
The entrance to the club and hotel will be at the eastern end of the building (where the cellar bar entrance was located) with the cowshed spa aptly occupying the former ice cream parlour at the opposite end.
A nightclub style bar with seating, dancing area and food will occupy the basement area with space for around 100 people, similar capacity to that of the old Cellar Bar. Aside from the entrance lobby and cowshed spa, the majority of the ground floor will be occupied by a brasserie and bar catering for up to 90 covers which will open to the public.
The first floor is designed primarily for dining, with a bar as well as two private dining areas with the second and third floors providing hotel accommodation comprising of 17 bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a reduction from the 26 rooms spread over three floors. The hotel entrance will be combined with the club entrance and a lift is to be installed, providing access for disabled people to all floors. Guests staying at the hotel would have full use of the club and the brasserie. The ground floor’s High Road frontage will become a retail / beauty outlet providing cowshed treatments including facials, manicures and massage and offering a range of associated products for sale to the public.
Plans to remove the existing extensions at the rear of the building and replace them with larger ones will provide the building with an additional 250 sq metres of floor space.
Soho House will also bring job opportunities to the immediate area by employing a total of 148 staff working on a rotating shift pattern whereby between 29 and 78 staff, including ancillary staff and cleaners (Fouberts employed 30 staff).
The mandatory public consultation, carried out in September of this year produced three letters of objection. Parking, additional refuse and potential for people queuing for entry to the club were the issues that concerned residents living close to the site. Soho House responded to the concerns about the negative effects of additional parking by proposing to instigate a green travel plan similar to the ones in place at their other establishments. The company also stated that, in their experience, very few members use private transport in the evenings.
With regard to refuse, deliveries and collections, a glass compactor is to be accommodated on site and no deliveries or refuse collections are permitted to or from the site outside the hours of 8am to 10pm Monday to Saturday nor at any time on Sundays, Bank or Public Holidays. The issue of people queuing for entrance to Soho House was addressed by the company's statement that their members do not tend to arrive in great numbers and there is no specific opening time for the club.
Hounslow Council are currently seeking a financial contribution from Soho House for environmental improvements to the Chiswick High Road frontage and improved pedestrian access to the tune of £24,000.