Not a member? Join the club: the new restaurants with a private atmosphere


At the corner of Hay Hill, where it flows into the end of Berkeley Street facing the Ritz, there is a new orange awning over black lacquered doors. There is no name, just a pair of Roman numerals: XX. “Funny, a lot of people this week asked, ‘Is this a members club?'” says Alex D’Aguiar, who alongside Misha Zelman envisioned the place after recent successes with Humo and Sumi. “And my head doorman Johnny keeps saying, ‘No, no, no! This is an open door policy, please come in; it’s our home but treat it like your home.

It is 20 Berkeleys (20 Berkeley Street, W1J,, opened a week ago today and one of many sites where the difference between restaurant and private club is increasingly blurred. At 20 Berkeley, it’s not just in the name or the entrance, but in the ambiance and in the appearance. “It was never a restaurant,” says D’Aguiar. “But it had been reduced to a concrete shell after being offices. It used to be a house, and that’s how it looks now: you have a living room, an orangery, a pantry, and downstairs the bar and a private dining room. We could have opened it up into one big space, but why?”

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