OakNorth completes £500,000 loan to fund expansion of popular London cocktail bar chain


OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has completed a debt finance deal of £500,000 to Adventure Bar, the popular London cocktail bar chain.

With a focus on creating original, memorable and unique spaces for customers to eat, drink and socialise, Adventure Bar is one of the rising stars of the London bar scene. Its fourth and most recent site, The Escapologist, is located in the Seven Dials area of Covent Garden and opened in April 2016 following a £1.1m loan from OakNorth several months earlier. It’s styled as part ‘modern day Victorian men’s club’ and part Masonic lodge and offers classic cocktails and a menu of high-quality pizzas.

The second loan from OakNorth will be used to acquire two new sites – the first of which will be located on Waterloo Road and is expected to open in summer 2017 – and the second which the business is currently in the process of identifying. The directors at Adventure Bar see it is an ideal acquisition opportunity due to the significant footfall in the Waterloo area driven by both tourists and locals – Waterloo station is the most connected in the south of England with an estimated 99.2m visitors per annum. Waterloo Road is also ideally located within a few minutes’ walk from Kings College London’s Waterloo campus where it is likely to attract students who are keen to benefit from its happy hours and numerous parties throughout the year.

Commenting on the deal, Tom Kidd, co-founder and Director of Adventure Bar, said:

“With its proximity to the Southbank, Waterloo has become a popular spot for both locals and tourists – as a result, it experiences oversubscription throughout the week with more people than available places. While there are a number of pubs and restaurants in the area but no cocktail-led proposition – we’re hoping to fill this void.

“We were delighted to have the opportunity to once again work with OakNorth – the bank supported us with the acquisition and development of our fourth site, so it’s great to be working with them again for our fifth.”

Deepesh Thakrar, Debt Finance Director at OakNorth Bank, commented:

“This deal is especially important to us not only because it is the second loan we have done to Adventure Bar, but it is also the second loan that we have completed under the British Business Bank’s Help to Grow programme since joining in January 2017.

“Adventure Bar is an ambitious and entrepreneurial business – the team have not been deterred by Brexit and the fact that many on their payroll are from continental Europe – instead, they’ve focused on building their proposition and establishing a niche where they can more effectively compete.”