Ten years ago, if you needed a place to just ‘end up’ and found yourself wound up at Zebrano, you may have been that old guy with a tie wrapped around your head bopping to Britney on the dance floor at 3am while the cool kids are somewhere far East. Well not anymore, tie-wearer – you have officially become cool and old skool, and nothing says party more than old skool.
The Venue and Atmosphere
If the first word you hear when you enter a club in Soho at 11pm is “HAMMERTIME!” busting through the speakers, you know you’ve come to the right place. With silver mirrors and a dramatic red, black and crystal interior, aesthetically Zebrano’s unfolds like baroque with a baseline as you step out of heaving Soho and into this dark and moody haven. Flanked by wrought-iron banisters and arranged over three floors, an equal number of bars and lots of room to dance, it manages to remain unimposing and unpretentious, however, leaving the focus on the music, from contemporary pop to house to 90s RnB.
Today, the clientele is interestingly diverse, from 20-something prosecco birthday parties to older couples canoodling in the corner over cocktails while the staff go out of their way to welcome everyone and stick to its good-time ethos. This is bolstered by a very accommodating DJ to a party-centric crowd. And whether you’re under the trippy laser lights at the back, or the impressively huge crystal chandelier by the main bar, every spot succeeds in making you feel comfortable enough to shake your tail-feather, which - by 9pm - is what everyone is doing.
Smartly reflecting (with silver frames), the huge mix of crowds and welcoming vibes, the experienced but accommodating bar staff stay strong in delivering the classics; my date and I start with reasonably priced and sweet, sweet Kir Royals (£10), moving on to smooth Whiskey Sours (£9) and Espresso Martinis (£10) that scream quality and accessibility. Somewhere along the line, a porn star martini arrived in a glass the size of my face, which was delectably sweet and punchy. There aren’t too many twists to the classics, which I find refreshing at this stage in my life, though at some point after a few too many I did promise to come back and try the Jaffa Cake Martini (well, who wouldn’t).
Welcome to Zebrano’s version 2.0 - a reliable, feel-good, all encompassing hug of a party destination and not simply a place where one ‘ends up’, although if you did pretty much any night of the week you certainly wouldn’t be disappointed.