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Clapham wine bar to open in public toilet

Published:  03 July, 2014

A 100-year-old public toilet in Clapham in south London is getting ready to open its doors after being radically revamped into WC, Wine & Charcuterie bar.

A 100-year-old public toilet in Clapham in south London is getting ready to open its doors after being radically revamped into WC, Wine & Charcuterie bar.

Owner Jayke Mangion, who also operates Entrée restaurant and Brickwood Coffee & Bread nearby, told the toilet had been lying "desolate" for as long as he could remember.

"We [Mangion and business partner Andy Bell] put in a tender and pitched to the council along with 450 others. We won based on our business plan, and have spent the last two and a half years going through the legalities and building work," Mangion said.

WC Wine & Charcuterie opens July 11. A public toilet in Clapham is reopening as a wine barEntrepreneurs Jayke Mangion and Andy Bell thought the 100-year-old public loo in Clapham, south London, had serious potential as a wine bar and WC was born.

Once they had seen the site's potential, Mangion said they fell in love with it and knew they could make it a success. The spend has been "significant", Mangion said, and there have been major structural issues as the building was condemned and suffering from major leaks, all of which have now been rectified.

They have kept many original features, including two Royal Doulton urinals and a toilet for customer use, as well as repurposing cubicle doors as tables and using the attendant's box as the framework for the bar.

The bar will seat 40 to 50 customers inside, while an outdoor terrace above ground provides space for a further 55.

The wine list will have 12 to 15 wines available by the glass and half-bottle, which change regularly, and Mangion says he is looking for "smaller producers - stuff that's interesting". He is aiming to sell wines from £5 a glass and bottles priced from £18 to £60 or £70. There will also be a pricier reserve list featuring 20 or 30 wines, and a focus on pairing the wines with the charcuterie available. Charcuterie will be sourced from British, eastern European and French suppliers, and given the proximity of Mangion's Entrée restaurant, WC will also offer parfaits, terrines, oysters and escargots.

"The fundamental thing for us is not to be a classic style of wine bar. We want to be very approachable and not fuddy duddy," Mangion said.

It will target 25 to 35 year olds in the area and opens July 11.

Mangion's business partner Bell, who has an asset finance background, was keen to get back into hospitality after running boutique hotels in Scotland with his family.