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New app and bar as Soho’s Trade embraces post-pandemic landscape

Published:  22 June, 2020

Hospitality members’ club Trade is to shift to a “virtual version” of the club’s benefits post-lockdown, looking to evolve its industry support ethos with the launch of a resource-based app.

Meanwhile, the Frith Street venue that hosts Trade is to change to the Black Book wine bar from September, open to Trade members and public alike.

Existing Trade members will be eligible for extra perks, including daytime access to various members’ clubs such as 67 Pall Mall, plus ongoing discounts, both across various restaurants and bars, and when drinking or dining at Black Book.

On the launch of the app, which had been in planning in some form ahead of the pandemic, Trade co-founders Gearoid Devaney MS and Xavier Rousset MS explained that the timing now seemed right to change emphasis.

“Xavier and I considered what the industry would find useful in the wake of the pandemic, thinking back to the vision we had when we first launched Trade. Now seems like a better time than ever to launch an app-based hub in which to share resources, advice, news, ideas and jobs - there is so much hospitality-related content out there but no one place to access it – until now,” said Devaney.

On the planned reopening as a trade and public hybrid wine bar, Rousset added: “We thought long and hard about the future of the physical club and realised the only way to thrive post-pandemic was to open our doors to anyone who appreciates good wine and food.

“We expect many of our hospitality friends and members to return when we reopen; Trade quickly became the industry’s hangout, and we don’t see that aspect changing.”

Launched in January 2019 by the two industry stalwarts, Trade, which counts 1,600 hospitality people as members (including the Harpers editorial team, for transparency), will also be extending membership by four months to existing members because of the Covid-19 shutdown.

The pair hopes to open Black Book, named after Trade’s famous black book containing rare and off-piste wine finds, earlier than September if possible, dependent on the granting of a pavement drinking licence by Westminster Council.

“We look forward to getting our community back up and running, and sharing some good times with you all once again,” said Devaney.

Devaney and Rousset (pictured left and right) will be hosting a webinar on 24 June to talk through ideas and changes for the hsopitality membership, with login details due to be announced tomorrow, 23 June, on the Trade website