Giacomo Avenia

Giacomo is the bar manager of the infamous Jack Solomons Club. Jack Solomons is the epitome of unique Soho glamour. The Club- named after boxing impresario Jack Solomons – on this very site his eponymous gym was located – is a hidden drinking establishment specialising in whisky and gin. A speakeasy tucked away in the heart of theatreland, guests are invited to sip on cocktail and while the night away on sumptuous velvet decked sofas.

How did you get into the hospitality industry?

I started as a Kitchen Porter in the kitchen where my older brother was the Head Chef back in Brisbane, Australia. We would finish Saturday nights with a cocktail next door at a little bar called French Martini, and when the bar manager there went to open a new place I went with him and started bartending.

Cocktail or simple serve, and your favourite tipple?

Cocktail any day, lately I have been really enjoying any classic that can be made with mezcal: marg’s, negroni’s, paloma’s. I’m also a shameless fan of blended strawberry daiquiri’s on beach holidays.

What inspires you?

Being the best version of myself and getting the most out of my time in London and working at Jack Solomons.

The club is named after Jack Solomon, tell us a little bit about him and the clubs history with Soho

Jack Solomon was a boxing promoter from the ‘30’s through to the ‘60’s, famous for promoting many World and British title fights. He brought Muhammad Ali to England for the first time and based all of his operations out of 41 Great Windmill Street, where the club now is. The site was a gym and offices all in one. Boxers would train in the gym before going for a drink with the Windmill Showgirls in the deli (now our entry Kiosk), usually sipping G+T’s from teapots because the deli didn’t have a licence.
In the early 60’s the basement became The Scene Club, a 1960’s music venue with a strong mod youth subculture. Guests would enter through Ham Yard and would see the likes of the Rolling Stones and The Who.

What is your perfect Soho night?

Cocktails anywhere on old Compton street, steak dinner at Sophies, drinks and dancing until the wee hours.

What’s your theme tune?

Ultra Nate – Free. Or anything else disco that the Dj’s decide to put on down in the Club.

If you could have any super-power what would it be?

Teleportation: so  I wouldn’t have to fly all the way home to Australia – could escape this London weather easier haha

What was the story behind the Lydia Lova cocktail that you created with the King of Soho Gin?

Lydia Lova was the “naked heroine” who fought the Nazis as part of the French Fighting Forces and survived torture at Ravensbruck. Later she got into dancing and eventually moved to London to dance at Soho’s Casino de Paris Striptease. The cocktail itself is a nod to the teapot-in-the-deli days: we make our own hibiscus and lavender tea to create a long refreshing cocktail.

If you could be any boxer – who would you be?

The People’s Champ: Muhammad Ali.