Cocktail Bar + Escape Rooms
KEEP US OPEN!
We Need Your Support.
Purgatory is currently applying to keep it's beautiful interior. We have submitted our application and
now we need your help.
Below you will see a full explanation of our situation and why we are asking for your support.
Clicking the button below will open up a draft email with the contact and email pre drafted.
Feel free to change and or edit the email to your liking and dont forget to sign.
Thank you all so much and we hope you have a wonderful Xmas!
Why we Need Your Support.
Let us try to explain the challenges we faced when we decided to try and work with the space. We found this premises in late 2021 and after several months of work in terms of planning our interior design and negotiating the lease we decided to take on the premises. The premises we chose had been at that point left vacant for roughly 4 years. Prior to this there was a pub which operated for many years but closed.
The most recent tenant before us, was only open for a few months in 2018 after which it suddenly closed due to lack of business and a very tough business climate. When we took over the lease, we found a relatively plain and basic interior with no obvious internal features of note but, rather, a plain shell.
The condition of the unit was less than ideal – an unattended leak on the ground floor had rotted away the flooring the previous tenant had put in and it was in desperate need of repair. Venturing down to the lower ground floor, the basement was considerably worse. The kitchen had been left with food rotting for 4 years, plus obvious instances of flooding and other damage had made it hard to breathe given the black mould throughout. One area was filled with sewage which had come up form a severely blocked drain. This took us months to clean and bring into any sort of usable condition.
The former Thai restaurant that was located opposite us had been closed since covid and had seen little to no interest by the market. This lack of foot traffic or operators in the area had caused some other concerns for the local community.
Despite all these issues, we believed in the potential that the premises held for us and for the community. We spent a lot of time considering ways to attract customers and felt that if it was to be successful, we needed to be creative and bold – designing something unique, memorable and something that would drive people to the area rather than relying on them to walk by. We designed our concept ‘Purgatory’, an immersive cocktail bar and escape room venue to be exactly that. We spent months and almost £200,000 to achieve this goal. All of the decorations and works we have carried out inside the premises were made to be entirely reversible and we did not make any structural changes whatsoever to the premises.
To our delight, we were welcomed into the neighbourhood with open arms. During the works we had a mailbox full of good luck cards and spent a lot of our days talking with the wonderful neighbours about what we were hoping to achieve. All of them were thrilled to see life come back to the corner and something new in the area. We thanked them right back by regularly working with community, sponsoring events, donating to charities and even hosting numerous neighbours only events for the launch and yearly at Christmas. We have had 2 weddings, countless birthdays and have made many unbelievable memories since.
Our first year has been a resounding success. While most (up to 60%) of new businesses in our industry close or fail within the first 12 months, we have seen our business grow and grow. Today, we are one of the highest rated cocktail bars in all of London on Google by reviews – with 4.9 stars out of 247 reviews and our escape room is the highest rated game room in all of London (5.0 stars on Google).
Another huge accomplishment for us was last week when we won a silver prize in the London Venue and Catering Awards for the most unique venue – beating out Madame Tussauds and a host of other venues.
The venue is thriving, we employ a wonderfully diverse and amazing team. Through working with the police from the very beginning, we have completely removed any sightings of the drug dealers that used to be an all too common sighting. The formerly vacant premises across the road has just now been taken over by a new owner who we have opened a special partnership with.
Our premises attracts a very pleasant clientele and have had or have upcoming events huge global companies. We have not had a single complaint since we opened and are very proud of the stellar reputation we hold.
Now, for why we need your help. When we took this venue on, we came across a plain unsuspecting blank interior. We also didn’t understand the regulations around listed buildings and rather foolishly thought that we could do any interior decorating that didn’t damage anything historic and didn’t require any structural changes. We were also unaware that the previous tenant did numerous changes they were allegedly not permitted to carry out, so when we received the enforcement letter requiring us to restore what they had changed and completely undo our entire theming of the venue, and restore to the condition it was in prior to the works of the previous tenant, we were at a loss as to what to do or how we could survive.
We have since lodged an application for retrospective Listed Building Consent for a period of 5 years after which time we would remove our works and this is where we need your urgent support.
We really feel that we are a part of the community here and are confident that Purgatory will be a destination that will only enhance the local area and business trade. Sadly, if we are unable to obtain the permission we do not feel we would be able to continue operating and would more than likely have to close.
I know, especially at this time of year how busy you must be but if you could spare a small part of your day or evening to support us we would wholly appreciate it.