Soho Calling Initiative Launched to Help Save Alfresco Soho this September
The Soho Summer Street Festival brought one of London’s most vibrant neighbourhoods back to life when strict lockdown measures were eased in July, but local businesses are calling on patrons to help keep the alfresco vibe alive into September
Following the August’s successful Eat Out To Help Out Scheme, Soho restaurants are offering customers a free Soho Calling cocktail this September if they help keep the area-wide alfresco dining initiative afloat.
The Soho Summer Street Festival, pioneered by John James of Soho Estates, has been a huge success, with 90% of businesses reopening in the pedestrianised zone, saving over 1,000 jobs saved and rebooting of central London’s hospitality sector.
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The alfresco dining initiative has created some magical evenings, but the pedestrianisation of Soho’s streets is expensive, costing over £6,000 a week in security fees (costs currently shared by operators).
To help save Soho, local businesses have launched a new crowdfunding initiative to keep the alfresco food and drink scene alive.
Simply donate to the cause via this link and you’ll receive a world-class ‘thank you’ cocktail – designed by London bartending legend Dre Masso – for free when dining at any of the participating venues from Monday to Wednesday.
Masso’s Soho Calling creation, available now, combines London’s most iconic spirit, Beefeater gin, with Masso’s homemade hibiscus syrup, topped with soda water and garnished with a sprig of mint to create a refreshing tipple with subtle botanical and floral notes.
‘I’ve designed this cocktail to help save Soho, which is still in trouble,’ said Dre Masso, who has been involved in the global cocktail scene for over 25 years, working at some of the world’s most prestigious bars.
‘I have worked in and enjoyed Soho over the years and, essentially, it is a “thank you” cocktail if you are able to donate to the cause.’
‘I have worked in and enjoyed Soho over the years and, essentially, it is a “thank you” cocktail’
Participating restaurants include SOLA, Hoppers, Lina Stories, Ceviche, Groucho, 40 Dean Street, French House, Burger & Lobster, Zima, Rasa Sayang, Lobos Soho, Sanctum Hotel, MAOZ, Suvlaki and Tonkotsu.
To qualify for the cocktail, you must have a sit-down meal at a participating restaurant and show proof of donation to the Save Our Soho site (one free cocktail per person, per donation).