123, LCC has become a battle cry within our city’s cocktail scene over the last five years, capturing everything London Cocktail Club has come to be for the city’s imbibers; the place to go and scream your lungs out while dancing on a table – Tommy’s Margarita in-hand.
Initial investment from Raymond Blanc (Michelin-starred restaurateur) and Sarah Willingham (Dragons Den) ultimately lead to six sites across the city – Covent Garden Cocktail Club, and LCC Goodge Street, Shaftesbury Ave, Oxford Circus, Shoreditch and Islington. Now the duo - James Hopkins and JJ Goodman - behind the brand have even bigger plans, and they’re asking us to help them out.
In fact what they’re asking is ‘have you ever dreamt of owning your own bar?’
Launching a Crowd Cube page they’re aiming to raise £750,000 before the end of March to roll out the expansion plans across the city.
“There are two ways of looking at business,” says James. “You can continue with organic growth or get further investment, depending on what you want. We could sit on what we have now, 5 or so bars and let them tick over. Have a nice lifestyle. Or we can build it up to be a beast.”
The option to expand means new investment, which the group could have got from one or two huge investors. Crowd Cube, however, allows them to get lots of people involved and strengthen the brand.
In return for your cash you’ll get to own a part of LCC. You’ll be able to walk in to any one of the bars and say I own a part of this place. JJ and James believe they can double everyone’s money in the long term as well, so it’s an investment with the view to profit as much as it is enabling more LCCs to open. The more you invest, the more rewards the chain is giving you, to the point where you’re invited to all the parties and get a cocktail fountain and a bottle of tequila at any LCC bar on your birthday, EVERY year.
“We’ve got our heart set on getting an amazing site in Soho, we also have another venue ear-marked in east London, we’re also keen to look in Camden, Notting Hill and Brixton,” says JJ.
“Really,” says James, “this is the perfect first investment. If you’ve never done it before it’s a great way to start out.”
So what exactly is the £750,000 for? It’s to roll-out three further bars before the end of the year. After that the team will use the cash flow to build the chain to 19 bars by 2019.
From the left: James Hopkins, Sarah Willingham, JJ Goodman & Raymond Blanc
After this fundraising and with three new mature bars, they’re predicting annual cash generation to be around £1.1m which would be available to finance further expansion.
Will the model ever stop being relevant? “Fun is timeless,” say the boys.
Check out their Crowd Cube page for more information. You also get a mug if you invest £150 or over. Pretty cool right? We definitely should have mentioned the mug earlier…