Zoola Fix is a startup new to London that connects tourists and locals looking for a good time with “Fixers,” the platform’s name for “well-connected partygoers” who know the city’s hottest nightspots and how to get inside.
We met owner Richard Walker-Smith at a speakeasy cocktail bar in Soho last weekend to see what the service is about. After a few rounds, he took us out on the town. Things got interesting.
Let's kick things off by introducing our companions for the evening. On the right is Zoola Fix owner Richard, pictured with our friend Charlie on the left.
Zoola Fix tailors nights for you: You tell the company what you're in to, be that cocktails, champagne-filled bars, or crazy night clubs. We wanted it all. The three of us met at the Experimental Cocktail Club in Soho. Together, we took a taxi to the next venue that Richard had planned for us.
To use the service, users simply book a 'Fixer' local to a city, which costs around £100. The fee is for their expertise, ability to jump queues, and skip entry prices. There's the possibility of a free drink somewhere, but mainly everything else you've got to pay for. After Soho, Richard took us to a Mayfair hangout called Sketch. We rolled straight in.
He hooked us up with some champagne. We also had some more cocktails. Looks like I went for a martinez.
Zoola Fix launched in December 2014, and Richard tells us it's going well but could grow much more. Anyone in any city can apply to be a 'Fixer' and earn money by going out on the town -- though there are strict vetting processes. Here's a friendly bartender, who was a bit of a hero.
Soon things started getting more 'out there.' Charlie and I were forced to share an armchair because the couple in the corner needed some space.
But all was well. We met up with the manager again. Sketch is divided into two separate bars: Parlour and East Bar.
We also had a peek at the private members club upstairs, but we weren't allowed to photograph inside. Here are some weird, glowing spider-web toilets instead.
By day, Sketch is a quirky tea room, art venue, and restaurant. It transforms into an intriguing cocktail bar at night. One room, which changes design frequently, was all art deco and sophisticated.
These egg-shaped toilets were even weirder than the glowing spiderwebs. They are well-known, but seemed to wow a lot of the visitors nonetheless.
After a while, we left the bar and ventured to the club. It was called Cirque le Soir. If you haven't been, it's definitely an experience.
Here are some of the other partygoers. It was a quite a mixed crowd. Note the tattooed head, the green trousers, and the man with arms bigger than Bradley Cooper's in 'American Sniper.'
But among the craziness, we had some deep conversations. That guy behind Richard and Charlie looks really mean.
Lots of places to hide, though. We explored the club's hidden secrets, such as this illuminated box.
But soon, it was time to depart. Probably because it was about 5 a.m. We all went to get breakfast at at place called Balans back in Soho. It was nice to end the night full-circle. We had fun. For people who don't know a city, or might want to get to know some new venues and new people, it's quite a good idea.
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