Get the lowdown on Neon 194 in the founder’s own words...
Make this beautifully reimagined space your own, whether mingling with freelancers in the workspace and café by day, or unwinding at the bar and events space by night.
We caught up with Neon 194’s founder, Cymon Eckel, about what to expect at this exciting joint venture between Eckel of Mass & Void and Aaron Mellor of Tokyo Industries that’s open now.
What can we expect from Neon 194?
It’s a place to be, see and hear – a cultural space, with great food and happenings.
Neon 194 is a multi-faceted space that acts as a home, a lounge, a meeting point, a breakfast, a lunch, post-work drinks, an exhibition, and a night-time space showcasing a broad selection of talks, gigs, performances and events, right in the heart of central London.
From a property perspective, you could say it’s a great execution of, post-Covid, re-purposing, where demands have changed, and people interact with us throughout the needs of their day.
How would you describe the vibe?
Very friendly, very human, relaxed and staffed by people that care and are passionate about other peoples’ experiences.
Our key aim is to become a recognisable part of the St James’s and broader West End community. A place to rest or relax or to party, depending on the time of the day and week.
What’s the decor?
It is wood-panelled, warm and lounge-like on the ground floor. We have added lots of soft furnishings and mid-century-modern-inspired pieces into a previously art-deco-themed interior… so through varying furniture, we’ve kind of relaxed the original art deco vibe, but it leaves you clearly with a sense of the space being about quality and fun.
The former restaurant floor downstairs is like a ballroom… a New-York-style ballroom, with deep red banquettes and tables, soft, warm light, and also fantastic sound and lighting.
Is there music?
The café, lounge and bar will always be filled with music… not intrusive, but curated by varied personalities, DJs and musicians.
Thursdays and Fridays will see DJs playing in the bar and lounge, but it’s a kind of sofa set thing, not in your face, with more focus on the diversity of the music.
From an events perspective, we call ourselves a cross-cultural platform. Our intention is to showcase art, music, comedy, cabaret and all manner of events. But, yes, music is the common thread through all of these functions.
What’s on offer in terms of food and drink?
Firstly, all of our pricing is accessible and complimentary to what we offer… we focus on fantastic produce and suppliers of quality.
Our food menu is international and casual, we tweak classics and reflect street food ideas.
It’s very craft- and process-light in support of this idea of drop in and fuel up!
We serve freshly squeezed juices, teas by Good & Proper, coffee by Ozone, a selection of bottled and draught craft beers, and our wines are excellent – the like of which you won't see elsewhere, supplied by new wholesaler Hop Cellar.
So, tell us more about the food…
The menu is devised around great produce, simply prepared, with the service focused on fun, sharing and relaxed dining.
We produce house ketchups, marinate our own olives and veg, openly work with other chefs through pop-ups and develop dishes in tandem.
The menu is organised around three key timings:
• An all-day breakfast and brunch, featuring classic egg and avocado dishes, bacon brioche and other staples.
• Lunch is an Italian-inspired deli operation serving sandwiches, salads and antipasti, which is also “grab and go”.
• A post-work and evening swift service, offering up homemade bar snacks, sharing plates, crostini and small plates.
We will also serve up rotating specials across the day.
When is Neon 194 open?
We’re open 8am to 11pm so come down and visit us.
Will you be hosting special events, gigs and sets?
Yes, we are programming all manner of events across the spectrum. Find out more on our Instagram, @neon194piccadilly.