The Dead Dolls Club runs regular pop-up events in London. Founded by designers Adam Towner and Katy Gray Rosewarne, it started organising events like rooftop parties and Barbecues in 2010, but now for the winter it’s focussing on more warming food with their Stew House Pop-up Restaurant in Hackney. The pop-ups are a sideline to their design work; as Tinker and Tailor they have designed a window display for Selfridges, and they are also now organising custom events for clients.
I went to their studio in Well Street at the weekend they talked me through how they work. They’ve now done quite a few events, and so they’ve got to know the sort of events that are successful. Their formula is to find and decorate a great space, get a lot of people in, to a dress code, get them to mingle, provide food, drink, and then music, and let everyone have a great time. Prices are kept low so that you get as good a mix as possible. Their friend Daryl, a chef at a top restaurant, does the food, and other friends DJ. It works: they get lots of re-bookings from people who have been to earlier events, who bring more friends along, and they also recruit serving staff through their Facebook page. They also let other people in to the event after dinner has been served, to make it more like a secret bar.
Venues are found through asking around, and they get around the legal issues of selling alcohol by taking out a temporary event notice, which also means that pop-ups can only run for three consecutive days. Demand seems to be growing though, and they’ve had to add extra days for the Stew House. They say that currently the market is right for it; they told me about another pop-up they’ve got planned, which, if it comes off, you’ll probably read an awful lot about.
I really enjoyed my time with Adam and Katy. The Studio is lots of fun (Scalextric on the ceiling, a cabinet doubling as a secret door) and they clearly have lots of fun organising their events. To hear them talk they make it sound very easy, but it clearly isn’t!
There are still some tickets left for Stew House - due to a sell-out January at the Stew House they have now added two new dates – 3rd & 4th February – which you can book here. If you miss out this time then look out for their future events.