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Who’s in and who’s out in Soho clubland

20 January 2023

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

Keen followers of the Soho scene will be aware that certain great fixtures of Dean Street are undergoing something of a facelift. Rakewell refers not to a person, but two great clubs: the scene-setting Groucho club, recently taken over by Iwan Wirth as part of what one might call his ever-growing art and hospitality outfit, Art Farm, and the Grand Dame of Soho herself, Quo Vadis.

Do not worry, the changes that are taking place will leave one of London’s greatest artworks, the Seven Noses of Soho, unaffected, but there will be a change of entry for Quo Vadis. It is time to bid farewell to its always-welcoming resolving doors as they will soon be replaced by much more accommodating, but far less idiosyncratic revolving doors. But fear not: the doors have been donated to that regular feature on Forbes lists, Iwan Wirth, and will be installed, a short stroll away, at the Groucho.

When the Groucho re-opens, and the art world scenesters are crowding through the entranceway to pay homage to the works of Damien Hirst and Peter Blake, Rakewell is sure the doors will prove most helpful in providing ease of access to the treasures on the other side. Let us hope that they do not become a metaphor for the club itself and the membership doesn’t become something of a revolving door.

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.