Finding Experimental Cocktail Club, the secret mixology den at 13A Gerrard Street in Chinatown, is no easy feat. But, once you spy the unmarked door tucked between two bustling Chinese restaurants and make your way up the narrow flight of stairs, your efforts will be rewarded with a seductive speakeasy vibe, unbelievably delicious cocktails boasting exotic ingredients like saffron syrup and violette liqueur, and, rarest of all, a late-night liquor license that doesn't quit until 3 a.m.
It's all just another day at the office for the ECC boys, co-founders Pierre-Charles Cros, Romée de Goriainoff, and Olivier Bon, and new partner Xavier Padovani, whose cocktail empire extends from their native Paris (where they also have a wine bar and steakhouse) to New York City. Their next big move? Opening an ECC in Ibiza's Salinas National Park in time for the 2013 season. Start booking those flights now, kids.
With endless projects in motion and a train to Paris to catch, the London-based Cros kindly found the time to take us to some of the local spots he frequents when he's not playing host at ECC until the wee hours of the morning. Click through for a taste of Soho's most fascinating finds.
Photographed by Kate Cox