St. Patrick’s Day weekend, which is this weekend, at Ku Bar Leicester Square is always something very special and just a littler bonkers… Dave Cross had a catch up with the Irish born owner of the Ku Group, Gary Henshaw to find out where the Leprechaun gold is hidden.
Hi Gary, your venues have a cool, stylish, sexy image, so people may be surprised to learn that you have a tradition of totally embracing St. Patrick’s Day, what’s the Craic?
What’s uncool, unstylish or unsexy about St. Patrick’s Day? Haven’t you ever slept with an Irishman, you ought to be ashamed of yourself… haha. On St. Patrick’s Day the entire Irish population celebrates our national day worldwide from Cork to Chicago, Dublin to Darwin and Limerick to London. Rivers across the world run green and parades are bigger in the USA than Ireland itself. There is a saying that everyone has a bit of Irish in them, and the Irish population have done our very best to keep that promise. It’s all about celebrating Irish culture, music and fun otherwise known as Craic. As a Dublin-born Irish man I and Ku will be fully embracing St. Patrick’s Day across all Ku Group venues.
This year the day itself is on Sunday, but will we get a whole weekend of Irish delights?
Yes so this year it’s St. Patrick’s Weekend. Friday 15 to Sunday 17 March. The Six Nations Rugby final takes place on the Saturday 16 March, England and Wales are in the lead but could the ‘Luck of the Irish’ win through. Saturday night the Ku boyz will be adorned with shamrocks and little else. We will be playing just a few of your favourite tunes while keeping all our venues buzzing as ever.
And on Sunday, it’s totally bonkers isn’t it?
Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day and London celebrates with a huge parade and a massive knees up in Trafalgar Square. Expect tens of thousands of Irish and their friends to be celebrating across the West End.
And lots of B*witched, U2, The Pogues, Boyzone?
I personally take control of the music on Sunday, and yes you can expect to hear all the music that Ireland is famous for. The oldies and current, from West Life to the Script and Hozier.
Are you Guinness or Champagne?
I have never taken to the Black Stuff although it’s the national drink and we will be selling barrels of it over the weekend. My drink of choice will be Magners Irish Cider, I call it Irish Champagne. Of course our signature ‘Blow Job Shot’ with Baileys will be another big seller.
Since we last spoke, Ku won big at the Boyz awards, you were voted Best Bar, Best Bar Staff and Stefanos Best Host, what does that mean to you?
It is of course a huge thing to have your venue recognised and awarded Best London Venue. We really could not ask for more and our thanks are very genuine to all our loyal customers. Congratulations also to our host Stefanos for winning Best Host. But the biggest and most wonderful award is Best Bar Staff and I firmly believe that to be true. Everyone who came together as one to encourage all our customers to vote, they could only do that if they were indeed the best. So congratulations to all our managers, staff, PR people, back of staff etc. This was a win for the Ku Bar Family. Thank you!