The Phoenix Artist Club's ‘Hub at the Club’ initiative features fully independent fibre optic connections, four routers and mobile phone signal boosters to improve signal quality in a bid to attract workers during the day.
The Camden venue offers unlimited free hot drinks and free access to its Wi-Fi from 10am until 5pm on weekdays to its customers, largely drawn from the creative and artistic communities.
Managing director Ken Wright said: “Last August we had a gross of £55,000, compared with this August where we made £72,000. We have had nothing but good feedback, it has all been positive.
“We have been stunned at the success of the scheme, as this time last year we had no one in because we are a cellar bar in central London.”
Wright added that as a result of the scheme, sales of premium products, lunches, dinners and private space hire has soared, but that customers don’t take unfair advantage of the free services on offer.
He explained there is lack of sites in cities nationwide which allow access to space and technology for small enterprises that can’t afford to hire a hot desk or are unable to work from home.
“We draw the blinds over the spirits to give the site a more business environment as we really try to provide these customers with a professional environment.
“We are looking into things like live streaming as we have a number of creative industries visit us who are London-based and are looking to conduct worldwide conference calls, which our Wi-Fi would support.”
Wright has urged the industry to “adopt and adapt” and said: “Pubs and clubs need to fight back against bland chain coffee shops, and the mobile technology revolution can bring about a genuine resurgence in a venue’s claim to be a vital community hub. It is the community that has changed and the industry needs to keep up with the times.”
Are mobile phones bad for an atmosphere in the pub?