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Member Spotlight: Barracuda

BakerStreetQ’s Helen Sundaram catches up with Barracuda’s General Manager, Phil Nunn, to find out more about our ‘private member’s club’.

Venturing into Barracuda Casino at No. 1 Baker Street I’m not entirely sure what to expect. Casinos are somewhat alien to me, although they’re clearly very popular, with Barracuda successfully operating on Baker Street some 30 years and, part of Rank PlC’s Grosvenor Casinos, being one of 27 in London, 9 of which are Grosvenor owned.

I’m warmly greeted by Phil, Rank’s ‘National GM Of The Year’ and Regional Sales Manager, Ann Marie, who lead me into the main gaming room. As I take in the gaming tables, attendants and players, I realise that this glamorous world, of which I know very little, is not just for Bond and the hoi polloi – it’s entirely accessible and it’s right here in the Quarter.

How would you describe Barracuda?
We’re more of a private members’ club than a casino but with free membership for anyone over the age of 18. You just need to register on your first visit. We’re open 24/7, and close just one day a year – Christmas Day. We’re launching our chill-out White Lounge (more on that below) and we’re a great option if you’re looking for a place to entertain or hang out with friends and colleagues after work, for private events or, in particular, themed gaming events as well as great dining in our restaurant.

Tell us two facts about Barracuda that we might not know
Next Friday we’re launching our fantastic, new White Lounge, which we’ll host every Friday night from 20.00 til 02.00. With comfy sofas and our new resident DJ playing ambient, Balearic-style beats from classics to contemporary, you’ll be able to kick back and enjoy being served in style in this ultra-relaxing zone.

We can provide learn to play and off-site gaming events to help raise charitable funds – it makes for a really unique night, perfect if you’re planning your office Christmas or new year party. Use our private facility, The White Room, or we can bring gaming tables and assistants to your venue of choice, perhaps as a fun activity.

Err, can I give you another fact? (Ed: oh alright then!) Roulette, Black Jack, Punto Banco (James Bond’s original game of choice) are all played here and we allow minimum bets of just £1 on roulette and £5 on card games.

How does Barracuda benefit from membership of BakerStreetQ?
There are lots of ways we benefit from our membership. For starters we had the opportunity to showcase Barracuda to other members last year when we hosted a ‘game-themed’ Networking Event at which their Smarter Recycling service was launched – The White Room is our plush function space for up to 150 people. We also hosted a gaming area at the Summer Festival in Portman Square Garden in July. We’ve donated prizes for raffles, featured in newsletters and are currently benefitting from exposure on the app, Baker Street Regulars (and on Twitter), through which we’re offering locals 25% off food and drink in our restaurant.

What do you like about the Quarter?
It’s one of the cleanest areas of London and I just love Marylebone High Street. You’re in the heart of everything here but without it being too crazy – it’s an exclusive address and a pretty safe area really. Oh and you never go hungry, that’s for sure!

What would you like to see here in the future?
I’m pretty happy with how it is right now, so keeping it a great community, clean and safe is important to me, my staff and guests. Parking is always an issue for our guests but that’s the downside of a Central London location. Hopefully we will retain some parking facility if we get new traffic flows.

Where’s your go-to local eatery and what’s your favourite dish?
If we’re talking local, I like the Chiltern Firehouse very much. Great food, drink and ambience, I love it.

What’s the first thing you do when you get into work?
Well I work odd hours, arriving at 2 or 4pm and I’m here until midnight or 2am – I’m very outgoing, you need to be in this business, and our staff of 160 work all different shifts so I pop round to say hello, check everyone’s ok and set to work meeting, greeting and hosting.

How do you like to spend your free time?
I love playing golf, watching the football (I’m a Spurs fan) and travelling – I love Goa, Mumbai, I go to Dubai for the World Cup and Abu Dhabi for the Grand Prix.

With its awesome Friday night ‘White Lounge’, plush ‘White Room’, gaming room and restaurant, we think Barracuda ticks a lot of boxes for parties, events and after-work drinks – do pop along and try it.

And don’t forget to join them for the launch night of the White Lounge this Friday, 13 November, from 20.00 to enjoy a free welcome cocktail, canapes, music and gaming.

Barracuda is a member of BakerStreetQ

1D Baker Street

Tel: 020 7935 5013
Twitter: @BarracudaLDN

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