One man's dream to resurrect the Crocker name takes you on a fascinating journey.
1346Venice is a café and bar with a story. In a converted warehouse in the backstreets of Waterloo sits this cool space. Part café, part bar, part fashion store and part museum. With 10 of only 64 Crocker Motorcycles ever made residing here, it is no wonder most sit behind a bullet proof glass showcase surrounded by high tech security cameras. Why so much security for some "old bikes"? These are no ordinary bikes. The value of each and every one will astound you. Just one could pretty much buy you a house, with an original Crocker valued at between US 600,000 - $1.2 million. "King of Cool" Steve McQueen used to ride one. 'Nuff said.
Chilli, the owner & founder has the rights to remanufacture these marvellous machines and will be doing so in limited numbers, keeping it exclusive. The launch for the first one was recently held and, not surprisingly, orders were placed.
1346Venice is one of those raw warehouse spaces with high ceilings and interesting, eclectic furnishings. While it has a distinct "man cave" feel about it, it is also definitely female friendly. Personally, I am a lover of converted warehouse spaces and love the airy high ceilings, raw brickwork and eclectic vibe it exudes. What seems like a whole bunch of mismatched furniture, which is a style in itself, is actually well thought out and planned pieces, most tying into the Crocker Brand & Design in some way.
The cohesive branding also carries through to the Apparel. The Limited Edition range of 8 pieces all have aspects of the bike incorporated into the design with inspiration drawn from the first remanufactured Crocker. Just like the bikes, the apparel will be available in limited quantities, keeping it exclusive. The pieces I saw were unique and well made, with "look book" cards available to help a man dress in style.
Food wise, they serve American style burgers which come with fries. We tried their famed "Juicy Lucy", which is definitely a man sized burger and the BBQ Pulled Pork. Both were tasty. There is also a small but satisfying bar menu that has plenty of vegetarian options available such as risotto balls and polenta bites, so you can feast or nibble.
The space lends itself well to functions with its open feel combined with plenty of cosy corners and seating and they are currently working on finishing an outdoor BBQ area which should be ready for summer. While the bar menu has something for everyone, they also have the facilities to cater for large groups and it strikes me as a great venue for a Christmas Party or Product Launch, or any function that requires a great space with loads of character, the sort you wont get in a restaurant or hotel function room.
Entertainment wise, there is yet another layer to this wonderful place. Once a month on a Saturday, the venue plays host to the "Venice Sessions", a night of live music and bands which is gaining a very popular following.