Fitzdares: ‘World’s Poshest Sportsbook’ Loses London Home
Posted on: January 5, 2023, 12:15h.
Last updated on: January 5, 2023, 01:10h.
Fitzdares, “the world’s poshest bookie,” is looking for a new home. The upmarket, private members club that dishes up lobster croissants with its sports betting odds is being booted from its current location in London’s swanky Mayfair district.
Fitzdares’ owners told The Evening Standard that their landlord, Grosvenor Estates, has given them one month to pack their fine wines and luxury furnishings into their Swaine leather valises and scram.
Some members were described as being in a state of “shock” at the news, and have been offered support (and credit) by the club’s management.
Grosvenor, which is owned by the Duke of Westminster, is planning to renovate some of its properties, which could be a big job since its portfolio comprises half of Central London.
Fitzdares has been at its current location since 2020. The club was founded in 2016 by the gloriously named Balthazar Fabricius with the financial backing of Zac Goldsmith, a poker player, politician, lord of the realm, and scion of the powerful Goldsmith banking family.
Fabricius said he wanted to create a sports betting experience that bucked the trend in the betting industry by offering a personalized, luxury, and exclusive experience.
While most bookies are closing their doors or just going online, we believe that the future of bookmaking is not algorithms or bombarding customers with mass advertising. It is the connection between the bookmaker and the sports fan that really counts,” the company said in a press release when it moved to the Mayfair location.
Certainly, Fitzdares is no “high street bookie.” The betting shops that are ubiquitous in less affluent areas of the UK tend to be pretty basic and unglamorous by design and regulation, and they are not permitted to serve alcohol.
By contrast, Fitzdares keeps a fine cellar of “clarets” and has its own craft beer on tap. As well as a bar, there’s a fine dining restaurant, two private dining rooms, and a dedicated Racing Room.
It is a place where, according to Tatler Magazine, you can “slip a pair of discreetly placed headphones in your ear to listen to the sports commentary as you tuck into the traditional menu of Bresse chicken and truffle dippers [or] burgers made from rump and bone marrow.”
And unlike the traditional high street bookmaker’s shop, it costs £600 (US$500) a year to be a member, with a cap of 2,000 members at any given time.
Meanwhile, the hunt for a new location will continue. CEO William Woodhams told the Standard they’re looking for somewhere else in Mayfair.
After all, Fitzdares and its clientele wouldn’t really fit in anywhere else. And certainly not on the high street.
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