Together with Antoin Commane, Diego Bivero Volpe has done London's night life scene many massive favours in the past five years. The fabled 'partners-in-crime' are the brains behind such visionary night spots as London’s Bodo’s Schloss, the newly revamped Brompton Club and coming up this summer on the Kings Road, an enigmatic Vodka-laden ode to yesteryear's Russian Elite.
No wonder then that the successful nightclub entrepreneur was all smiles when I caught up with him at Cecconis’ in Mayfair last week. Fresh from a quick stopover in Dubai for the opening of Act – a new club by New York impresario Simon Hammerstein – he had time to share his thoughts with Quintessentially Insider before celebrating his 30th birthday this week with a VIP charity party at The Rook & Raven Gallery in aid of Kids Company [see details below]. “I originally didn’t want to celebrate it at all. I don’t like putting events on for myself. But people were like ‘you have to do it!’ So I decided this year, if I’m going to spend a lot of time and energy organising something, then let’s do something worth the effort.” With sponsors including La Bodega Negra and Patron Tequila, and surprise entertainment including his pals from The Kooks, guest DJ’s and some very neat art work on display by Celina Teague and Sarm Derbois, this “little bash” promises to be quite special for all involved. “Birthday’s are such a good opportunity to connect people. There’s this contagious celebratory vibe to them. This time round, everyone donates 20 pounds. It’s not a whole lot of money, but it goes along way for the charity.”
He is also quick to enthuse about his superlative partnership with Antoine, and their upcoming venture on the Kings Road – a new Muscovian watering hole that will open in the summer, serving vodka and caviar to London’s discerning elite. “It will be called Ruski’s. There’s a theme there, which always seems to do well. That’s the sort of thing we like to invest in and create. As London keeps growing and gets more diversified, it accumulates that Parisian, New York angle…casual dining, with an amazing atmosphere!”
Returning again to the themed Vodka and Caviar Bar opening this summer, his eyes sparkle as he relates the background story for Ruski’s.
With so much awareness for the zeitgeist of the current generation, it is no wonder that Diego’s own history is full of surprises. Asking him about his obvious love of beautiful clothes (his aura speaks International Jetset-come-Hamptons refinement), he says that it was not always that way. “I used to be a skater.” He smiles fondly. “I was more of a baggy jeans, backwards cap kinda guy. I turned up to places with baggy jeans, a hoodie, rings, my board…but as I grew older, I developed another aesthetic. And I really enjoy beautiful clothes. And I think with age more so. I am drawn to surfaces, textures. Take this bar for instance. It’s such an unusual design. But it’s beautiful!”
Talking about his beautiful other half who shot to fame in TV’s Lark Rise to Candleford and who will be appearing in new crime drama television series 'Endeavour' for ITV on 14th April, the Venezuelan-born Made In Chelsea star’s eyes light up. They met at a dinner he put on for a friend at Annabel’s club, the exclusive members-only outfit on Berkeley Square – “It was a pretty mental night. It was also her birthday. I remember chatting, getting along really well. Then we saw each other here and there. It was a swift romance.” And with so much natural charm of his own, would he ever leave the night life scene for a career in front of the camera? “My mother is an actress. I grew up in that world, you know. But it’s gruelling. I think you have to have an overwhelming passion for it. You have to have that interest and curiosity. And you really have to do what you love.”
And creating new concepts is what he loves. Returning again to the themed Vodka and Caviar Bar opening this summer, his eyes sparkle as he relates the background story for Ruski’s. “It is based on a famous bar opened by Nikolai Marirusskiy, a Soviet army officer, in St Petersburg. Opened in the early 20's…and miraculously surviving the wars…it was a go-to destination for Russian elite and artistic intelligentsia. It was a place they came to escape, let loose and be debauched. We aim to bring this same fun, non-pretentious energy to the King's Road”. And with so much creative energy and obvious talent on display, anything’s possible for the young entrepreneur, including, perhaps, a move into the world of mobile technology and its uses in delivering healthcare to developing countries. “Nightlife is so exclusive. This stuff is all about ‘how can you make things inclusive’, and it’s an incredible thing to think about. It’s so easy to say no. and to shy out of taking the risks. But whatever it is you want to do, at the end of the day, there’s nothing you can really lose.”
A PARTY IN AID OF KIDS COMPANY takes place this Friday at the Rook & Raven Gallery on Rathbone Place. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for further info about this epic event. Diego would like to thank: Tequila Patron, FIJI Water, 1936 Bier, UBER, TSS Security, Rook and Raven Gallery and La Bodega Negra and all of those whom have donated to Kids Company
Love the cause? You too can donate here: www.justgiving.com/rockrenfork...
Photography by Tatler