The Refinery Chelsea
It's tricky to know where to start this note. But to cut to the chase, sadly The Refinery Chelsea will be permanently closing at the end of June.
During lockdown I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the last 7 years of The Refinery.
When I think about how special it’s been (and I do believe it’s been something truly special), my thoughts just turn to one thing - the people.
Ever since we opened in January 2013, Radnor Walk has felt like a home away from home. And I’m pretty sure that feeling comes from the people you spend your time around. People like Jess Lavers and Robbie Honey who are absolute bosses at what they do - but always seem to have time for others - no matter what they’ve got on their plate.
We've not been the flashest outfit in town. Lord knows they could have joined a WeWork and it would have been much more impressive (and easier to connect to the printer). But they chose to join us. And I’m really grateful they did.
For all the building’s charm it also certainly kicked up a few challenges…
The Great Break In of 2015, countless neighbors deciding it would be a good idea to do noisy building projects and the odd visit from a mouse or two.
Oh and of course the leaks. One thing’s for sure I won’t miss the deep anxiety of wondering whether our members are being drenched every time I look outside and it’s raining.
But the character and quirkiness of the building has probably been what has attracted the sorts of members we've had. And when I brag about The Refinery (and I do unashamedly brag about it) it’s always about the people.
I was digging through some old emails this week and found this message from one of our previous members which seems fitting right now..
‘It's very treasured that no matter what we're dealing with on a daily business sense, there is a journey we're all on, which we all share together, and that creates a lovely bond no matter where we're heading'.
So whenever in the future I think of 13 Radnor Walk, I’ll think of the people. And I will miss them.
What does the future hold?
As some of you may know, we’ve been working on launching new venues, at both Parsons Green and Holland Park. Here’s an update on those venues...
Parsons Green Venue
There's good news and there's bad news with this. We went a long way down this path and managed to get a deal with the landlord. But in the end we decided to pull out and focus on Holland Park. So the bad news is The Refinery will not be launching a workspace here.
But the good news is, another coworking operator will be!
Amazingly, and serendipitously, some friends of ours (Lowe Guardians) just so happen to have plans to launch a workspace in this part of town. So we’ll be handing the reins of this venue over to them.
It’s an amazing space, with lots of natural light, and will be priced affordably.
We'll be able to give the full low down and outline the offer at some point later this month, at which point Lowe Works will also open a waiting list for membership.
The Refinery Holland Park
This space is receiving support from RBKC council and we are currently ironing out some of the details here. Plans are progressing well and we hope to launch The Refinery Holland Park (at 205 Holland Park Avenue) in the summer of 2021.
We'll keep you updated via our newsletter.
Thanks if you’ve read this far.
And if you’re one of our past or present members - a massive thanks for being a part of the journey up to this point.
Myself and Laura (our Community Host) - taken at The Refinery Christmas party