After providing a JBL solution over two floors at Will Ricker’s burgeoning Shoreditch haunt, The Great Eastern Dining Room, Colin Pattenden’s CP Sound has now equipped Ricker Restaurants’ latest enterprise, La Bodega Negra Mexican restaurant in London’s Soho district.

The two-in-one operation boasts a cafe/taqueria on the ground floor and restaurant lounge down in the basement, each served by its own separate entrance; in keeping with Soho’s heritage, it presents a sleazy sex shop fascia at its Old Compton Street entrance.

In total CP Sound has used more than 20 JBL Control 25 loudspeakers, with the entire venue system powered by no fewer than 12 Crown XLS DriveCore 1000, 1500 and 2000 amplifiers and processed with three dbx DriveRack PA+ devices, all supplied by Sound Technology, exclusive UK and Eire distributors for these Harman Professional brands.

Pattenden has used JBL’s trusty JBL Control series on numerous occasions in the past, specifying them for their versatility. Here he has deployed them liberally in a multizone system over two floors, for distributing background music, either from a computer or fully featured DJ booth (where the DJ receives his reference sound from a JBL Control 28).

Downstairs he has deployed four Control 25’s in the basement’s ‘Toy Room” and further enclosures in the toilets and ancillary areas.

But it is upstairs in the heavily postered Café, which is open all day, that he has detailed the bulk of these enclosures. Six in the ground floor restaurant are complemented by four around the ground floor bar, with a pair each in the taqueria and ‘sex shop’.

The interior has been authentically designed by top New York nightlife guru (and ‘cultural engineer’) Serge Becker, who has managed to imbue the venue with some of the genius for which he has been noted at celebrated New York haunts, The Box, Joe’s Pub, Café Select and La Esquina (on which La Bodega Negra was modelled).

The venue’s general manager Richard Seldon says, “We needed a good, unobtrusive system that could deliver background music, evenly and with clarity. The JBL’s do that.”

As for Colin Pattenden, he adds, “Once again the Control 25’s have delivered a consistent sound and are sufficiently discrete to not intrude on Serge Becker’s design theme. By using the dbx DriveRack PA+ we have been able to automatically EQ and optimize the level settings to take into account the different sound sources — whether they are using a computer music system or playing CD’s on weekend nights from the Pioneer CDJ’s.”

CP Sound has enjoyed a long-term relationship with Ricker Restaurants, who in addition to Great Eastern Dining Room own a number of restaurants, including Eight over Eight, E&O and others.


  • La Bodega Negro, London
  • Shoreditch café and restaurant

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