| Karin Bylund

Open Book – meet the man behind private members’ club The Library

Many may have heard of entrepreneur and event management expert, Ronald Ndoro of Apartment 58 and more recently private members’ club The Library. But aside from his successful endeavours and business ventures, who is Ronald Ndoro really? And more importantly, what has the journey been like for a man who continues to wear many hats in an industry known for its numerous pitfalls.

Like opening a book, The Sybarite sat down with Ronald Ndoro in one of The Library’s many eclectic rooms for an intimate conversation to explore the many adventurous and artistic voyages that ultimately led him to create a private members’ club.

With an insatiable appetite for books, it seemed almost eerily fitting that after his mum’s charity shop in Holloway Street closed down, the plethora of leftover books would come to good use for his project so much so that it became the starting point for the concept of The Library. Covered in floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, patrons can easily reach out and grab a volume from every possible genre and indulge in a bit of reading whilst sipping a beverage from a drinks menu that presents itself as varied as the literary selection. Each menu is bound like a book and the cocktails are named after legendary works such as Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”. At The Library every detail has been purposefully attended to – “to make sure that the club fulfills what we set out to do, so that the journey is evident when you come in as a guest – so that the experience is evident, because sometimes if it is not said out loud you do not necessarily see it.”

One such element that enhances the experience is the intentional way in which The Library is lit throughout each space – almost like a metaphor of ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ or ‘transformation’– which is what Ronald would like The Library to evoke in its members as they come in through its large wooden doors. And you do feel it. Being set in the heart of London’s theatreland only further added to the conception of The Library – a location that was chanced upon while pursuing properties in the Mayfair vicinity.

The events brought to Library are just as imperative – being a space for conversation and transformation with theatre, literature, design art and music at its core “anything that enhances that is obviously a good thing”. Asked if Ronald has people or events he would like The Library to work more closely with, he answered “One thing I would really want to do is to reach out to a lot of book publishers, and maybe other libraries as well, and partner up with them, and actually turn this into a real library. Right now we have lots of books and shelves – what I would like to do is to curate our shelves, work out the books, label them, put labels on all the shelves and essentially organize our selection. I also think that it would make day-time trade much, much busier because you’d have a lot more people who are looking for something that they really cannot get anywhere else, and then if you have art students or design students who want to see something or find something – if it is housed here, then again, that is a really good way to attract the right audience”.

The Library is certainly living up to its name but more than that it behaves as a sanctuary for the arts, a place for conversation-starters, entrepreneurs, students and those who want to come to a place to learn new vocations – fancy learning hat making with a renowned couturier? Come to The Library.

Ronald Ndoro, Founder, The Library

The journey for Ronald and Library however, continues to be a constant one where no two days are the same. For someone who runs a private members’ club, all aspects must be considered “ from finances to the legal elements and of course the social aspect of the club – factoring in all the different elements, which is what is nice about it – you are not stuck in an office being a lawyer or being an accountant or being a banker – you are literally doing all of those things in one role because they are all relevant. I mean, there is ongoing building works, so there is an element of construction regulations as well, so you are constantly involved in lots of different trades.”

For a man who wears a different hat each day and yet lends attention to every detail, space and activity within the confines of The Library, it is no wonder that members old and new flock to The Library to experience a truly distinct private members’ club in the cultural heart of London.

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