Supper Clubs and Demo and Dine experiences are proving very popular. With supper clubs becoming all the rage, it has led many to fairly question what exactly is a supper club? And whether it is just a restaurant. Whilst the two on the surface do seem similar, a restaurant is somewhere you simply go to eat, but a supper club is so much more than that.

Essentially, a supper club is a dining establishment that also functions as a social club. In some parts of the world, the term supper club has become associated with underground restaurants or pop-ups. It is somewhere to enjoy food, hence ‘supper’, and somewhere to be social with others, hence the term ‘club’. Whilst supper clubs may seem hip and trendy, they actually date back to the 1930s during the Great Depression in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the US, where one of the first supper clubs was founded.

Of course, like any popular trend, supper clubs have made their way across the Atlantic and began popping up in the UK three decades ago, where talented chefs adjusted the original concept to suit an indigenous context of gentleman’s clubs. This altered the US model considerably. In the 1980s a new generation of private membership clubs were established, each bringing good food served exclusively in private dining rooms not accessible to the general public. Diners paid an annual membership fee for the privilege.

Fast forward a few decades and supper clubs have moved away from this kind of exclusivity to become more inclusive, gaining in popularity. The supper club has become less formal, often specialising in a particular cuisine, where you can be guided by the expertise of the host, interacting with others, in either a large or small group, in settings that aren’t a traditional restaurant.