Transformed into a record-shop-cum-internet-café by original Ibiza DJ Toni Oneto and his wife, Rebecca, in partnership with Ibiza stalwart, Alex Ellenger (now Eden resident). It is called Plastic Fantastic and is linked to the Covent Garden record shop of the same name.
Winter 2001-2002, Toni and Rebecca’s old friend Colin Butts is looking for somewhere to put his recording studio and to get involved in another Ibiza-based business and suggests using the back third of the record shop, which is being used as a makeshift office. Fairly substantial building work needs to be done to accommodate the studio, so to utilise the extra space it is decided to put in a low-key, trendy little bar, aimed at ‘in-the-know’ workers keen to escape the madness of the West End.
With Colin still heavily involved in writing and music and Toni & Rebecca expecting their first child Luca, Andy Matthews joins as a partner to run the bar.
June 1st 2002 the bar opens. At first the bar is called @the studio to reflect the fact that the studio and Internet café are very much part of the equation. The bar starts to get a reputation as being one of the few cool places near to the West End to hang out, based largely around a worker clientele but also attracting those keen to avoid bar crawls and football shirts. Problem is, everyone still calls it “Plastic”…
2003 and the bar changes its name to Plastik (spelt with a “K” so as not to confuse it with its previous incarnation as Plastic Fantastic). The record shop is still there but the Internet café goes and the bar takes over most of the location. Plastik pioneers the first DJ competitions for workers and holidaymakers. Dermot C joins the team.
In a way, 2004 could be credited as being the real birth of Plastik as it’s the first year Plastik solely trades as a bar and the Buddha theme is introduced. Between 2004-2006 the bar starts to take over the whole shop. At first the DJ stand is built behind the old record shop counter but then that counter becomes the main bar and a purpose built DJ stand is erected.
In 2005, the recording studio goes and a terrace is made out the back. Plastik starts hosting pre-parties for the likes of Hed Kandi and Miss Moneypenny’s. The bar starts to attract a lot of press with its “Lounge Bar Revolution” and “Changing the face of San Antonio” marketing campaigns. Some of the smarter bar owners in the West End realise that the days when they can just open their doors without investing any money in their premises and relying on offering cheap and nasty spirits to get the Brits as pissed as possible are coming to an end, so a rash of other lounge type bars start to open.
2006 the road outside Plastik is pedestrianised, although the works finish late forcing a tardy start to the season. An outside terrace is attempted but proves problematic with the neighbours. Despite being in the West End, Plastik starts to attract its first celebrities. However, it becomes clear that despite the bar’s efforts the West End’s reputation is going to prove problematic to the direction the bar wants to take. Despite this, Plastik is nominated as bar of the year in the prestigious DJ Awards held at Pacha, unheard of for a West End bar. When the landlord expresses his desire to knock down the bar to re-develop, the decision is made to find a new location the following summer so the bar can evolve to the next stage in its growth
In 2008 Plastik responds to its increasing number of VIP and celebrity guests by opening a VIP area behind the DJ stand. The bar’s efforts to improve the image of San Antonio is reflected by Pete Tong moving his Wonderland night to Eden and Ibiza Rocks opening their hotel in San Antonio.
2009 and not only does the recession begin to bite but the bar is forced to open a little later than usual. However, Plastik soon makes up for lost time with Stephen Gerard, Dizzee Rascal and JLS enjoying the VIP and pleasing their fans.
2010-2011 2010 gets off to a worrying start with the Icelandic volcano rumbling away and flights cancelled. Rather than the volcano going off though it’s Plastik that registers on the Richter scale, in no small part thanks to the likes of Clubland adding to the celeb count and asking the bar to host N-Dubz singer Tulisa’s birthday party. Tulisa enjoyed herself so much she came back a couple of times the following year, as did actor Danny Dyer. Another VIP area is installed to the left of the bar and 2011 saw the Pukka Up boat party pre-parties explode in popularity.