THE STAR MAN: ROB HIVES
The Star Man
From raves and clubs, to paydays and pubs – Electric Star Group’s founder talks about running late-night London venues
I ’m told that Rob ‘Star’ Hives will meet me for a chat at The Star of Bethnal Green, one of the five pubs that make up his Electric Star Group estate. Bethnal Green Road is sweating with life on the morning of our interview – it’s 27 degrees at 11am in this part of east London, but hustle, bustle and jostling market stalls lead me from Shoreditch High Street station to the site that Star opened up in 2008.
As I peered through the window into a dark and empty pub, I wondered if I’d misread the meeting details. But following a phone call to head oice (which I soon discovered was above the pub), I was quickly being ushered up thin stairwells adorned with bric-a-brac and trip hazards, and into rooms with more of the same. Dusty pop-up bars, drinks samples, various people tapping away on laptops.
Hives by name, hive by business – it was a swarm of activity. The gradual reveal of Electric Star’s HQ turns out to be a nice little metaphor for Star and his rise to this stage of his career. From the outside, it seems like an ordinary, five-site operation, but once you peer further into the foundations, an evolved organisation built on heritage and substance starts to present itself.
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