This Wednesday (21 March) sees the opening of Meter Bar & Eatery – a new pizzeria and bar concept from acclaimed DJ James Priestley, aiming to offer 'a slice of Naples in urban Shoreditch'.
The 2,000 sq.ft, 80-cover site is situated on City Road, within the space of the City Arts & Music Project (CAMP), which Priestley launched two years ago. Meter will offer pizza by the metre, set to the background music of the DJ’s own soundtrack.
“While not re-writing the rule book, this is a style of preparing and cooking pizza which isn’t being done locally, and is great for sharing and really getting stuck in,” Priestley told BigHospitality.
“That, coupled with the fact that Monday to Friday the music will be programmed to a very modest level and tempo, should create more of a grown-up late night drinking environment, away from the hectic feel of central Shoreditch.”
On the menu
Italian chef Valentino Fontana will head up Meter’s kitchen, with the pizza identified by numbers; ‘Uno’ being tomato, mozzarella and basil, while ‘Due’ is tomato, anchovies, capers, olives and garlic. ‘Nove’ features mascarpone, walnuts, mozzarella and radicchio.
Other ‘kicks’ on the menu will include homemade scamorza croquettes, veal and almond meatballs as well as signature Italian ‘Dolci’, including affogato and tiramisu.
Meter's bar area, headed up by Helen Rhianon, will feature a short drinks list, with a full selection of Italian wines and international and locally brewed beers.
Priestley added: “We’ve had food offer on the CAMP site up until now, which has been ok and functional, but nothing to write home about. Meter is all about changing that and I’m really enjoying the new challenges and experiences that the restaurant industry will throw at me.”
The site is fully in keeping with its East London surrounds; exposing the original terrazzo flooring, using reclaimed wood for area partitions, and a selection of mid-century seating and sofas.
Not too ambitious
Speaking of his preparation and confidence ahead of launching his first hospitality business in the UK, Priestley said: “I guess you can never feel 100 per cent prepared for something like this as there are so many variables, plus I’m a perfectionist and sometimes you have to just let go otherwise you don’t move forward.
“We have deliberately decided to keep the menu modest and not too ambitious and would rather offer a few dishes to a really high standard rather than trying to run before we can walk.”
Priestley is not the only DJ to have turned his hand to the restaurant industry in recent months. BigHospitality recently reported on the quick success of Borija – a bar in Northampton headed up in part by international rave DJ Paul Clarke , while ex-DJ and Apple executive Martin Morales this month opened his first Peruvian restaurant Ceviche in Soho's Frith Street.