The Opera Tavern - a Victorian pub on Catherine Street - will reopen as bar/restaurant Opera Tavern in January following a soft opening phase.
Like Salt Yard and Dehesa, the new concept will offer small plates of Italian and Spanish food with an emphasis on charcuterie and cheese. In a first for the group, the downstairs bar will feature an open charcoal grill. The venue will specialise in meat from the black Iberian pig, which can be cooked rare.
Jamie Thickett, currently sous chef at Dehesa, will be head chef overseen by executive chef Ben Tish.
Gap in the market
Simon Mullins, who owns the business with wife and business partner Sanja Morris, said there is a gap in the market for high-quality mid-priced independents in east Covent Garden.
"West Covent Garden has Terroirs and is soon to have Les Deux Salons and the second Hawksmoor site, but I think the east is currently under served," he said. "The area as a whole has become a lot more appealing to Londoners, I think it's set to experience the same sort of foodie lift as Soho."
The pub will be refitted but some original features will be retained. Davis Coffer Lyons acted on behalf of landlord Shaftesbury PLC.
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