Meaning “Polpo’s Place”, da Polpo will be a more informal spin-off of Norman and business partner Richard Beatty’s original Venetian bacaro in Soho.
Set to open on 2 June on the former site of Pad in Maiden Lane, which the pair secured in November last year, da Polpo will offer an all-day Venetian small plate menu with a new meatball section and extended pizza and ‘pizzetta’ section.
Norman, who opened his third site Spuntino last month, told BigHospitality that the 75-cover restaurant would have “an emphasis on fun”.
“When you go to Italy you very often find places called ‘da’, which means place or gaff, so da Polpo roughly translates as Polpo’s Gaff.
“I hope it will be an open and accessible version of Polpo. that will appeal to the business and residential community of Covent Garden as well as the shopping, theatre-going and day tripping community that tend to populate the area in the evenings and weekends.
“Da Polpo will be slightly more relaxed - there won’t be a strict, slavish adherence to the Venetian model. The wine list at Polpo is exclusively northern Italian, but the wine list at da Polpo will extend down to Sicily and Puglia. We won’t necessarily be strict on serving the traditional dishes you’d find at Polpo – we’ll be more relaxed.”
Group chef Tom Oldroyd will continue to oversee the menu development of all four restaurants, while group manager Luke Bishop will head up the operations across the sites.
More restaurants planned
Norman, who also operates the 28-cover Polpetto in Dean Street, a “jewel-box version” of Polpo, added that while plans for the fifth and sixth restaurants under the Norman-Beatty banner, also pegged for central London, were already being considered, they would be “completely different” to Polpo and Spuntino.
“It was never the plan to open specifically a string of restaurants based around a Venetian idea but it has always been our plan to open a family of restaurants with connections.
“We’re not going to do anything else this year once da Polpo is open. We’ll concentrate on making sure everything is exactly as it should be in those four sites. If we find a fantastic site in the meantime then things might change, but right now we have no intention of actively looking or taking on anything else for the rest of the year.”