The chef behind the pop-ups Rock Lobsta, Thomas Keller spoof The English Launderette and God Save the Clam, told BigHospitality he fell in love with the pub, owned by publican Sheila Dixon after she invited him along to take a look, prompting him to come up with a new concept to fit the space.
Disco Bistro, as it is called, will be Clarke's first solo venture and will see him taking over both floors of the Carter Lane pub with plans to serve 'trash food' in the downstairs bar and a short, daily-changing simple menu in the 50-cover first floor dining room. Food will be served Monday to Friday with Clarke inviting a guest-chef to take the reins on a monthly Saturday dinner service.
The bar's menu will include Clarke's French-dipped burger, fried chicken wrapped in pigskin and the lobster corn dog served at this summer's God Save
the Clam event in Hackney while the first-floor restaurant's menu will focus on using well-sourced quality ingredients with a 'lack of meddling'. Dishes will include wild sea trout cooked over wood with crispy onions, lime and lavender vinegar and crispy lamb breast with sheep's curd dumplings, black peas and cucumber broth.
A wine list starting at £17 for house wine and including a grower Champagne served at The French Laundry and an English sparkling wine, has been drawn up by former sommelier and Bitten & Written blogger Zeren Wilson.
Artist and lighting designer Alex Randall has come on board to fit the main dining room out with taxidermy squirrel lamps and a gramophone chandelier while architectural salvage company Lassco has taken over the design of a second smaller room, modelling it on a quirky Georgian pantry.
Running for six months, the new project, which opens on 19 November for lunch and dinner, will also be Clarke's longest yet.
"I wanted to dip my toes into a project with more longevity, really getting behind a concept that we believe in, this felt like the right time," he said.
"It also gives us a chance to work with people on a day-to-day basis which is really exciting and rewarding. Most importantly it was the venue which was the tipping point, I just fell in love with The Rising Sun pub. We're going to bring a bit of East London cool to the city."
Clarke, who has worked at Roganic and Cafe Anglais among others, also said his residency could stretch to longer than six months if successful and could be a launch-pad to a more permanent venture in the future.
"Disco Bistro, in effect, will be bringing everything that I’ve done over the years under one roof. It has a bit more legs and the current deal I have here is one I can extend.
"This is the first step. The room or the place has to be an artistic space, it has to be changing all the time in terms of what’s on the walls, who’s cooking, what’s being cooked.
"Yes, I do want to do permanent sites, but not just one. What is important is that they keep the same level of energy that we’ve had with the pop-ups so far."