Business partners Chris Peel and Gareth Evans are opening Kench & Bibesy on Long Lane as a ‘side step’ to the current trend of gourmet junk food sweeping across the capital.
The 50-cover upstairs restaurant and basement cocktail bar will therefore serve up a regularly changing menu of British dishes championing sustainable ingredients and independent suppliers along with a unique cocktail list, free from any sponsorship obligations.
Peel, who sold his chain of Monk bars in the north of England to open Evans & Peel last year, told BigHospitality: “Our new approach is stepping away from the connotations of being a pure underground prohibition venue. We've managed to actually make it above basement level with this venue, so have the ability to operate day and night.
“Evans & Peel has been has been lucky enough to continue to be popular - something we feel very, very humbled by.
“Despite this, we make it a point not to accept 'sponsorship' from drink companies, something that ultimately limits products and reduces menu diversity.
“The current cocktail culture has really educated the customer. Thanks to this we can push for quality and an interesting product list - even ‘house’ pours - to develop flavours and to be able to inspire the next generation of chefs and bartenders coming through our ranks.”
Opening on 20 November, Kench & Bibesy will offer up a menu of small plates with dishes including chicken confit (chicken slow-cooked in its own fat with poultry potatoes, apple and raisin sauce) and the ‘Kench chowder’ (smoked fish soup, shelled winkles, roast parsnip, fennel powder, onion ash and garlic chives).
While Peel is keeping the concept and design of Kench & Bibesy’s basement level close to his chest, it will be offering a concise drinks menu containing technical cocktails focusing on crisp, bold flavours, alongside an impressive wine and Champagne menu.
Cocktails will include the Samu-Rye – an American whiskey cocktail made with plum sake and flavoured with oak chips – and the Oenological Manhattan – inspired by the three variations of a Manhattan (sweet, dry and perfect).
Michael Harrison comes in from Evans & Peel as Kench & Bibesy’s head chef, with Marlowe Harris overseeing the bar and Peel managing the whole team.
The art-deco building has been stripped back to its original state, with furniture and artifacts sourced from salvage yards, derelict hospitals and schools across the UK. The bar features mahogany parquet from an old Catholic Grammar School, staff tables from a disused hospital and concrete lights made from the waste produced from building sites across London.
These features make for a relaxed and industrial space suitable for both casual lunches and longer informal dinner and drinks.
Kench & Bibesy will open at 50-52 Long Lane, London, on 20 November.