Brothers Chris and Daniel O’Connor, Chris’ partner Siobhan O’Donnell and step brother James Brundle will launch the downstairs burger bar and convenience store in Clapton later this month, with the upstairs restaurant following in May.
The collective, who are also behind the award-winning Walthamstow Spar and neighbouring Eat 17 bistro along with their trademark ‘Eat 17 Bacon Jam’, have taken on the former Brooksbys Snooker Hall on Chatsworth Road in Lower Clapton an area which has welcomed a number of other new independent food businesses of late.
“We can’t wait to become a part of this thriving community,” said co-director James Brundle. “We’re East London born and bred and we already own a buzzing restaurant and convenience store in the village of Walthamstow. We feel that the experience we have gained over the years can be replicated to bring the same benefits to Lower Clapton.”
The new Eat 17 venture will see chef-director Chris O’Connor take the reins as head chef of the 50- cover restaurant, serving up accessibly-priced, internationally-influenced dishes like smoked chicken noodles, crispy skin, enoki and pork shoulder, smoky beans, crème fraiche, spinach & hazelnuts.
The main restaurant will be situated in the impressive upstairs room of the hall, which retains many of its original features such as decorative cornicing and ceiling fans, and will boast a long, grand bar down the back wall. It will be open in the evenings only.
“There’s nothing else like this in the area,” added James. “We want people to come here for a meal and feel a bit ‘wowed’ by the room and the experience. But it will still be very relaxed and comfortable, competitively priced, and you can just come for a drink and a snack at the bar if you like.”
Bacon Jam burger
Downstairs, polished concrete floors and a single, floor-to-ceiling pane of glass fronting the space will create a modern, airy feel for the self-service, 28-cover burger bar and convenience store. The burger bar will offer a focused, well-priced menu of burgers, including the famous grass-fed beef and Eat 17 Bacon Jam burger, and will be the first place to sell craft beer from Hackney Wick’s Crate brewery on tap.
The convenience store will look to emulate its Walthamstow cousin, selling everything from kitchen towel to gourmet sausages; Eat 17’s famous homemade ‘ready meals’; and freshly-baked organic bread from its Walthamstow bakery and tasty pastries. All the meat for the restaurant and burger bar is organic and free range, and being sourced from rare breed London butcher Turner and George.
Eat 17 Bacon Jam, was first publicised in an article by BigHospitality’s sister title The Grocer in 2011 after a trial run of 100 jars in Spar Village Stores in Walthamstow, also owned by O’Connor, sold out in one weekend. Subsequent listings in farm shops, delis and London department store Selfridges, plus coverage in national newspapers and on TV led to Tesco buyer James MacNay knocking on Eat 17’s door less than a year later.
Eat 17 restaurant, burger bar and convenience store will open on Chatsworth Road, Lower Clapton in April/May.