Owned by the team behind The Blacksmith and The Toffeemaker pub in Clerkenwell – Marc Dalla-Riva and Matthew Rix, the venue will serve coffee and doughnuts and American-themed sandwiches during the day, and craft beers, wine and spirits in the evening. It will be open daily from noon till late.
“The venue is quite a limited space; there is no space to do any sort of restaurant offering as chains of tables are literally not a possibility, so what we’ve had to do is come up with a really rich bar offering – casual, informal and quick.
“We have an American sandwich offering including grilled cheese, philly cheese steak and Cuban sandwiches, which works during the day and will also work as a casual dinner offering.
“We're going for more of a café vibe during the day – we’re going to offer speciality doughnuts from Glazed and Confused, which will complement the premium coffee offering. We wanted something sweet to go with the coffee but we didn’t want to go down the cake and muffin route – doughnuts tie up quite nicely with the American theme our sandwich offering as well,” Rix told BigHospitality.
Spread over two 30-cover floors, the venue will include exposed bricks, concrete and reclaimed wood, with ground floor banquette-style seating and a sofa area overlooking a 25-foot garden.
“We want the garden to be a big feature of the venue so to link the inside and outside better and make it all feel warmer we’ll be using a lot of greenery inside. It is going to be quite neutral but with some flashes of colour,” Rix said about the décor.
The downstairs area will have its own bar and bookable seating booths, and will host events from DJ and open mic nights to poetry and comedy. The whole room can also be taken over for private parties.
“The atmosphere, much like our current bar, will be very relaxed. We don’t want it to be a see and be seen, too cool for school venue. We want everyone to feel welcome,” he said.
In the long term, the duo wants to build a brand and expand its portfolio, with the potential opening of a craft beer bottle shop next.
“The pipeline will have to be quite long, and obviously our hands are totally full with 125 Church Street at the moment. But we do want to expand and get more venues, and if the right place came up of course we would take it,” Rix concluded.