Kricket is returning to Brixton with a drinks-led restaurant

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Kricket founders Rik Campbell and Will Bowlby
Kricket founders Rik Campbell and Will Bowlby
Indian restaurant Kricket has confirmed it is returning to Brixton with a more drinks-led restaurant that will also act as a test-bed for new dishes.

Founders Rik Campbell and Will Bowlby have signed on the former Brindisa site under the railway arches today (28 March), and hope to open in May.

The site will be split in to two areas, a 40-cover restaurant with a mix of small tables and a large communal table, and a 30-cover bar.

It will be more drinks-led than Kricket’s Soho site, with Indian-inspired cocktails, beers on tap, and a larger back bar with more whiskies and gins.

The restaurant will offer a main menu of Indian street food-inspired dishes, alongside a revolving selection of snack plates served in the bar.

Campbell told BigHospitality​ the site will be used to trial new menu items, with the potential for successful dishes to be rolled-out to the team’s Soho and upcoming White City restaurants.

“We’re using it as a bit of a test kitchen, you get a bit more leeway with customers in Brixton than you do in Soho,” says Campbell.

Taking a raincheck

Kricket ran a shipping container site at Pop Brixton from 2015 to 2017, and launched its first bricks and mortar restaurant​ in Soho in 2016. Campbell says the team has always wanted to reopen in Brixton, and has looked at “probably two dozen” sites in the area over the past year.

kricket-dish

The group is also set to open a 140-cover Kricket – its largest yet – at the Television Centre development​ in London’s White City at the end of the summer.

Campbell says Kricket will take a “raincheck” on London expansion after this year and potentially shift its focus to overseas, rather than other UK cities.

“I don’t see us doing any more in London at the moment after those two,” he says.

“Would Kricket work outside London? Maybe, it’s hard. There’s been some real success stories there with Hawksmoor and Dishoom. Our personal preference would be to do something abroad rather than regionally first. We talked about doing something in Berlin, we did a takeover at Soho House there that went down really well.”

Targeting delivery

He adds that the team’s first delivery-only concept,​ Namma by Kricket – which made its debut at Deliveroo Editions in Whitechapel in February – was performing well so far and could potentially expand to other locations.

It is run by White Rabbit Fund’s operating company Hutch, which also oversees the delivery kitchens of Island Poke and Andrew Wong’s The Chinese Takeaway​ at the same location.

“[Namma] has had some of the highest feedback ratings out of everyone on Editions,” says Campbell.

“Of course we’d like to expand in to additional sites. The first one has only been running for two months, but so far so good.

“If Hutch goes in to [further] Deliveroo Editions it can offer Island Poke, Namma and Chinese Takeaway all under one roof. I read somewhere that Chinese and Indian make up 49% of the delivery market, so it’s quite a lot under one roof.”

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