Slated for mid-August, Aspen & Meursault will open within a former pub on Battersea’s Westbridge Road and has an even more esoteric name than its predecessor.
Aspen is a reference to the tree species and Meursault is a reference to a character in Albert Camus extensionalist classic L’Étranger (rather than the famed Côte de Beaune AOC, as most would guess).
“Aspen trees are the second largest living organism in the world. It may look like lots of trees but they’re all connected and share the same DNA,” Hodge explains.
“I chose it to get across the awesomeness of nature. As a character Meursault is unattached and unfeeling, to me he represents man in the city. It’s a reference to the fact that people don’t know where their food and drink comes from or how it has been produced. Overall the name is a juxtaposition between the wonder and connectivity of nature and the dis-connectivity of mankind.”
Wine sourcing policies will have some similarities to Diogenes The Dog but instead of championing 'underdog' wine producing countries and regions Hodge will look to show people that 'natural' wine is not always funky. He will also explore the difference between organic, biodynamic and low-intervention.
"I hesitate to call it a natural wine bar as many people will come away not realising it is," continues Hodge. "The market is more traditional in Battersea so we need to be more accessible and dispel myths surrounding the style. But on the other hand we will have some crazy funky stuff too."
Like Diogenes The Dog, Aspen & Meursault will be located in a quirky corner building that has been rescued from developers looking to turn it into flats.
The site will have 28 to 30 covers inside plus a private room for up to 15 and outdoor seating for 30. It will serve a similar menu to Diogenes The Dog, with a focus on high quality cheese and charcuterie.
Hodge founded Diogenes The Dog in 2018 on Elephant & Castle's Rodney Road.