Located within a railway arch in Acton Mews, the venue will also function as a product and menu development kitchen for executive chef Leo Carreira and team, who plan to open the restaurant in September.
The Sea, The Sea was launched by Alex Hunter and Carreira in 2019 and is considered one of the UK’s most innovative seafood restaurants, specialising in very fresh seafood alongside lesser-known produce such as gooseneck barnacles and velvet crabs.
It operates as a high-end fishmonger by day, converting to a seafood bar with a terrace in the evenings. Carreira’s Chelsea restaurant dry ages much of its fish and this practice will continue at the Hackney site, with a walk-in dry-ageing room.
Whilst the company offers a full range of species for retail in-store and online, its wholesale offering will be more specialist, focusing on line-caught day-boat fish, live shellfish and underappreciated products such as garfish and seaweed.
Having established direct links with fishermen in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, the company will buy direct from boats, collected in its own vans and driven straight to the Hackney facility to be processed and sent out to restaurants that night.
Alongside the fish and shellfish, the team will also produce a range of stocks, sauces and garums with Carreira’s 'signature creative style' for sale to the trade and consumers.
“When we lost our restaurant revenue in lockdown, we saw it as an opportunity to cross-train our team and grow our retail trade for which there has been a huge demand,” says Hunter.
“As a result, the team is stronger, we have a better-rounded organisation, and our revenues have grown exponentially. With our Hackney facility, we can take this experience into product development, specialist wholesale and expand our online retail services to become a truly London-wide brand”.
More details on the dine-in side of the new business are due soon, but Carreira planning a menu that is an evolution of the direction set at Pavilion Rd but with greater resources to be “bold and progressive”.
Portuguese-born Carreira ran Londrino in London Bridge from 2017-19 and cooked with Nuno Mendes at Viajante and James Lowe at Lyles. Before arriving in London he spent three years working at Mugaritz in Spain, a regular on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list.