James Cochran to open Islington sports bar next month

pub & bar

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

James Cochran to open Islington sports bar Valderrama’s next month

Related tags: James Cochran, 12:51, Sports bar, Chefs, Valderrama’s

12:51 chef James Cochran will open a sports bar on Upper Street early next month that will also act as a permanent home to his lockdown-born chicken brand Around the Cluck.

Set to launch on 4 July, Valderrama’s takes its name from Carlos Valderrama, the playmaker captain of the famous Colombian 90s football team and will take its inspiration from ‘the player’s much-loved style, fun filled flare and sporting grace’. 

Just down the road from the former The Ledbury chef’s highly-rated flagship, the 48-cover will be filled with specially commissioned murals, paintings, including one made from vintage goalie shirts and will ‘evoke 90s nostalgia’. 

Various sports will be shown on screens and projectors strategically placed so no matter where guests are, they will have a clear view.  

The menu will major on Cochran’s crispy buttermilk fried chicken favourites, with options including The Original (whipped blue cheese mousse, bacon scratchings and Cochran’s homemade scotch bonnet jam); and Spice Up Your Life (mango chutney, pickled cucumber, curry sauce, Bombay mix, smoked yogurt, poppadom, and coriander). 

The drinks offer will be focused on beers from Beavertown, frozen margaritas and other cocktails.

Sides will include hash browns or french fries topped with jerk spice, gravy and crispy shallots or blue cheese and bacon. 

“Valderrama’s is exactly the type of bar I’ve been searching for my whole life,” he says. “I’m so happy to have found a permanent home for Around the Cluck, and where better than a bar I’ve created with some of the best in the business. 

“This is a game changer. It’s a sports bar, but we’re inclusive – there’s no discrimination here, just good drinks, great food and an amazing atmosphere.”

Cochran grew up on the north Kent coast and started his career at Wheelers Oyster Bar in Whitstable before moving to London to work with Brett Graham at both The Ledbury and The Harwood Arms. 

He went on to run the kitchen at James Cochran EC3 between 2016 and 2018, before launching his first solo venture 12:51​ in 2018, which explores his Scottish and West Indian heritage.  

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