Welcome to our weekly round-up of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: Boozing on the tube and gluten-free beer
From next week, Londoners will be able to (legally) drink booze on the tube for the first time since Boris banned it back in 2008. Sort of. New Soho bar Cahoots — from the same people who brought us Maggie’s in Fulham and Bunga Bunga in Battersea — will become the city’s first permanent tube-themed bar when it opens in Kingly Court (where DISCO used to be) on 5 March. It’s not modelled around Monday morning rush hour, though. The bar represents a fictional tube station in 1946, in the process of being rebuilt after being used as an air-raid shelter during the World War Two. Think train carriages, bunk beds and sandbags, while cocktails will have a ‘Dig For Victory’ theme, with British-grown produce and ration-book staples featuring prominently; that includes beetroot, peas, milk and potato.
It's good news for gluten-free beer lovers, with BrewDog announcing that its Vagabond will soon be joining its Headliners range, making it widely available on tap at all of its bars. The beer beat three others — which all contained gluten — in a taste test to decide which of the Scottish brewery’s small batch brews should be promoted to the big time. We recently compiled a list of London Pubs That Serve Gluten-Free Beer and finding it on tap is exceptionally rare, so the fact you’ll soon be able to get it at BrewDog bars in Camden, Clapham Junction, Shepherd’s Bush and Shoreditch is pretty significant.
A third branch of Granger & Co opens in King’s Cross next month, adding to Aussie chef Bill Granger’s popular sites in Notting Hill and Clerkenwell. As at the other branches, there will be a focus on all-day eating and particularly good breakfasts and brunches. It joins Dishoom, The Greek Larder, Vinoteca, Kimchee, Jamie Oliver and D&D which have all opened (or will soon open) sites in the area.
Ben Spalding, former chef at John Salt in Islington and regular supperclub host, has been cooking at The Laundry in London Fields this month — and now he’ll stay for another one. His residency, which sees him serve dishes including ‘fried & runny Burford Brown egg, toasted cashews, medjool dates, fennel, 14 month old kimchi and raw smoked honey’ was meant to end on 1 March but has been extended until the end of the month due to popularity.
It’s been a busy week for openings, marking the arrival of NYC-inspired The Fourteenth Colonie on Clerkenwell Road, the seventh branch of The Draft House in Hammersmith, Antipodean café Friends Of Ours in Hoxton, and the first bricks and mortar venue from street stars Bleecker St. Burger in Spitalfields. Joe’s Oriental Diner from the Kurobuta crew in Chelsea has also opened its doors, and will be on soft-launch until 6 March. On Monday, healthy restaurant and cold-pressed juice bar Maple & Fitz will launch in Fitzrovia, while Thursday sees the re-launch of The Cross Keys — Chelsea’s oldest pub — with a chef from King’s Road’s Michelin-starred Medlar at the helm.
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