Nightjar to open second London barBy Becky Paskin
The founders of London bar Nightjar are to open a second, larger venue in the capital, named Oriole.
Edmund and Rosie Weil, owners of Nightjar that is regularly voted among the best bars in the world, have acquired the former Cock Tavern in London’s Smithfields market with the vision to transform the old pub into a high-end bar.
Named after the medium-sized bird that inhabits several countries across Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia, Oriole will feature a cocktail menu devoted to exploring the flavours of the world.
The venue will be much larger than Nightjar with 120 covers across individual tables and banquettes including extended seating at the bar.
A centrally-positioned stage will provide a platform for live music, in keeping with Nightjar’s style, with a host of famous bands and singers expected to entertain guests.
The space will be decorated in a “colonial tiki” style with a feature mural running the length of the room behind the stage.
While Oriole will serve an evening menu of small grazing plates, plans for a brunch menu, which will be catered alongside live jazz music, are being considered.
Edmund Weil said that the old Cock Tavern, which traditionally served breakfasts to the meat market traders working nightshifts at Smithfields, would be completely regenerated.
“The venue was a complete hole when we saw it which probably attracted us to it,” he said. “We knew we had a clean slate which allowed us to think about the concept from the ground up.”
However Weil dismissed thoughts that Oriole would be “another Nightjar”.
“The values will be the same as Nightjar in terms of the hospitality we provide, but there is only one Nightjar in the UK.”
He confirmed that plans were afoot to extend Nightjar’s award-winning concept overseas, but could not give further details at this time.
Explaining the reason behind Oriole’s name, he added: “It’s a beautiful bird with a wonderful song and very wide range which reflects the way we want to run the bar; it is found anywhere in the world, which is what we want to do with the menu.”
Oriole is expected to open at East Poultry Avenue, EC1A, in September 2015.
New Nightjar Menu
While the team is currently working with its design agency to cement plans for Oriole, Marian Beke, bar manager at Nightjar, is preparing to launch the bar’s new cocktail menu next week.
Divided into four sections – Pre-Prohibition, Prohibition, Postwar and Signature – the menu explores the origins of some classic but forgotten cocktails and breathes new life into them.
The Ward 8, which traditionally comprises of rye whiskey, grenadine and orange juice, is given a Nightjar twist with Bulleit Rye infused with pickling spices, blood orange marmalade and a crust of Korean BBQ spices on the rim for a smoky, sweet twist.
Meanwhile, Beke has designed the Rosita to reminisce the time when Tequila was used instead of gin in Negronis. Excellia Reposado is combined with shiso leaf-infused Sauvignon Blanc and Szechuan pepper-infused Tokaji, before being strained through smouldering toobacco leaves over a frozen marble egg.
The new Nightjar menu will once again be presented on the bar’s signature playing cards.