Kratena and Berg to open first bar in LondonBy Nicola Carruthers
Acclaimed bartenders Alex Kratena and Monica Berg will open their first bar in London’s Old Street next year, called Tayēr + Elementary.
Tayēr + Elementary will be Berg and Kratena’s first bar as owners – marking Kratena’s first bar project since he left his role as head bartender at London’s Artesian in 2015.
Kratena launched not-for-profit bartender collective P(our) in 2016 with fellow bartending luminaries Berg, Simone Caporale, Ryan Chetiyawardana and Jim Meehan. Norwegian-born Berg curated the bar and spirits programme at Oslo-based micro-distillery bar Himkok.
The duo has spent three years developing the new project and assessing each aspect of the ‘traditional’ bar.
The venue, which will open in spring 2019, will feature two bar concepts – Elementary, a “casual all-day” bar serving simple drinks and snacks and Tayēr, a “progressive bar focused on what’s inside the glass and on the plate”.
“Fuss-free” Elementary, located at the front of the venue, will open from 11.30am until late. The bar will provide bottomless coffee, snacks and cocktails with a “strong focus on seasonality” and available produce. A seasonal calendar will be displayed on the back wall.
The large communal bar uses a “bespoke” system created in collaboration with Taptails to enable quick service. To maintain the bar’s “simple style”, there will be a choice of only three plates and drinks.
Meanwhile, Tayēr mixes “modern techniques and long-established practices to create cocktails and food that express purity, freshness and simplicity of ingredients”.
Tayēr – derived from the Spanish word Taller, meaning workshop – features a large open counter where guests can sit and view the bartenders and chefs at work.
Berg and Kratena teamed up with Norwegian design studio Behind Bars on an “innovative” bar station, which has the ability to “constantly change according to the needs of the modern bartender”. The “flexible” station enables equipment, tools and produce to be be placed anywhere based on concept, season, ingredients or any other individual needs.
In addition, Berg and Kratena have worked with drinks producers to create their own spirits, beer and soft drinks that will be served alongside a selection of products from wine and saké producers, breweries and distillers.
Situated near the Old Street roundabout, the venue will feature a “simple, clean design” along with three distinct themes – “Scandi-functionality and Japanese Minimalism juxtaposed with a playful slice of punk”.
For the food offering, the bartending duo has partnered with Ta Ta Eatery. Portuguese-Chinese chefs Ana Gonçalves and Zijun Meng have created menus inspired by the East and West, and the culinary traditions of China and Portugal. The venue’s menu will be modern Asian in style combined with European techniques and ingredients.
At the rear of Tayēr is Outthink, a creative studio for “education, research and consultancy” with a 10-seater common table. Berg and Kratena will lead Outthink, which will open during the day and “encourage collaboration beyond the culinary arts”.