Clerkenwell Grind — London, UK
If you’re the type who likes playing the odds, might we suggest placing bets on the London-based Grind group? What began as a dual concept bar in Shoreditch back in 2011 – espresso by day, cocktails by night – has burgeoned into a fully-fledged entertainment empire that includes nine cafes, bars and restaurants, including, of all things, a recording studio.
The latest venture, Clerkenwell Grind, sees the group return to the East End. Long-time collaborator Melbourne-based studio Biasol has stepped up again for design honours, this time converting a 1870s Grade II-listed warehouse into a plushly textured two-storey restaurant and bar.
The four zones – dining room, two cocktail bars, and private room – are a visual treat as floorboards have been restored and paired with herringboned oak, and pink terrazzo stone tiles, while timber panels, and Carrera marble are nicely set off by swatches of deep royal blue wall fabric and ovaloid mirrors.
In his basement kitchen, executive chef Kyle Boyce – ex-Soho House – turns out an all-day menu that parses British, Italian and Australian influences, such as sweet potato harissa cakes with a poached duck egg, and black truffle tagliolini by night. The coffee, of course, is first-rate. Last summer, the group opened a roaster in Shoreditch – the resulting fragrant grind is then shipped out to all the outlets.