Get us in your inbox

Search
larry's peckham
Photograph: Matt Russell

How the buzziest place in Peckham came back from the abyss

Larry’s launched in the very same week as lockdown began – now the restaurant’s back and it’s fully in its groove

By
Laura Richards
Advertising

Launching a new business is stressful under any circumstances. But one of the co-owners of Larry’s in Peckham says they could see ‘a dark cloud coming towards them’ in the week they opened their new restaurant. The all-day diner inspired by New York’s Italian-American and Jewish delis began service on a Monday – and was shuttered by the Thursday that very same week. Lockdown meant that Larry’s had a four-day soft launch followed by a four-month hiatus.

Now, though, the restaurant from the team behind neighbouring Levan and Brixton’s Salon is getting into its groove – suitable, given its namesake, legendary NYC DJ Larry Levan (‘not Larry David’, co-founder Mark Gurney insists). It’s one of those places where there’s a persistent wave of people trying their luck to get in on the door, where the dishes come out ‘when they’re ready’ and where staff add to the informality – with quips about balancing those plates on tiny tables now also occupied with hand-san dispensers – with a natural ease that helps you forget all about the C word. 

larry's peckham
Photograph: Matt Russell

Retro orange laminate tables and garishly green school-canteen-style chairs are now fewer in number to allow for social distancing – and it was a small space already. Add to the room its bold all-day dishes and a vintage sound system and it could be that Larry’s provides a slap to the senses that people are craving straight off the back of humdrum lockdown. 

larry's peckham
Photograph: Matt Russell

If you only eat one thing

‘We’ve cherry-picked everything we love about eating in New York,’ says fellow founder Nicholas Balfe. So you can drop in for babka in the morning or a meatball marinara sub for lunch. But dinner dishes are of an even punchier ilk. Go for pork schnitzel served with red cabbage and gochujang mayo (£14.50). FYI, it would be rude not to order potato latkes with fermented chilli mayo (£4.50) on the side. 

larry's peckham
Photograph: Matt Russell

If you only drink one thing

There’s a short list of low-intervention wines by the glass, and descriptions like ‘pinky red’ on the menu should help guide your decision-making process. But if you’re not finishing up with a slice of New York-style white chocolate cheesecake, order Larry’s Horn (£10) – a cocktail dreamed up by Gurney in lockdown that he describes as a twist on the Reverse Manhattan.  

Larry’s is now open (again!) at Unit 5, 12-16 Blenheim Grove, SE15 4QL. 

Hungry for more? Check out our list of London’s best restaurants

These London restaurants are extending Eat Out to Help Out into September.

Popular on Time Out

    Latest news

      Read next

        Advertising