While many hospitality venues are struggling to stay open, some restaurateurs and chefs are thinking outside the box. Indeed The Tramshed Project – a new and multi-faceted venue in Shoreditch from the founder of Street Feast, Dominic Cools-Lartigue – is actually inspired by London’s community spirit during the pandemic.
The culture venue, workspace and restaurant concept will occupy the Grade II-listed building that was home to Mark Hix’s Tramshed restaurant (a former power station for east London’s trams, hence the name) and will have a 2,000 square-foot gallery space in its basement – thinking big and bold for the social-distancing era.
Some of London’s best chefs have collaborated with Cools-Lartigue on the venue – which opens in October – and will be serving up in the main dining hall of The Tramshed Project, which has space for 120 guests under current social-distancing restrictions. Chefs include Zoe Adjonyoh, the founder of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, owner and head chef at 12:51 James Cochran, and chef Andrew Clarke. Adjonyoh will bring a taste of West Africa to the Rivington Street setting while Cochran will be serving signature jerk dishes and Clarke will be bringing along a flame-grilled concept.
The Tramshed Project is also a collaboration with the Zabludowicz Collection, north London’s experimental art gallery – which is lending artworks to decorate the main hall. It makes sense in a space that used to be occupied by one of Damien Hirst’s formaldehyde cows (now replaced by a living tree).
Other spaces include the Library, a 40-capacity kitchen counter for tastings and supper clubs, and the Basement Gallery, an exhibition and event space that will be home to The Tramshed Project’s Black History Month line-up of talks, documentary screenings, supper clubs and live music from October 23 to 25. And the whole venue by day will be a dedicated, free-to-use co-working space, with bookable booths for teams and large screens available for Zoom calls – not to mention banging work lunches.
Best of all, Cools-Lartigue is continuing his work with A Plate for London, with The Tramshed Project distributing food to vulnerable people through local charities in Hackney.
The Tramshed Project is at 32 Rivington St, EC2A 3LX. It launches on Fri Oct 9. Find out more here.