Adam Handling to open new bar with leading bartenders


Adam Handling

A new bar called Iron Stag is to open in Hoxton in east London as part of chef Adam Handling’s relocation of his restaurant The Frog E1.

He will be moving to a larger site in Hoxton Square at the end of July and renaming it The Frog Hoxton. As well as housing a new bar, it will be home to zero-waste coffee shop and deli Bean & Wheat.

Located on the corner of Rufus Street and Old Street, the three individual venues will have their own separate entrances on three different streets to ensure that each experience is distinct.

Iron Stag’s interiors and menus will be designed by Adam (pictured) in collaboration with two award-winning bartenders, Rich Woods and Matt Whiley, who is behind nearby bar Scout.

Seating 100 to 120 people, the bar will be open six days a week from Tuesday to Sunday and serve a selection of bar snacks designed to complement the drinks.

There will be an emphasis on aged whiskies, including 35-year-old and 40-year-old bottles as well as the bar’s own casked whisky.

Iron Stag’s interiors will be warm and enveloping, with dark woods and leather, and will include bespoke touches such as oversized entrance doors, based on Spanish church designs, with solid silver stag antler handles on the doors. The bar will have an area for a live jazz band.

Bean & Wheat will be open all day and evening and include a new and extensive craft beer offering with a fully licensed bottle shop. The beer library will be made up of offerings from smaller producers that Adam has hand-selected to promote and support, and all bottles will be available to take away.

Adam will be overseeing all operations at the site, alongside newly appointed executive chef Daniel Watkins who will have responsibility for the food offering across the three venues.

The Frog E1’s current head chef Jamie Park will maintain his role at The Frog Hoxton and the rest of the restaurant team will be moving to the new site too. Rich and Matt will work with Adam on the beverage offering for the group.

The Frog Hoxton restaurant will have 60 covers and retain everything guests love about the casual fine-dining concept, delivered in a more refined, elevated style.

Frog E1 fans will recognise the styling, with furniture and artworks recreating the original restaurant’s personality and feel, including the signature wall panel signed by celebrity chefs and the wider Adam Handling team.

The Frog Hoxton will serve the a la carte and tasting menus that have won the group so many awards, alongside a bigger focus on large sharing plates.

Adam said: “This is my biggest venture yet and it’s a very personal project for me. I’ve learned so much from past ventures and whilst I’m proud of them all, I’ve delegated too much of the design concepts to outside companies. This time, I’ve taken on the design of everything myself.

“The Frog E1 was originally supposed to be a test project on a temporary basis, but it became so successful we kept extending the lease. Now, we want to give it a permanent home to give it the revamp it needs.

“When we first opened Frog E1, it was just me a couple of my chefs painting the walls ourselves and putting on the doorknobs (backwards!). We were so proud of it when we were finished, and I want to be just as proud of this new site knowing that we’ve done as much as we can ourselves.

“E1 was my first independent restaurant, and it’s been a great testing ground for what we do best. I want to take everything that people love about it and are familiar with, but slightly elevate the offering, and make it even better.”

The sustainable concept and emphasis on reducing waste will remain the same in that menu items including sandwiches, salads, parfaits and preserves will be made from offcuts and by-products not used in Adam’s main restaurants.

Adam will be implementing a recycling initiative in keeping with the theme of Bean & Wheat, encouraging customers to bring their empty beer bottles back in exchange for free coffees.

His love of art will see him continue to support celebrated young artists as he has done at his previous sites. He will be working directly with Wishbone Publishing and several renowned artists for the Hoxton site, such as Monica Vincent, Zombiedan, Mr Cenz, JJ Adams, Katy J Dobson, and Jason Heppenstall.

Each of the artists has designed stunning bespoke pieces exclusively for Adam, based on their previous portfolios alongside Adam’s inspiration from his favourite restaurants around the world.

Adam added: “I’m so grateful to these amazing artists for taking the time to create some truly incredible pieces for my restaurant. Some of them have flown in from around the world just to create the artworks for the site, so I consider myself very lucky.

“I’ve admired their work for a long time – I feel that individually, each of their works makes a bold statement and I can’t wait to see them up on the walls.”

The addition of the Hoxton site will take Adam’s total number of venues to six, including Frog by Adam Handling and Eve Bar which he opened in Covent Garden in December, and the food and beverage outlets at Belmond Cadogan Hotel in Chelsea in London.

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