The Breakfast Group to open Havana-inspired rum bar


The Breakfast Group is to open a bar specialising in rum in London’s West End next month, inspired by the glamorous side of life in Havana in the 1920s to 1940s.

Burlock will be launched in Duke Street, off Oxford Street, in Marylebone on September 2, with over 200 different rums from around the world plus other Latin spirits including cachaça and mezcal.

It has been developed by The Breakfast Group, headed by founder Eric Yu, who is behind leading London bars and restaurants including Opium Chinatown, Salvador & Amanda, Jerusalem, and 68 & Boston.

Under bar manager Samuel Jeavons, previously at London Cocktail Club and Barrio Group and Sydney rum bar Grandma’s, the bar will offer cocktails that evoke the era alongside dancing and food inspired by cuisine from sugar-producing countries.

Signature cocktails will include Mary’s Pickled, made with Bacardi Heritage rum, maraschino liqueur, pineapple shrub, clementine juice and pomegranate, and the luxuriously twisted Grasshopper Deluxe, combining Plantation Original Dark rum, chocolate liqueur, crème de menthe, milk and cream.

Mindful of the hardships surrounding global sugar cane farming, Burlock will donate £1 from the sale of each Grasshopper Deluxe to human rights organisations.

Guests can take the grasshopper challenge: wash down a nutritious edible grasshopper, the bar’s mascot, with a shot of rum. The reward is you can ring the bar’s ship bell as well as receive an iron and protein boost.

The bar will also specialise in Daiquiris (pictured), made with sugar hand-pressed on site, with fruit daiquiris made with seasonal fruits freshly juiced each day.

Bar snacks and small plates will complement each cocktail including Brazilian cheese buns, seabass ceviche, molasses glazed pork ribs and empanadas with curried lamb, sweet potato, peanut potato, cauliflower, sultana and turmeric.

The “cavernous” bar will have a décor reminiscent of Havana’s chic early 20th-century colonial style, with a “grand house” veranda in the heart of the space providing a bookable area for up to 40 guests.

A Havana-style barber shop will double up as a drinking area called the “the Sipping Salon”, with a nod to Gilberto “Papito” Valladares’s famous hair dressing salon in Havana. This area will host spirit tastings and masterclasses.

The bar at 51 Duke Street will be open Monday to Wednesday from 5pm until midnight, Thursdays 5pm to 1am, and Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 3am.

Its name is taken from the twine and hemp packaging that smugglers, known as “rum runners”, used during the Prohibition era to transport their rum. A burlock is a pack of six bottles jacketed in straw, three on the top, then two, then one, tied together in burlap material, saving space and easy to handle.

The bar was originally going to be called The Plantation but The Breakfast Group decided to change the name after campaigners said the word “plantation” was offensive to the memory of millions of Africans who died during the transatlantic slave trade until the mid 19th century.

Updated August 23, 2016 with bar’s new name, Burlock.

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