Callooh Callay team prepare to open second ‘enchanting’ venue


Little Bat logo

The team behind award-winning London bar Callooh Callay are on course to open their second bar in late February.

They are creating Little Bat in the site of a pop-up that they have been running at 54 Islington Park Street, formerly Public House, in Islington. It will be open to the public from Friday February 26.

It is described as an “exploratory” bar and a “cabinet of curiosities” which, like Callooh Callay, takes inspiration from Lewis Carroll and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The name comes from a song sung by the Mad Hatter, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat”.

The “enchanting” new venue promises to feature a botanical garden, floating bookshelves and a magic wardrobe, with a décor that hints at the “beautiful surrealism” that the Wonderland books are famous for.

Richard Wynne, who opened Callooh Callay in Shoreditch eight years ago, has recruited Barney Toy to head the bar team. Originally from Sheffield, Barney previously worked in top bars in Auckland in New Zealand and represented New Zealand in the global final of last year’s Bacardi Legacy competition.

They are putting together a “magnificent” mix of cocktails, drawing inspiration from classic serves, but updating them with unique and quirky twists that fit the bar’s distinctive style.

Little Bat’s signature cocktails will include the Steve McQueen, a mix of Bulleit Bourbon, Martini Rosso and Luxardo Sangue Morlacco liqueur, and the Rhubarb Swizzle, made with Ketel One Vodka, rhubarb and vanilla syrup, Peychaud’s Bitters and rhubarb bitters.

The menu will also feature the Pan Am, the cocktail that Barney took to Bacardi Legacy, which
combines Bacardi Carta Blanca rum, Aperol, lemon juice, orgeat, egg white and an Angostura spray.

Sharing cocktails and decanters will be prominent on the menu, said to be paying homage to the community spirit of Islington.

To complement the drinks, Little Bat will offer food as well as weekend brunch which will launch in April. Small plates will include Marmite butter popcorn, rosemary and onion scotch eggs, and sausage rolls made to Richard’s mother’s recipe, alongside comforting pots and jars filled with delights such as bacon mac ‘n’ cheese and chicken liver paté.

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