The former head bartender of the Beaufort Bar at London’s Savoy Hotel has revealed plans for his new east London bar focused on calvados, Normandy cider and other regional French products.
Chris Moore is preparing to open Coupette in the 160-year-old premises of the former Albion pub in Bethnal Green Road in the heart of Bethnal Green in June.
It will offer a menu of innovative and contemporary drinks, using both local and French ingredients and “making them relevant to a local audience”.
The team will also include head bartender Franck Dedieu from Montpellier in France who was formerly at Redwood in Lyon and global winner of the 2015 Bacardí Legacy cocktail competition. The assistant manager is Dan Schofield, formerly head bartender at 69 Colebrooke Row in Islington, London, and previously at bars including Little Red Door in Paris.
The cocktail menu will be designed around the six borders of France, known as the “French hexagon”, drawing inspiration from the country’s heritage of art, fashion, design and craftsmanship.
It will play with aperitifs such as the Kir and Picon Bière while taking inspiration from some of France’s “most unique personalities”. Cocktails will be crafted from a selection of local, French and bespoke ingredients, including Coupette’s own CBGB (Coupette Black Grape Bitters) and an original French amer, or bitter aperitif, created in collaboration with artisan producer The Bloomsbury Distillery.
Drinks will include Apples (pictured below), in which Calvados is mixed with cold-pressed apple juice that will be carbonated in-house daily. The calvados and apple used in the drink will change each month to showcase the depth and variety which exists within the category.
Other cocktails on the launch menu include a Truffled White Negroni, made with truffles in season at the time, and the Champagne Pina Colada (pictured bottom).
An entirely French wine selection will be available, curated by the team, and will feature less recognised grape varietals, natural wines and a small selection of champagnes.
The food menu will complement the drinks on offer and will feature a simple selection of French classics including croque madame, croque monsieur, charcuterie, terrines and regional cheese, with ingredients sourced from producers in the local London area and imported from France.
Coffee and a choice of freshly baked pastries will also be available throughout the week for those dropping by earlier in the day. Coupette will also serve a brunch menu on the weekends.
In autumn 2017, the team will lunch the Calvados Club, a charitable initiative that will see French producers coming to London to deliver a series of unique tastings on a bi-monthly basis in the bar.
The venue will have a fresh and contemporary feel, with a capacity of up to 65, seated and standing. Designed by leading hospitality specialist Kai Design, the venue will be centred around having a modern and laid-back aesthetic with key original features of the building restored and accentuated, such as the mid 19th-century brick of the interior walls and the beautifully crafted lettering on the building’s frontage.
The centrepiece of the bar area will be the bar top, crafted from vintage franc coins. In keeping with the relaxed feel of the bar, the staff will be dressed in Breton-striped tops, inspired by the original French navy uniform in Brittany.
The glassware at Coupette will be contemporary and simple, with the focus on creating clean lines and minimal distraction to the drink it will hold. In line with the bar’s name, there will be a bespoke coupette, inspired by the original design for the coupe, which was based on “the beauty of the breast”.
Chris said: “Coupette is a local bar with a local aesthetic and a French accent to everything. I have constantly been inspired by French culture throughout my career. It’s a culture that not just invented the products we use on the bar but whole categories such as cognac, armagnac, calvados, champagne and every liqueur that is used in the industry.
“Our aim with Coupette is to bring innovation to local French traditions but without pretension. We want locals to be able to drop in for a ‘coupette’ (a ‘cheeky one’ in French) as well as enjoying more unusual combinations and drinks from the cocktail menu. Ultimately, we want to create a home-from-home feel, which we hope will make us a neighbourhood favourite.”
More details about the bar will be available nearer the opening date at www.coupette.co.uk. The full address is 423 Bethnal Green Road E2 0AN. It will be open 11am to 11pm Sundays to Thursdays and from 11am to 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.