The team behind London bars such as The Worship Street Whistling Shop are set to open a new bar in March, featuring a tree trunk in place of a bar workstation.
Tom Aske and Tristan Stephenson, who head bar consultancy Fluid Movement, promise to “break boundaries and quash stereotypes in the world of whisky” with Black Rock in Christopher Street in Shoreditch.
It will hold over 250 bottles from around the world and “take things back to basics” with a simple menu of whisky cocktails in a minimalist and contemporary setting.
The central focal point will be an 18ft, 185-year-old oak tree-trunk instead of a traditional bar workstation. A “roaming” bartender will mix and serve drinks among guests who will be able to sit around each side of the oak trunk.
This unusual workstation will also act as an interactive cocktail-ageing system. Two channels have been carved into the length of the trunk with one lined with American charred oak and the other toasted European oak. Visible to guests beneath a glass top, the channels will age two whisky cocktails that can be poured directly from one end of the trunk.
The intimate new subterranean bar follows the pair’s success with The Worship Street Whistling Shop which they co-founded in Shoreditch in 2011. They were previously involved in other leading bars such as Purl in Marylebone.
They say that Black Rock will seek to inspire and educate guests about whisky, removing any stigma and encouraging guests to rediscover what is often an inaccessible spirit. Traditional connotations usually associated with whisky will be replaced with a modern stripped-back space, clean lines and a hip-hop, electro-funk soundtrack.
Dark hues of black and grey will be juxtaposed with bright gold and brass fittings alongside textural touches of glass, marble and oak.
In addition to its two oak-aged cocktails, Black Rock will offer a succinct whisky-only cocktail menu designed to showcase the unique diversity of the many regions and flavour profiles of whisky in an accessible and approachable manner.
More than 250 bottles will be displayed in Black Rock’s Whisky Library in cabinets along the length of the room. With a simple three-tier price point for a dram, guests can explore whiskies from Scotland, Ireland, America and Japan, as well as selected whiskies from emerging producers.
Black Rock will also celebrate whisky through its Concierge Service which is due to launch later in 2016. The service will offer tutored tastings, advice on whisky investments and bespoke trips to whisky regions around the world.