Expanding Humble Grape reveals plans for third bar


Humble Grape Battersea

A third wine bar and shop is planned for Humble Grape in London, offering more than 400 different wines imported directly from regions around the world.

The latest Humble Grape is being developed in the former premises of Tinto wine bar and tapas restaurant in Theberton Street in Islington, due to open this summer.

It follows founder James Dawson’s opening of his first Humble Grape in Battersea in south London (pictured) in 2015 and his second off Fleet Street in 2016.

He is again working with architect Jean Dumas of Trellik Design Studios to create the new Islington bar and shop which will be an evolution in design from the existing Humble Grape sites.

The space will flow from the wine shop, bar and library of wine books through to the dining room, taking inspiration from nature with an indoor urban garden filled with foliage and vines climbing the walls.

Reclaimed and aged natural materials will furnish the space, with a colour palette of deep greens, tan and clay. The sustainable ethos will be echoed throughout: all paper will be made using recycled crushed grapes, used in everything from the hand-made labels in the shop to the menus in the bar.

James and his team are dedicated to providing good-quality wines that are single vineyard, largely organic, biodynamic and sustainably sourced. They source handcrafted wines direct from small, family-owned vineyards. Each wine has not only been selected due to quality and taste, but the story behind it.

At Humble Grape Islington, guests will be able to discover the origins of each bottle by exploring the Winemaker Wall, which will feature all the tales from the vineyards and wine makers. One such story will be of ex-geologist Rose Jordaan who produces the Bartinney Sauvignon Blanc, 2015, Stellenbosch, South Africa up a mountain on her family farm. An avid environmentalist, Rose has planted over 7,000 trees and invites all sorts of wildlife to roam free. From Panzano Chianti comes the story of the Vecchie Terre Montefili wines – the very first region in its entirety to adopt biodynamic farming, with the producers constantly trying to outwit the sneaky wild pigs that snaffle the grapes.

Executive head chef Kishen Raheja will continue the brand ethos and champion independent suppliers to serve seasonal dishes using selected, good-quality ingredients. Kishen is working directly with independent craftsmen such as day boat fishermen from Mersea Island in Essex and award-winning artisanal urban cheesemakers Wildes Cheese. The menu will feature dishes such as diver-caught scallops, Laverstock farm black pudding and crispy leeks, confit Orchard Farm pork belly, celeriac and apple remoulade and burrata, purple sprouting broccoli, pumpkin seeds and basil oil.

James said: “I’ve always loved Islington – the people, the neighbourhood, the buzz – and we have plenty of clients who live around there too, so it felt like a natural home for the next Humble Grape.

“I can’t wait to see the new interior designs come to life and to welcome the residents of Islington into our space, and introduce them to our wines. We’ve got some incredibly special new imports lined up just for them.”

Humble Grape exceeded all expectations with its second crowdfunding campaign. Currently overfunding, the campaign has already raised over £1 million, 100% of which has come from private investors – mostly customers and a few wine makers too.

Each new Humble Grape site will maintain an individual identity, taking into consideration local community and personalised USPs. The money raised during the 2017 crowdfunding campaign will go towards opening sites five and six, growing the Wine Club, Wine Bank and online sales.

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