Industrial action: Kilburn Ironworks in London

Collective Works - Kilburn Residential and The Ironworks Restaurant

Mark Ludmon visits Jimi Pearce and Will Partridge in their new London bar Kilburn Ironworks

From its industrial-inspired design to its craft beers and cocktails, Kilburn Ironworks brings something fresh to a part of London not best-known for its bars. It has been created by Jimi Pearce and Will Partridge who were behind the former Wax Jambu in Islington, north London. Working with architects Collective Works, they have transformed the former Power’s Bar owned by music entrepreneur Vince Power of London music venue The Mean Fiddler.

The design features exposed brickwork, breeze blocks and wooden beams plus a large metal strut suspended over the bar. Disused rail tracks embedded in the floor suggest the venue was previously an ironworks although, originally, it was in fact a bank. Striking factory-style lighting and tables with cast-iron bases add to the industrial effect, with softer elements from colourful upholstery and kilim rugs.
At the bar, 1920s copper fire extinguishers have been transformed into striking beer fonts by Atlantic Refrigeration. There are 10 regularly changing beers on tap, such as American pale lager Kona Longboard and Meantime Brewing’s Pale Ale and Yakima Red, plus Meantime’s Fresh London Lager which is available thanks to three of the brewery’s 2.5-hectolitre tanks next to the bar. With more than two dozen bottled beers, the range is mostly from London plus other countries such as the US.

Collective Works - Kilburn Residential and The Ironworks Restaurant

Beer cocktails are proving popular, especially the Malt Merchant made with Monkey Shoulder whisky, a toasted porter reduction, lemon juice, Anspach & Hobday’s The Smoked Brown ale and Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. Under general manager Adam Spinks, the bar offers original cocktails that, like the back bar, have an emphasis on whiskey, rum and gin, such as Stoke Me a Clipper, with Four Roses bourbon, Pedro Ximénez sherry, Cocchi Americano and Marca Negra mezcal. Sharing cocktails come in one-litre barrels with a tap for customers to serve themselves. The short wine list also features eclectic choices not found on a standard bar menu.

The open kitchen at the back serves up food till 10pm every day, developed under head chef Ben Peatfield. The line-up of burgers is headed by the Drunken Welshman, described as a Welsh Wagyu beef patty “from a drunken massaged cow” with melted Welsh rarebit, beef tomato and a “Beernaise” sauce made with Beavertown Neck Oil IPA, served in a sesame brioche bun. A broad selection of tapas-style British and European modern dishes, priced from £2 to £7, includes slow-roast pork belly, breaded pig cheeks, and roasted red peppers with watercress, almonds and goats cheese.

An extensive brunch menu is available from 11am on Saturdays and Sundays, offering dishes ranging from porridge, eggs benedict and veggie baked eggs through to full English breakfasts. Open from 11am at weekends, 4pm on Fridays and 5pm the rest of the week, the bar operates till late, with DJs and 2am closing at weekends. “Our focus is very much on providing a great neighbourhood bar for local residents, giving them an offering that cannot be found anywhere else in the surrounding area,” Will says.

332 Kilburn High Road, London NW6 2QN
Tel: 020 7624 7341

Collective Works - Kilburn Residential and The Ironworks Restaurant

Behind the scenes
Architects: Collective Works
Furniture: Carlick Contract Furniture
Lighting: Chantelle Lighting
Furniture, lighting: Andy Thornton
Bar systems: Atlantic Refrigeration

Collective Works - Kilburn Residential and The Ironworks Restaurant

Originally published in the May 2015 print edition of Bar magazine.

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