A bar is popping up at a London arts venue this summer, offering “medicinal drinking” alongside foraged barbecue food, oyster happy hours and a packed events programme.
Behind This Wall opens on the terrace at Oval Space in Bethnal Green, east London on Monday (June 1), created by Plastic People, the wandering bar, club night and record exchange. It will run throughout the summer from midday to midnight Mondays to Fridays.
They have developed a concept of “medicinal drinking”, rethinking classic cocktails with seasonal, botanical or herbaceous enhancements, with no artificial additives, colours, flavours, high fructose corn syrup or unnecessary sugar.
Using brands such as Martin Miller’s Westbourne Gin, Rhum Barbancourt from Haiti and Rittenhouse Rye, the menu features twists on classics such as a Negroni, Gimlet, Daiquiri and Sazerac. Spirits are also available as “snifters” with an accompaniment, such as Del Maguey mezcal infused with sweet agave and served with a pickled blood orange.
The cocktails were developed by Behind This Wall’s bar services manager Alex Harris who has 10 years’ experience in cocktail bartending, including bars at The Ritz in London and Soho House Group’s Babington House in Somerset.
Supper club start-up Parish, led by chef Charlotte McKibbin, will bring a wood-chip smoker to provide a seasonal barbecue menu made with wild, foraged and British ingredients. Dishes will range from butterflied wood-pigeon with rhubarb relish to grilled sea bream and a pickled radish tartare.
Toast and salad-box selections will be available throughout the day with an ever-evolving choice of condiments off the barbecue such as sardines, aubergine or rabbit on top of beds of curried beetroot, fennel slaw or bulgur and wood sorrel.
It will also offer £1 deals during oyster happy hours as well as a full “clam” menu of smoked and grilled shellfish.
On Fridays, its programme will include The Sub 120-Club, inviting London’s leading artists, DJs and promoters to take control of the music but at strictly sub 120 beats per minute. This is about presenting stripped-back B-sides and rare cuts for a serene sunset atmosphere.
On Thursdays, Record Stores on the Rotary will feature London’s leading vinyl outlets such as Phonica, Rye Wax, Kristina and Sounds of the Universe who will be let loose on Behind This Wall’s custom rotary mixer, previewing their picks from Friday’s new releases.
Wednesdays will host Terrace Film Nights outdoor screenings, focusing on music documentaries and shorts, partnering with the likes of Dazed, Future Shorts and YPlan.
Tuesdays will feature Voga – voguing plus yoga – with guest DJs, while Mondays will feature workshops with the likes of music technology specialist Ableton Live as well as guest supper clubs.
It will open on selected weekends for special events such as open-deck jams, Balearic brunches and Plastic People’s popular vinyl exchanges.