Open House plans new site at King’s Cross


The team behind London bar and restaurant Percy & Founders are to open a new site near King’s Cross in 2016.

Pub, dining room and bar The Lighterman will be created in a new stand-alone building in Granary Square to the north of King’s Cross station. It will offer all-day drinking and dining across three floors, with outside seating overlooking the square and Regent’s Canal.

Due to open early next year, it is being developed by Open House which opened Percy & Founders in Fitzrovia in April. It is the sister company of London pub operator Cubitt House.

The Lighterman is named after the Victorian-era workers who operated “lighters” – flat-bottomed goods barges – on the River Thames and London’s canals.

Each floor will feature a series of dining and drinking areas, covering casual drinks through to destination dining. The contemporary building has been designed by award-winning architects Stanton Williams.

The ground floor, with seating directly onto Granary Square, will serve food from breakfast through to dinner, with views into the kitchen featuring a pizza oven.

The top floor will have panoramic views across the square and canal, with its own wraparound terrace. It will host a more formal dining experience for lunches, dinners and private events.

The interiors will be industrial and minimalist with large open spaces, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, exposed concrete walls and a neutral pared-back colour scheme. The exterior is finished in a linear brick façade in keeping with the Granary Building. A wood-fire grill will be a focal point for the venue.

The modern British all-day menu will be overseen by executive chef Diego Cardoso, who joined Open House in 2014 to launch Percy & Founders.

The extensive drinks menu will include draught and bottled beers, craft ales and seasonal cocktails, together with a well-curated and affordable wine list.

The canal-side bar with alfresco terrace overlooking the water will connect the building with the towpath.

As a taster for the opening, Open House is to open pop-up Christmas under the Canopy in Granary Square from December 3 to 11 in the West Handyside Canopy next to the new building.

It will be transformed into a “winter wonderland” with seasonal food stalls, carol singing and a fir tree forest in aid of the charity, Farms for City Children, which aims to enhance urban children’s understanding of life in the countryside.

Seasonal street food from The Lighterman’s team will include venison burgers, made with a venison patty in a brioche bap with cranberry compote, charred onions and baby gem, and porchetta baps: brioche bap, rolled and slow cooked pork belly, spice apple compote and baby gem.

Other seasonal treats will include classic mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and mince pies as well as doughnuts, prosecco and a range of beers, wines and soft drinks.

Christmas under the Canopy will be open on weekdays from midday to 9pm and on weekends from 10am to 9pm.

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