Portobello Road Gin team to open second gin bar and restaurant

GinTonica Notting Hill The Distillery

The team behind Portobello Road Gin’s distillery, bar and restaurant in west London are to open a new sister venue in north London.

After the success of its first-floor Spanish restaurant and bar GinTonica (pictured) at The Distillery, they are working on a site in Exmouth Market to launch Tonica By The Distillery in mid-April.

Set out over two floors, it will have a 100-cover restaurant and bar on the ground floor with a working Still Room and private event space in the basement. There will also be outside seating on Exmouth Market.

The Distillery was opened in Portobello Road in December 2016 by Leelex Group, which owns Portobello Road Gin as well as bars and restaurants in Leeds such as Pintura Kitchen, Cielo Blanco and Oporto.

The venue is also home to The Ginstitute, where anyone can learn about the history of gin and how to make it, located in the basement in the History Room, a museum of gin and cocktail artefacts with decor inspired by 19th-century gin palaces.

Ged Feltham, co-founder of Leelex Group, said: “Tonica is predominantly inspired by The Distillery’s first-floor restaurant, GinTonica, with its notable Spanish influences. However, like The Distillery, Tonica provides us with a new hub for craft and innovation with its working Still Room and house-made spirits.

“There is also dedicated event space where we plan to launch a programme of unique experiences by The Ginstitute later in the year, so watch this space.”

Tonica’s drinks offering will retain the same DNA as GinTonica, serving a menu of cocktails, wines and house-made spirits, curated by leading bartender and Portobello Road Gin’s master distiller, Jake F Burger.

Guests will be able to enjoy The Distillery’s Gin and Tonic Plus serve, which blurs the lines between a classic G&T and cocktails with innovative garnishes, tinctures, liqueurs and bitters.

Guided by seasonality, Tonica’s food offering of tapas and small plates will feature fresh British produce married with imported Spanish delicacies. The menu is being created by executive chef Greg Lewis.

The Still Room in the basement will be home to Copernicus the Second, a 30-litre alembic copper still that was used to distil the very first bottle of Portobello Road Gin. It will now be used to support the production of The Distillery’s artisan, house-made spirits which include an avocado vodka, butter gin and horseradish and rosemary vodka. Each distillation will be available to sample at Tonica.

Tonica is being built in the former home of Leelex Group’s Cielo Blanco restaurant at 55-57 Exmouth Market. The new décor will be “expressive and vibrant” to evoke the feeling of a stylish Spanish restaurant, with a colourful blend of ceramic tiling and abstract artwork. The focal point of the dining area will be a cascade of foliage and planters suspended from the venue’s large skylights.

People can enjoy 50% off their food bills on pre-booked tables during the venue’s soft launch period by signing up at www.tonica.london.

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