Stonegate Pub Company is to transform Walkabout’s former flagship bar on London’s Embankment into a second site for its long-established brand, Bar Salsa!.
It is investing £1m in converting the site next to Temple station into the Latin-American-inspired concept, offering cocktails, food, dance and live music in a carnival atmosphere.
The Walkabout site, which was closed at the end of July, was taken over by Stonegate in December as part of the Walkabout estate acquired in its purchase of operator Intertain.
It will open with the new format on September 14, building on the success of Bar Salsa! in Charing Cross Road (pictured) which is one of Stonegate’s most profitable venues.
With influences taken from the original Bar Salsa!, the new venue will have bold, bright colours and traditional artwork.
It will be split into several different zones and offer three bars, including an exclusive VIP bar, as well as a stage for dance acts and bands, flexible dining spaces and several dance floors allowing different levels of salsa classes to take place.
Lessons in merengue, bachata, lambada and other Latin-American dance will take place daily plus live bands and DJs playing Latin music.
The food menu will feature tapas, fajitas, loaded sharing planks and “hamburguesas” while the drinks list will offer more than 50 cocktails alongside a selection of Latin-American beers and flavoured tequilas.
The Signature cocktail range, created by the Bar Salsa! bar team, will include the Palomitas, mixing The Kraken spiced rum, crème de cacao, banana liqueur, vanilla syrup, banana purée, milk and cream with a popcorn garnish, created by bartender Tiziano Spaziani.
Another will be the Watermelon Samba bringing together the clean flavour of fresh watermelon with Absolut vodka and Midori melon liqueur, topped with a splash of lemonade, created by Marina Mari.
The bars’ Latin twists on the classics include a tequila-based Bloody Maria and the Mexican Cosmo with El Jimador Blanco tequila, Cointreau, gomme and watermelon syrup as well as the Caipirinha Authentica range of different flavours.
VIP party packages including drinks, food and salsa classes will be available. Promotions will include a happy hour from 5pm to 8pm offering 50% off drinks and Cuban Sundays where all main meals are 50% off. Free salsa classes will be held every Friday from 7pm.
Liam Martyn, general manager of Bar Salsa! Temple, said: “We are so excited to be launching a second bar in London. We have such a loyal group of customers who return night after night and we’re proud to have the opportunity to launch a thriving new site for them – and look forward to welcoming a whole new set of Londoners.”
It will be open from 10am weekdays every day apart from midday on Sunday, staying open till 1am Mondays, till 2am Tuesdays to Thursdays and Sundays, and till 3am Fridays and Saturdays.