Vestal Vodka founder opens bar in old toilets despite challenges


William Borrell

William Borrell (pictured), the founder of Vestal Vodka, is set to open his much-anticipated new bar in a former public toilet after overcoming planning challenges.

Ladies and Gentlemen is due to open in Kentish Town, London, on December 5, which will specialise in cocktails and feature a 16-litre copper alembic still for producing spirits with locally grown botanicals.

William’s planning application to Camden Council faced opposition from some local residents who objected to more bars in the area and wanted the disused Victorian toilets to be reopened.

The bar, at the junction of Fortess Road and Highgate Road, will serve craft ales and a seasonal cocktail menu, including a drink called the Nimby – “not in my back yard” – in homage to “the Nimby-ism and bureaucratic council who tried to block the development of the bar”. William describes it as a “short and bitter drink”.

Autumn and winter signature serves will include drinks called “K-town Swizzle” and “Hot Apple & Pumpkin Toddy”.

William, who is a resident of Kentish Town, says the opening of Ladies and Gentlemen is not only a victory against council bureaucracy but also against “generic, flavourless and uninteresting cocktails”.

He founded Vestal Vodka in 2011, developing a range of vodkas made from organic potatoes from different parts of Poland, with new releases each year including an aged vodka.

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