Strong East London Owners to Open New Margate Restaurant
A small restaurant, bar and “occasional concert hall” in Margate, on the Kent coast, will reopen under the direction of two of East London’s most esteemed chef-restaurateur duos this summer, when Brawn’s Ed Wilson and Josie Stead will take over the city’s Sargassum Harbor Arm in July.
It is the latest in a series of London operators who have visited the south-east and south-west coasts in recent years. Where Wilson and Stead will follow will head east, Tom Adams and Lottie Mew at Coombeshead Farm; Louise Rødkjær and Tim Spedding at Lola; and Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim and David Gingell from Fitzroy have all moved or expanded to Cornwall in the southwest. More recently, Ladies of Restaurants founder Natalia Ribbe and former Hoi Polloi chef Jackson Berg opened Barletta, also in Margate.
The town of Kent has become something of a hotspot for creative Londoners over the past half decade – it has been dubbed “Shoreditch-on-Sea” by some, but apart from cheap stamps the city has a rich heritage. artistic and a brilliant culinary scene. Sargasso will join Angela’s, Caruso, Hantverk and Found and Fort’s. RIP Cheese Tiger. The restaurant will be a stone’s throw from Turner Contemporary, the city’s famous art gallery.
For Wilson and Stead, the opportunity presented itself after the failure of a larger project in London at the start of the pandemic last year: a huge community restaurant, a concert hall, an urban farm and a station. radio stations were slated to open just off Hoxton Street in partnership with Worldwide FM’s Gilles Peterson, but was shut down and ultimately derailed when the pandemic shut down domestic hospitality last March. But a third partner in this project, musician Matthew Herbert, whom the Brawn couple had met while running the Brawnswood tent at the We Out Here festival in 2019, invited them to collaborate on Sargasso.
“Yes, Margate! We were interested in the idea of something coastal (thinking of growing children) that would also be easily accessible from east London, ”Stead told Eater London. “We had a core team that had worked for us before, were looking to do their own thing and were up for the challenge and the change that this project brought. ”
This team is made up of Chef Marcelo Rodrigues (formerly of Brawn and Stoke Newington’s Rubedo, alongside directors Zac Gates (formerly of Brawn and London Fields’ Bright) and Carmen Mac (of Islington’s Trullo and Homerton’s Peg) forged their partnership over the years by working together at various restaurants in east London and hosting a host of their own successful pop-ups and events, ”said new operators at Sargasso. The restaurant will focus on simple cooking , natural wine and music.
Margate, as a cultural center, had a number of attractive traits for the team. One, 22 million pounds of investment to finance the redevelopment of cultural and historical monuments. In addition, according to Stead, “a growing hotel community, a thriving arts scene and a strong independent corporate culture.”
“Not to mention a beautiful coast with sandy beaches, which is not love!” she said. “It’s easy access that brings day trippers and weekend goers is important and will only grow with this investment, as well as those choosing to relocate with the societal changes brought about by the pandemic. We hope our restaurant is a local spot enjoyed by the Kent community, while having a year-round destination appeal.
Among other draws for Wilson and Stead is a 10 acre farm that Herbert owns 10 miles from Margate. As a full-time musician, Herbert doesn’t have time to take care of the earth, but it’s something Wilson is going to enjoy, according to Stead. “The prospect of running a coastal restaurant with access to a small farm was a big draw for us,” said Stead. “Ed plans to start laying the groundwork in the fall for next spring. The idea is that we can produce for both restaurants.
The site itself was attractive, Stead says, because it’s “so raw and open to the elements with waves literally crashing onto the roof on a stormy day. We romantically envision during the cooler months, people refueling with a bouillabaisse, a good bottle and some nice records. In the height of summer, we imagine people taking advantage of the large outdoor space with a potential outdoor grill, Catalan-inspired seafood, savory snacks and vermut.
There is also room for mini music festivals. It looks like a real scene. These destitute London-based citybreakers are likely to be beside themselves as they assess new options for the 2021 summer stay.
More of the last London team to set sail for the coast soon.