Updated 22.10.2018, 12:45 with sandwich details.
Restaurateur/chef duo and creators of Rita’s Dining, Missy Flynn and Gabriel Pryce, have confirmed that they will open Bodega Rita’s — a “deli and global sandwich shop” — at the Coal Drops Yard development north of King’s Cross.
Flynn and Pryce have now elaborated on what to expect from what will be — in the evenings — “London’s smallest cave a vin,” with the ubiquitous American bodega and its place at the heart of local communities the fulcrum of the operation:
“Gabriel and Missy’s inspirations stem firmly from the intersection of cultures and communities that make up the culinary landscape of the US, with nods to traditional deli and diner food, interpreted using ingredients sourced much closer to home.”
A preview of a short sandwich menu promises ‘The Tony’ — Mortadella, provolone, pickled chilli mayo, giardiniera, oregano oil, cheese dust — alongside ‘Mais Oui Oui’ — Ratatouille, fresh sheep’s milk cheese, thyme and habañero honey. They are joined by ‘The Highway Dan’ — hot bean devilled egg salad with celery and watercress — and ‘Tingler Tower’ — Chilli oil chicken with cucumber and Sichuan slaw. An evening menu, yet to be revealed is what will make the site London’s smallest cave a vin.
Spice blends, rubs, and sauces from the Rita’s pantry will also be available to buy; Eater understands that suppliers for bread and fruit and vegetable sales are also nearing confirmation.
Rita’s Dining reopened at Redchurch Brewery in Cambridge Heath this summer, having closed the Mare Street original in 2016 — the iteration has already received one positive review from new Evening Standard Magazine critic Jimi Famurewa. Bodega Rita’s, meanwhile, was most recently resident at Browns East in Shoreditch, selling Mexican ingredients and paletas — ice pops.
In signing on at Coal Drops Yard, Bodega Rita’s joins Coal Office Restaurant from Tom Dixon and Assaf Granit; Barrafina, Casa Pastor and The Drop from the Harts Group, and Hicce by Pip Lacey, as well as a Vermuteria from Wild Honey restaurateur Anthony Demetre, Alain Ducasse’s chocolates, and Netil House sandwich stalwarts Morty and Bob’s.
Rita’s began as a pop-up at Birthdays in Dalston, at a time when American and Mexican-inspired gourmet junk food was a little more scarce in the city. A time when Meatliquor had moved from street van/speakeasy to permanence in Marylebone, but before El Pastor, Patty and Bun, and Chick ‘n’ sours. Inspired by their travels and looking to New York and Los Angeles, the Rita’s team, which at that stage included Jackson Boxer, introduced patty melts, tostadas, and fried chicken sandwiches to a hungry and hip east London audience.
Flynn and Pryce’s move to one of the biggest, most ambitious, and fast developing new restaurant centres in town is a sign of how the food landscape has shifted.