Dandy will open a third iteration of its much-loved cafe and restaurant on Maltby Street in 2019. Its crowdfunding campaign, which launched today, has already raised 65 percent of the £75,000 sought.
Chef Dan Wilson — the Dan in Dandy, has partnered with restaurant investor and co-founder Matt Wells to open on the former site of Monmouth Coffee. Original co-founder Andrew Leitch — the Andy — has since returned to Melbourne, and is not involved in this iteration of the restaurant.
Wells, who co-founded The Dairy and Counter Culture in Clapham with Sarah and Robin Gill, has joined up with Wilson for a two-stage operation: an all-day restaurant focussed on coffee, food, natural wine, and beer first; a brewery, on the mezzanine level above, second.
First opened in a shipping container near the Climpson and Sons coffee roastery in London Fields, in 2016, Dandy quickly became a cult favourite. After moving to a larger bricks-and-mortar site in Stoke Newington — now occupied by Jolene — it closed its doors again. Dandy 3.0 will feature a menu that foregrounds seasonal, modern European food just as it did in its former incarnations, with the same focus on minimal-intervention wines, and a renewed look at beer.
“I want [the new] Dandy to be honest,” Wilson told Eater. “We aren’t trying to catch onto a trend or ride off the back of what’s popular in London. The food will be what I want to eat, and what I want you to eat. The plan is still to work with the best produce we can find — the best [produce] makes the best food.”
Aesthetically, he continued, the team want “to try and make it as close to the original greenhouse as possible.” In terms of what will be different, the minimal-intervention wine list will be supplemented by 12 dedicated taps for craft beers from around London and beyond — Dandy is also partnering with Partizan to brew a house beer, and the eventual aim is to create a small brewery at the top of the Maltby Street arch. There are plans for a weekend brunch in addition to Saturday dinner, as well as Wednesday to Friday opening hours that run from mid-afternoon all the way through to the end of dinner service.
“Dandy 2.0 was where we made mistakes, tried out new concepts and saw what stuck,” he told Eater. Now he wants “to move away from small plate culture.” “I want people to sit and really eat,” he explained. “If you are sharing, you are feasting — not snacking.”
Wells, who also backed Knife Steakhouse and 24 The Oval, said: “Bermondsey is an incredible lively hub, buzzing with innovation and creativity. It offers both established restaurants and new concepts and is the ideal spot for Dan’s seasonally-driven, comforting dishes.”
Disclosure: Eater London’s James Hansen worked at Dandy in Newington Green for two months in summer 2017, and also contributed a written perspective to the crowdfunding campaign linked here. He has recused himself from coverage of Dandy. Original Dandy co-founder Andrew Leitch also contributed to Eater London during 2017 and 2018; he is not involved in this iteration of Dandy.