Chefs Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke have revealed to Esquire that they will open a new restaurant called St Leonard’s, in Shoreditch, next month. The duo have worked together for a number of years at Boxer’s first restaurant, Brunswick House, the canteen inside the antique and architectural salvage yard, Lassco in Vauxhall. The restaurant is expected to open to the public in early May.
Rumours have been circulating since Boxer tweeted that he and Clarke would be “announcing something exciting in the not too distant...” last week.
In the interview Boxer says the new restaurant was inspired by a “very, very drunken lunch” two summers ago at his mother’s home, Pound Farm, in West Sussex. One that involved oven- and hearth-roasted meats and fish, raw shellfish and salad and vegetables from the fields that surround the farm. St Leonard’s — named after the church on the same street but also the medieval hermetic saint who lived in a forest, who Boxer calls the “ face of Christianity” — will “attempt to create a high-summer afternoon in Sussex in a more urban setting.”
In a call with Eater this afternoon Boxer said that they were not in any way attempting to “reinvent the wheel” — that what they were doing was very “primal, simple, honest, delicious and accessible.” As well as the English south east, the restaurant will also take inspiration from the French south west, the region that has informed a number of dinners that Clarke has hosted under the brand Bastien (which for some time was thought to be the name of his own permanent project.)
The space, which Boxer used to visit when it was Eyre Brothers, is currently undergoing refurbishments to accommodate an open kitchen, with a log-fired hearth and ice bar — a dining room in which he and Clarke, as joint chef-proprietors will be “very present — with their guests.”
The main dining room will accommodate 70 covers, which will offer an informal a la carte at lunch and dinner, Monday to Saturday. A more “relaxed bar,” seating 50, will offer snacks — such as charcuterie and shellfish, alongside a 200 bin wine list with numerous options by the glass — all day.
Classic cocktails, and an extensive spirit list, with an emphasis on the cognacs and armagnacs of south western France will also be available. Finally, a private dining room, for 12, is designed either for “intimate dinners,” or “a space for catered meetings.”
Asked who would take the reigns at Brunswick House (and his restaurant inside the Mayfair member’s venue, Chess Club), Boxer said “Brunswick is now eight years old, we have an amazing team. And we’ve decided to expand because we have almost too much talent on our hands. It’s good to show them a new project.”
St Leonard’s will join a host of new Shoreditch openings, including in the past four months, Passo, Nuala, Brat, Smoking Goat, and Leroy.