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Renowned Restaurateur and Iconic Designer Join Forces for New King’s Cross Restaurant

Assaf Granit, of The Palomar and The Barbary, will open the Coal Office restaurant with Tom Dixon in July

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Tom Dixon [official photo]

Assaf Granit, chef and co-owner of The Palomar and The Barbary, is joining forces with iconic London designer Tom Dixon to open Coal Office, a new “Mediterranean/Middle Eastern-inspired” restaurant overlooking King’s Cross’ Granary Square, according to reports from MCA today.

Job advertisements for positions at the new restaurant, which is expected to open in July, describe a “new exciting culinary experience”, with seating for 160 guests split over three floors, inclusive of a rooftop terrace and al fresco dining area with “360-degree views over Granary Square”.

That’s perhaps where the familiarity to London restaurant-goers ends, though. Coal Office will also largely serve as a showroom-cum-portfolio-piece of sorts for Tom Dixon; the restaurant will be part of the company’s Coal Drops Yard complex that also includes its new offices and studios, as well as a design shop.

As a result, Coal Office will aim to go “beyond a typical restaurant offering”, creating a space where diners “can experience fresh, creative food in a variety of beautifully designed and atmospheric spaces, where the provenance is explained, the tableware is available to buy and the recipes are shared.” To some, that will sound like a vision of hell. To others, it will surely be an aspirational design-led heaven.

What it means to all, though, is that every element of the experience will no doubt be heavily curated — the Tom Dixon Instagram shows bespoke clay crockery being made in-house to later be used in the restaurant, while it is safe to assume that the brand’s iconic lighting and furniture designs will feature heavily.

As for the food, there is little information yet to suggest menu specifics, but the eclectic and thrilling cooking for which Granit’s The Palomar and The Barbary are both so loved by critics and punters alike seem a good match for the setting; though it will be interesting to see how effectively the atmosphere of those restaurants — even Jay Rayner couldn’t resist doing shots at the bar at The Palomar during lunch — can be translated to King’s Cross in avoidance of an overwhelmingly “showroom” vibe.


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