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Everything There Is to Know About London’s Hottest Restaurant Development

Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross is now open for dining

Coal Drops Yard restaurant development at King’s Cross London is now open, featuring these tacos from El Pastor Samuel Ashton/El Pastor

King’s Cross is following in the footsteps of Bloomberg Arcade and White City: there’s a huge restaurant development, and now, it’s open. It’s called Coal Drops Yard.

For the past 12 months, rumours have circulated about the restaurants moving into the big-money new development, with Spanish stalwarts and pasta queue-magnets much mooted.

Here, now, all the restaurants at Coal Drops Yard:

All the restaurants at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross

Harts Group will open three sites, two iterations of existing restaurants and one entirely new space:

  • Barrafina, another queue-magnet, widely considered to be one of London’s foremost Spanish tapas bars. This will be the fourth site for Sam, James and Eddie Hart, with the first opening in Soho in 2007 and holding a Michelin star since 2014. This site will have 34 covers, with an outside terrace seating 60 — a point of difference from the three central London sites. The Harts tell Eater that the new menu will be long on Catalan influences, diverging from its three extant restaurants — expect arroz negro with Iberian pork ribs and artichokes; esparadenyes (sea cucumber) with chicken oysters and picada, and a cazuela of pig’s trotter and prawns.
  • Adjacent to Barrafina is Parrillan, the aforementioned outside terrace that will open on 10 May. The main draw is the way of cooking: individual charcoal grills at tables, for diners to grill meat, seafood, and vegetables of their choosing. An obligatory ‘para picar’ menu will preface the main event.
DIY Tacos at Casa Pastor
Samuel Ashton
  • Casa Pastor — a new 80-cover Mexican “big sister to Borough’s El Pastor,” with its own outside space for a further 80. The Mexican-inspired wing of the business takes its name from the al pastor taco, found on the streets of Mexico City, which was “enjoyed immensely” by Sam Hart and Crispin Somerville (a partner in El Pastor) when they ran nightclub El Colmillo there during the 90s and 00s. This, the third site, adds to the aforementioned El Pastor in Borough Market and Torterilla El Pastor in Bermondsey: it will expand on the taco-led offer of its siblings with tortas, churros, and an outdoor area — called Plaza Pastor — which will feature a rotisserie.
  • The Drop — a wine bar with largely, but not strictly, modern British plates — will have 55 covers inside and 24 on the terrace. It is named after Coal Drops Yard, the colloquial name for a small measure of wine, and the moment in a big dance tune when the beat “drops.” A small space outside will be used for an oyster cart. The only real rule, cuisine-wise, here will be that “there will be no Spanish or Mexican food served.” The Hart brothers recently told Hot Dinners that 40 Maltby Street and P. Franco are inspirations for the bar, following in the latter’s footsteps with the use of induction hobs. Dishes already on the pass include boiled ham with green sauce, radishes with spiced salt and butter, and a fine-looking pork pie.

Joining the Harts will be:

  • London designer Tom Dixon, who will open a new flagship space with Assaf Granit of The Palomar and The Barbary. Dixon, who also partnered with Stevie Parle on Craft in Greenwich, is using The Coal Office as a restaurant and showroom: “for us it was imperative not just to find a new office or shop. It was vital to find a new home. London isn’t just another city. It is where it all started.” The restaurant has already received a rare five stars from Evening Standard restaurant critic Fay Maschler.
  • Great British Menu 2017 winner and Murano veteran Pip Lacey, who will open her first solo London restaurant with Gordy McIntyre, backed by Angela Hartnett. Hicce will use a wood-fire as a source for much more than grilling, smoking and steaming British produce in-house, baking bread, and charring yakitori. Another opening that had been planned for spring, but now looks to have found an ideal home in the new development.
  • Iconic Italian deli and pasta restaurant Lina Stores, which will open just north of the main Coal Drops Yard development on Stable Street in autumn 2019.
  • Michelin veteran Alain Ducasse, who will open the London outpost of his Parisian chocolate brand Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse, with typically inventive ganaches and single-origin bars. Flavour direction is by Ducasse with the chocolates actually made by chocolatier Nicolas Berger.
  • Ducasse has also opened Le Café Alain Ducasse, a speciality coffee shop that presents coffee with the ceremony of a fine dining restaurant — minus the fiddly plating. With quality beans and inventive serves for cold coffee and cascara, it’s already one of London’s essential coffee shops.
  • Bodega Rita’s, a global sandwich shop and deli from Missy Flynn and Gabe Pryce of Rita’s Dining.
  • A new restaurant from Anthony Demetre, chef-owner of widely acclaimed Mayfair restaurant Wild Honey and former chef-owner of Arbutus and Les Deux Salons, which closed in July 2016 and December 2017 respectively. Documents filed to Companies House list Demetre as director of Vermuteria Limited. A vermuteria is bar and restaurant focussed on the decidedly on trend vermouth, so expect all-day, Spanish-inflected dining. An all-dayer, this, with thirty varieties of vermouth, and a Continental-café menu, so patisserie, pissaladière, and pies.
  • Morty and Bob’s, a stalwart of Hackney’s Netil House with a pop-up at White City Place, has a third location on the development, serving all-day hot sandwiches and an intriguing/confusing “British suppliers bar.”

More on these new openings soon.


43 Drury Lane, , England WC2B 5AJ Visit Website

40 Maltby Street

40 Maltby Street, , England SE1 3PG 020 8076 9517 Visit Website

El Pastor

6-7A Stoney Street, , England SE1 9AA Visit Website


34 Rupert Street, London, W1D 6DN Visit Website

White City Place

201 Wood Lane, White City, London , W12 7TU Visit Website

Netil House

1 Westgate Street, , England E8 3RL

The Barbary

3332 Grand Avenue, , CA 94610 (510) 922-9919