Drakes Tabanco — an Andalusian sherry bar and restaurant in Fitzrovia — closed last weekend as owners Tim Luther and Nigel Howell have decided to turn the site on Windmill Street into a more “modern” and “vibrant” tapas bar.
The bar was rare, if not unique, in serving olorosos, finos, and amontillados straight from the barrel. Luther told Eater that the new restaurant — which will be called Tapas 44 (or T4P4S) — will open on Tuesday 2 April.
Asked why the group was changing the style of the restaurant, which was believed to have closed altogether, Luther said: “[We] felt we needed to modernise. We loved Drakes and how Andalusian it was but perhaps it was too Andalusian. [We’ll] still [be] serving sherry but it’s not the focus.” It will have a “modern decor. Vibrant. Upbeat. Tapas...changing menu. Tunes,” he added.
For Eater’s guide to sherry, Joanna Derry wrote of Drakes:
With hams hanging from the roof and sherry served from the barrel, Drakes Tabanco is pretty close to the traditional sherry bars of Andalusia. Casks are sourced and made bespoke in Jerez, with the ancient oak barrels adding their own drama as the sherry is glugged from the cask. There are rare wonders, too: take a glass of Fino La Panesa from Bodegas Emilio Hidalgo, one of the oldest finos on the market.
Luther and Garcia also own and operate Copita in Soho and their first business, Barrica, on Goodge Street in Fitzrovia. Both continue to trade well, Luther said.
More soon on Tapas 44.