The owners of lauded Portuguese wine bar Bar Douro, in London Bridge, have announced that they will open a second restaurant at the 1 Finsbury Avenue development at Broadgate, in the City this winter.
Bar Douro City, which is owned by restaurateur Max Graham, will build on the “success of the original Bar Douro, which brought a contemporary take on Portuguese cuisine, alongside expertly sourced regional wines, to Flat Iron Square, London Bridge in November 2016.”
Graham, who is a descendent of the Graham family — one of the most famous producers of port — said: “We are hugely excited to be opening a second Bar Douro in Broadgate, continuing our mission to be a platform for Portugal in London, showcasing the very best of Portuguese food and wine.” Shortly after the Flat Iron Square site opened, then Guardian restaurant critic, Marina O’Loughlin, gave it straight sevens — “It’s a little star: excellent produce, beautifully cooked,” she wrote.
Head chef Sean Marsh’s menu will be “small-plate focused — perfect for groups and family feasting.” Petiscos (snacks), pratinhos (small plates) and pratos (large plates), will be on offer, as well as the group’s much loved pasteis de nata (custard tarts.)
The exclusively Portuguese wine list will offer one of London’s largest selections of wines from the country. Graham, together with general manager Sol Leon, works closely with independent winemakers, importing a number not currently available in the U.K., which will be “reflected in a neat house selection, and a ‘cellar list’ of fine wines.” Winemakers will also be invited to the restaurant to collaborate on one-off events.
The new restaurant will occupy a Grade II-listed building, and be designed by architectural designer Steph Gallia. Features will include hand-painted Portuguese tiles (Azulejos) “inspired by 15th — 16th century motifs in the Azulejo Museum in Lisbon, a statement Portuguese marble counter imported from Aveiro in Portugal, and a traditional mosaic floor of hand-cut stone, called Calçada Portuguesa.”
The space will feature an open kitchen, bar with counter dining for 18, and 26 covers on tables throughout the restaurant. A 22-cover outdoor covered terrace will also be installed. Graham is said to be working with one of Portugal’s most famous furniture makers Olaio, to “produce bespoke bar stools and chairs.”
Graham spent his childhood in Porto; his family have been producing wine in the Douro Valley for over two centuries. Port wine (or vinho do Porto) is fortified on the bank of the Douro river, in Gaia, the town opposite Porto. It is made only with grapes from vineyards in the Douro Valley region, which were traditionally transported along the river to the port houses by boat. Max Graham’s family business, Churchill’s Port, was the first British port company to be established, in 1981, in over 50 years by his father Johnny Graham.