Chef Ed Wilson and partner Josie Stead have announced that celebrated southern European restaurant Brawn will relaunch as an online retailer and daytime grocery store at the end of the month. A new e-commerce platform will offer pre-prepared dishes, ingredients, and wine for local customers. The owners say the restaurant will not open for dining service for the time being.
“We have used this time of lockdown to choose a path that will allow us to navigate and survive the road ahead in a sustainable and continual way,” a statement said. “Our rebranded online retail platform will continue to deliver an offering that remains at the heart and soul of what we do.”
The restaurant space (for now) will operate as a small shop, serving coffees and offering a daily-changing takeaway lunch menu, which will include sandwiches (mortadella, roast veal and anchovy mayonnaise); salads (marinated aubergine, ricotta salata, and pangrattato, tonno e fagioli); and chocolate, oat, and hazelnuts cookies. All day breakfast baps are set to feature at weekends. Wilson and Stead say they are planning a short takeaway evening menu for the weekend, which will launch later in the summer.
Within a new “store” section of the restaurant’s website, four subsections — Brawn Made, Brawn Sourced, Cellar, Selects — will offer pre-prepared food, pantry items, fresh ingredients, wine, and merch.
“Brawn Made” will include a variety of the restaurant’s dishes, plus snacks and charcuterie, fresh pasta, braises and soups, pickles and preserves, sauces and condiments, and puddings. These might include smoked cod’s roe with radishes; agnolotti in brodo; rabbit ragu tagliatelle; braised lamb neck with summer vegetables; and tiramisu.
“Brawn Sourced”: seasonal ingredients including salads, vegetables, and fruit from Keats Community Organic and Flourish Farm. This will sit alongside smoked and preserved fish, cured meats, flour, dairy, and eggs.
“Cellar” will offer a changing list of 100 wines from the Brawn list, plus craft beers and ciders, spirits and pre-batched cocktails.
“Selects” is merch: vinyl from the restaurants’ favourite record labels, plus tote bags and T-shirts.
The restaurant, which is planning to reopen on Tuesday 30 June as a shop will do so Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. It will also offer a same day click-and-collect service, six days a week and a next-day delivery service available Wednesday to Sunday. The restaurant will do all deliveries itself and will service the following local postcodes: E2, E3, E5, E8, E9, N1, N5, and N16.
This “corona-time” business model is one that is attracting a growing number of operators who do not know when and how they will be able resume anything like a normal restaurant service in the coming months.