A new Covent Garden restaurant development will stack Hawaiian-inspired street food, suave speciality coffee, elegant pastries, and a monthly changing seasonal restaurant from bottom to top at 3 Henrietta Street, next door to The Ivy and just down from xiaolongbao specialist Din Tai Fung.
The building is spearheaded by “Game Changers Investments” — a company alias of serial hospitality investor Simon Wright, and an operational management plan shows that its opening will include the London return of former Asia de Cuba chef Louis Pous, as well as a debut flagship London restaurant for Scottish chef Mark Greenaway. Searches for both “Mark Greenaway Henrietta Street” and “El Ta’koy Henrietta Street” return listings for both restaurants.
Pous will bring El Ta’koy, his “Hawaiian-inspired” street food operation from Miami, New York, and Riyadh, to the basement. The New York menu includes tuna and caviar taquitos; a poke taco; chopped salads, and a take on a Cuban sandwich.
Greenaway’s restaurant meanwhile is called Pivot — not named for adaptation to a global pandemic, but for its monthly changing menu, which extends beyond food and into wines and cocktails. It will apparently entail a “small but perfectly formed” restaurant, with interiors that “draw inspiration from minimal Scandinavian design.”
In between Ta’koy and Pivot is a new cafe for The Gentlemen Baristas, the successful speciality coffee mini chain, and a pastry shop from Kimberly Lin called Lilly’s Cafe. The cafe’s main draw will be a novel “Afternoon Coffee” — designed to mimic the formal service and ritual of afternoon tea — including coffee flights intended to highlight differences in country of origin, the way the beans are processed before roasting, and different methods of brewing. Greenaway, who is a consultant chef to the coffee group and also recently opened a pie shop on Villiers Street, is currently in residence at the cafe’s other Covent Garden location on James Street — formerly occupied by Mark Wahlberg’s doomed Wahlburgers joint. Lin, meanwhile, is behind Floozy Cookie in Covent Garden, and has a background in pastry at the likes of Dominique Ansel and Claridge’s.
While Greenaway has previously intoned that he would open a “fine dining restaurant” in London this year, its integration with Lilly’s Cafe, Ta’koy, and Gentlemen Baristas is perhaps a glimpse into the future for other large central London buildings and their landlords. Though the likes of Japanese / New Nordic space Pantechnicon and Market Halls are operating at grander scales, splitting a building between connected restaurants is a canny way to broaden opportunity for “tastemaking.”