Chef-restaurateur Stevie Parle, of Pastaio and Dock Kitchen renown, has confirmed that his lockdown pop-up Joy at Portobello Dock (whose extension was denied by the landlord earlier in 2021) will open as a cafe, retail space, and supper club venue in Marylebone Village. It closed at the original location in June.
As first reported by the Evening Standard, Parle’s shop and cafe in Marylebone Village will see the chef return to his supper club roots as he launches a new “limited edition weekly series” on Thursday evenings for 30 guests. Supper clubs were Parle’s jam in the late noughties, their success leading to his debut restaurant Dock Kitchen in 2009. That closed in 2017, though Parle has been behind a number of popular London restaurants in the intervening years, from Craft in Greenwich and Rotorino in Dalston to Pastaio in Soho. Joy’s multipurpose functionality (and outdoor space) seemed to suit the changing circumstances and wants of customers through the pandemic’s three lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.
“Whilst we all miss W10 and we hope to return west again at some point, it’s super exciting to have a beautiful space in thriving Marylebone Village to continue our experiments in community retail, explore more our love of horticulture and house plants, and have a base to gear up for a big JOY in another amazing space we haven’t yet found,” Parle said in a statement released to media.
The space is now open at 94 Marylebone High Street in central London, offering a tiny menu each day “using the super-fresh Kent garden produce,” via the affiliated Canterbury farmer’s market, grocer and produce hub, the Good’s Shed.
Joy will occupy the Marylebone village site for an unspecified term — with the statement merely referring to its residency being for “the next few months.” The cafe and retail space will open seven days a week between is open 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. serving dishes like Acton burrata with slow-cooked peppers and tomato; aubergine caponata; salade Niçoise; “super fresh” raw vegetables with black olive and elderberry tapenade; ajo blanco with sherry vinegar, cherries, and fennel flowers; Dorset clams cooked in Fino sherry with guanciale and chickpeas. At dessert, the cafe will offer American cherry pie with clotted cream and the Bordelais cake canelé.
While the cafe will sell products “inspired by plants and vegetation” — from CBD oil and kefir water to a variety of specialty ingredients. Almost all of the vegetable focussed cafe menu will be available to takeaway. The Thursday supper club, cooked by Parle and /or invited chef friends who will take over the space, will be ticketed, offering a set menu of £55.
As for actual plants, the shop will sell a large selection of houseplants chosen by Parle. Sourced from specialist British and Dutch growers and collectors, the range will focus on “big mature specimens and unusual beautiful plants, priced from £12 to £1,200.”
Joy, which described itself as “the Pandemic pop-up restaurant, farm shop-grocery store, plant shop, some time Jazz club and occasional wontoneria” opened in July 2020 — a partnership between Parle and long-time collaborator, the designer Tom Dixon. The duo says on its website that they “on a constant search for an engaging and exciting permanent location.”