Northeast London’s best butcher’s shop has doubled up as an avant-garde listening bars, with Stella’s on Newington Green launching System, a sleek new space for a regularly changing roster of the capital’s hottest up-and-coming DJs. They will play while Stella’s staff serve natural wines, beers, and a small selection of southern European-style snacks on Thursdays and Friday evenings.
As first reported by Resident Advisor, System features a 1976 vintage Tannoy sound system and is being run by Jojo Mathiszig (who goes by Ill Evans), founder of Clerkenwell record shop and radio station Kindred.
Alongside a small list of accessible, hip natural wines and local beers, the menu features a small list of highball cocktails, straight spirits, softs, and snacks such as rillettes, saucisson, almonds, and anchovies. Sparkling water is the salty, mineral-rich Vichy Catalan.
Mathiszig is the brother of Luca Mathiszig-Lee, a trained bookkeeper, who founded and runs Broadway Market’s butcher shop, wine bar, and restaurant Hill and Szrok, best known in recent times as among London’s standout performers through the pandemic. It maintained a steady flow of business offering not just fresh meat and provisions, but takeaway lunch options when dining in venues was limited due to social distancing rules, and merch — laying the foundations for some careful expansion and diversification in the past 18 months.
System is the latest venture in growing, diverse business portfolio Mathiszig-Lee operates under the umbrella Ralph and Low (which may or may not one day include a “golf course and country club”). Stella’s opened in December last year, six months after he backed former employee Jimmy Stephenson and partner Anna Shaffer to open Hector’s, the charming De Beauvoir wine bar, which has quickly earned a reputation as one of the best places in the city to drink low intervention styles.
“We always wanted Stella to have a dual space and was designed with that in mind, and Jojo seemed a great fit for the space the offered something unique and different,” Mathiszig-Lee told Eater.
He once semi-jokingly described Stella’s as resembling a concept trainer shop and its aesthetic certainly feels ultra modern: a kind of 90s chemistry classroom in a comprehensive school or an ost Berlin gallery space, it belongs firmly at the vanguard of fashion, music, and culture in London. A recent Stella’s t-shirt borrowed the Stella Artois font, while Hill and Szrok has its own line, including an old-school style football scarf. It is a hospitality and lifestyle portfolio adjacent to brands like Aries or Palace — restless, innovative, irreverent, definitively London.
System, which opened in mid-September, runs Thursdays and Fridays from 7 p.m. through to 11 p.m.