Iconic 1960s caff, ice cream shop, and latterly the much-loved hipster biker cafe Jim’s on Chatsworth Road in Clapton has permanently closed.
The bar, biker cafe, and restaurant which had been under the ownership of Black Skulls London, a motorcycle clothing and lifestyle brand, since 2017 had announced its closure for maintenance in March this year, but a spokesperson for the brand today confirmed to Eater that it shut down six months ago.
Asked about the reasons for the closure, the spokesperson replied, “that’s classified.” They also confirmed the brand would not reopen at a new location.
While the reopened Jim’s certainly reflected the modernising, gentrifying headwind of pockets of Hackney generally and Chatsworth Road specifically in the 2010s, it retained a the diner-like charm and mid-century fixtures of the original 1960s ice creamery and appeared to actively care about not alienating the local community. Its fry-ups, burgers, low-key cafe-style menu, unfussy mugs of hot black filter coffee and a service style which was welcoming turned it into a hit cafe in the years to and through the pandemic.
Black Skulls teamed up with grill chef Andrew Clarke, a collaboration which proved more successful in their revival than restaurateur Hugh Thorn (behind Hackney’s Lardo) and Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes who themselves reopened Jim’s in 2016, after the site had laid dormant for six years before that. The duo lasted for just 12 months.
According to one online record, Jim’s original proprietor — known only as “Dave” — died in 2008, shortly before the cafe closed first time around.
More soon on what’s next for the site and the iconic signage at number 59 Chatsworth Road.