Based on an imaginatively designed, inspiring new concept – The Greek Larder Greek restaurant and food store – owned by innovative Greek Chef Theodore Kyriakou and fellow founder Panos Manuelides – has just opened at Kings Cross, London.
Located in the architecturally inspiring ArtHouse site building that defines the eastern edge of Argent’s King’s Cross development – bounded by York Way and overlooking the historic Regent’s Canal – the imaginative interior of The Greek Larder has been created by Dominic Cullinan and team of the architects SCABAL working with Paul Martin Shopfitters, who he commended for “Doing a brilliant job.”
Many of the design features are based on old photographs of Theodore Kyriakou’s father’s grocery shop in Athens in the 1950s.
The Greek Larder brings to London’s increasingly sophisticated food scene the very best in Greek regional produce from the latest generation of food producers, exploring the rich culinary history and fabulous offerings of the Eastern Mediterranean basin.
Novel and fresh in its approach with a distinctive menu, The Greek Larder captures the tastes, flavours and very essence of the Aegean. The offering includes relaxed breakfast and morning coffees, an all-day a la carte menu in the week and brunch at the weekends.
Theodore Kyriakou’s cooking favours traditional recipes, many updated with a twist. Grilled trahana cake with crevettes, Cretan deep fried courgette flowers stuffed with feta and sprinkled with thyme honey and pastourma with thyme yogurt cheese: complemented by a regional meze offering, traditional favourites including souvlaki, filo pies and sweets such as Manouri mousse with orange blossom honey and pistachios.
In the food store customers can taste and buy a selection of Greek foods sourced from a new wave of independent, hitherto little-known regional producers from Greece and its islands; cheeses, specially cured pastourma, charcuterie, olives, Cycladic honey, pulses, beans, traditional sweets and delicacies. Drinks will include a unique beer brewed with Greek hops and malt, and white wines from the fertile volcanic soils of Santorini.
The York Way and Wharf Road elevations of the building, which is located on a corner site, are largely glazed, displaying shelves filled with produce.
Underneath the shelves is a long mahogany topped bench, where customers can be seen seated in the restaurant area. “That idea comes from a photograph that Theodore showed us of his father’s grocery shop. In fact we based much of our interior design approach on several photographs of that shop,” Dominic Cullinan told Premier Hospitality.
“We analysed the way Theodore’s father made his shelving system and designed our shelving and seating around that, staying within the cultural reference, but providing a modern take on the design,” said Dominic.
In addition to the window shelving, three rows of shelving run across the main interior space, forming porticos down the length of the shop and visually dividing it into four segments.
The design team also consulted other visual references of Greek diners where a shop and a restaurant were integrated.
“On one particular photo we noticed that everyone sits at table height rather than bar height – and the Greek Larder Restaurant was therefore designed around the concept of everything being at table height,” said Dominic.
This prompted an ingenious design for the kitchen, which is completely open and is situated behind a 17m long table height counter. Customers sit on one side of the counter whilst staff prepare food on the other.
“The problem was that it would be uncomfortable for kitchen staff to prepare food at relatively low table height, se we came up with the idea of having a sunken floor in the kitchen, so that food could be prepared at counter height, which was still table height to customers sitting at a higher floor level,” said Dominic
The counter is made from a single piece of mahogany with a profiled edge based on the design of a Greek Doric column. This is echoed in the design of the mahogany bench along the window, as well as the design of the tables.
The colour scheme comprises a combination of mahogany, brown and green colour washed plywood shelving and concrete coloured walls and ceiling.
There are two lighting schemes – three rows of bright strip lighting used when the emphasis is on the delicatessen – and three rows of softer pendant lights with enamel shades used when the restaurant element is more prominent.
PM Shopfitters acted as principle contractors on the scheme and were involved in all aspects of the project. The firm’s Managing Director Martin Crouch said:
“It was important for PM Shopfitters to be involved in this project as it shows our skill set as we carry projects from a shell, through to completion carrying out all elements of the build.
“At PM we pride ourselves on delivering projects on time, every time.”
The firm are principle contractors in the commercial fit-out and refurbishment sector of the construction industry. PM have been in operation for over 10 years and have worked with a plethora of clients including Fortnum & Mason, Brompton Brands and Experimental Cocktail Club.