Located in the former Athlete’s Village of the London 2012 Olympic Games on the door step of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic park, Darkhorse is a restaurant / cocktail bar offering a full dining menu and extensive wine list with strong rustic flavours from Italy and Spain. Darkhorse brings to the table its unique blend of food and drink in London’s newest neighbourhood: Stratford E20.
Lee Glen from G and G Hospitality said: “We had a three to four month fit out but it has been an even longer process from the initial inception to turning the bare space into a living breathing entity, which was partially due to the whole area being under the control of the London Legacy Committee. We opened in November last year and so far, things are progressing very positively as the area continues to develop.
The décor inside of the restaurant is a mixture of metal, wood and copper finishes.
As diners enter the restaurant, they are greeted with an open plan kitchen. Here guests are given the opportunity to eat in front of the kitchen where they can see the chefs at work.
A Bertha oven is one of the kitchen’s key features and allows the restaurant’s chefs to cook all of their fish, meat and vegetables over charcoal – and even some of the desserts!
To the left hand side of the restaurant is a copper bar which sweeps around the restaurant from left to right. The bar is used as a cocktail bas as well as having the full menu available for eating.
The restaurant also accommodates a wine alcove along one wall which is described as a “key feature” of the restaurant. All of the wines in the restaurant are for off-sale as well as on-sale. There is a steel library ladder for accessing the wines on display overhead on high shelving. The wines alcove will in time double up to host tutored tastings for guests.
Other key design features of the restaurant include large frontage windows to display the wines and spirits on display inside of the restaurant. Diners can also look out onto the park in front of the restaurant, which is an “open plaza” with a view of Victory Park.
Concrete pillars run through the middle of the restaurant, which have been cleaned up and left as concrete to combine the industrial and softer sides of the development. To add to this, the walnut stained wood has been used to contrast the waxed steel features and 100-year-old cinema chairs have been used in the waiting area.
The main contractor on the project was Point of View Limited; a Chelsea based company who specialise in both the design and build aspects of developments.
Having worked in the business for almost three decades each, Lee and his business partner Ian Goodman are happy to be offering a new quality dining and bar choice to East Londoners.
Darkhorse has seating for around 70 people inside and the owners are hoping to accommodate for up to 35 diners outside during the summer months.
Lee commented: “My business partner and I have been working within this industry for a good 28 years each. This is our first venture together so obviously, we took a long time in choosing the site with regards to the area and where we thought was viable. For us, we feel East Village and the surrounding area has a very bright future and we hope to be a big part of that.”