London & South East

A pinch of salt

John Salt, Upper Street, Islington

Located on Upper Street, Islington, John Salt is a neighbourhood bar and restaurant, serving a great array of drinks and mouth watering meals, seven days a week.

John Salt was launched by head chef Ben Spalding and although the chef has now moved on, the bar and restaurant continues to pull in the crowds as well as the award nominations, including a nod at the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2013.

John Salt opened in November 2012, following an eight week transformation process. Hadley and Hall was the main contractor on the project, whilst King Mob was the designer.

Discussing the project, King Mob Designer, Benjamin Chapman, said:

“John Salt was pretty much a blank canvas project for us, the task was to create destination dining alongside a fun evening atmosphere. We looked to the famous all-day bistros in New York for inspiration on blending dining and drinking. The design aimed to provide a light, stripped back interior juxtaposed with luxury finishes.”

As an integral factor in John Salt’s success, Benjamin is clearly very pleased about the bar’s recent recognition at the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards. Commenting ahead of the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards, Benjamin said:

“This is the first time that we have been nominated at the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards and it is very encouraging for a small budget project. John Salt was a great project to be involved in, we learnt great a deal in combining design, concept and identity phases and working alongside some hugely talented chefs.”

Benjamin added:

“Since John Salt opened, the feedback has been excellent; it’s become part of a little movement of neighbourhood bars with very innovative menus. Hopefully this has changed the game a little in terms of what we always used to think of as Gastropub sites.”

Main dishes served at John Salt include, jerk pork with charred pineapple and cornbread; smoked shortrib cheeseburger with onion mayo and pickled cucumbers; and chipotle rubbed lamb shoulder, with mint yoghurt and crispy pitta. Desserts are equally inviting and range from cold blackberry crumble with blackberry and absinthe sorbert to sticky apricots with organic porter caramel, yoghurt cake and salty almond brittle.

John Salt’s delicious and belly rumbling menu is backed by an extensive drinks offering, that includes a fine selection of beers and wines, including red, white and rose. Cocktails are also available, from the Albion Highball, the Aperol Spritz and the Spiced Steelbottom, to the John Salt – a fabulous concoction that includes beefeater gin, lillet blanc, a twist of lemon and stuffed olives!

John Salt is open midday to midnight Sunday to Thursday, midday to 2am on Fridays and 10am to 2am on Saturdays. For more information about John Salt, please visit:

John Salt, Upper Street, Islington

Pembrook Design Ltd

Pembrook Design Ltd specialise in providing services to the leisure and retail industry, with a specific focus on pubs, bars and restaurants. The company has been in operation since 1988 and within this time Pembrook Design Ltd has worked with all the major brewery and restaurant operators, hotel chains and coffee shop operators throughout the UK.

Working on John Salt, Pembrook Design Ltd assisted in the implementation of the initial design concept ideas, by developing all legal requirements and applications and by producing working drawings. In addition, Pembrook Design Ltd procured contractor tenders and the site management team from initial budgets through to completion.

Pembrook Design Ltd Director, Colin Harding, said:

“We have worked with the 580 Group on other exciting developments and the design concept was a new and interesting concept which we knew we could help develop.”

Colin added:

“At Pembrook Design Ltd we pride ourselves on understanding a client’s brief and developing projects on budget and on programme.”

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Roma Publications

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