Update May 17
Hardens are reporting today that Soho House Group will be opening two restaurants on the site. The second, underneath Pizza East, will be called Chicken Shop. No further details as yet…so watch this space. But it sounds to us like they’ll be doing a galline take on the vogue for all things Meateasymeatpeople.
Do you reckon Soho House Group have been reading The Kentishtowner? After all, we first raised the hope of a north London branch in January, in a story about possible uses for the saved Pizza Express building on the corner of Prince Of Wales Road.
So over the weekend we were pleased to learn that they have bought the former Grand Union on Highgate Road and begun work on what will be their third branch of Pizza East, after the fashionable flagship in Shoreditch’s former Tea Building, and a second in Notting Hill.
And here’s what it looks like right now, three months away from its August 1 opening. There’ll be a downstairs bar and upstairs restaurant. And it’s not hard to imagine the big windows and concrete interior shaping up quite nicely.
A tweet last night brought back a mass of opinion, retweets and feedback, with most of you falling down on the side of the opening being a Good Thing. The only cautious note raised was its location, as it’s been an ‘interesting’ site, home to a succession of ventures in recent times, such as notable incarnation The Highgate.
Camden New Journal’s @dannycarrier said, ambiguously, ‘the place has been cursed over the years…no biz lasted there long…[but it] means competition for the food at the Vine’; @bendylady screamed ‘OMG – seriously, what’s not to love?’ @misssfitt was looking forward to ‘nice tiling’ and had already come up with a Pizza East hashtag; @nellefant exclaimed ‘Woo!’, whilst Andrew Lock of @alockdesign confessed – perhaps a touch dramatically – that he was ‘in shock!’
But what’s happening, we wonder, to the increasingly maligned Grand Union chain of burger bars? Anyway, we’ll keep you posted with Pizza East (Pizza North?) news as we have it. ‘At this stage we have no information to release,’ wrote the nice lady at Soho House press office. So hell, add your thoughts instead below.