North London's Cultural Guide

3 Camden openings: KOKO returns, plus Lucky Club & Trap Kitchen

Big new arrivals in NW1 this season see Mornington Crescent and Chalk Farm Road fight back

1. Koko’s back, back, back

It feels like it’s been boarded up for aeons, but in fact it’s only three years, following a rooftop blaze in 2019. 120-year-old Grade II-listed Victorian theatre Koko down in Mornington Crescent has undergone a £70 million redevelopment which includes the takeover of two adjacent buildings – the former 19th century piano factory and the Hope and Anchor pub. The venue launched with Arcade Fire headlining last weekend and its revamped 50,000 square-foot multi-use space boasts jazz club, rooftop terrace, café, shop and all-day bar and pizzeria. There’s even a hidden speakeasy, private vinyl-listening rooms and cocktail bar inside the restored copper dome. Wowsers. Follow @kokocamden

Inside DRAF x KOKO
Beautiful interior: Koko. Photo: Dan Weill

Lucky Club transforms Proud

Another rebooted NW1 destination is the Grade II-listed, historic horse hospital cobbled terrace at the former Proud venue in the Stables Market. Opening next Friday, May 13th, the whopping 5,600 sq foot space (see main pic, above) will emerge from its £2million facelift to specialise in margaritas and mezcal cocktails, alongside “contemporary” tacos with delish-sounding fillings of poached lobster, pulled lamb and oyster mushroom. The 130-cover bar and restaurant boasts retractable roof and state-of-the-art gas heaters to allow for year-round alfresco drinking and dining throughout the seasons. From May 13th. @theluckyclubcamden

Trap Kitchen reboots Chalk Farm Road

And finally, just up towards Chalk Farm tube is Insta sensation Trap Kitchen’s new north London branch serving up soul food – think chicken thighs, snow crab, lobster tails, mac and cheese, corn, waffles. You can choose from a ‘bucket’, a ‘boil bag’ (ie steamed lobster and crab) or ‘Remix’ (deep fried). It’s the baby of Prince Owusu who appeared on My Million Pound Menu on BBC (but didn’t win funding). Good to see Chalk Farm Road fighting back, anyway. @trapkitchen


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The award-winning print and online title Kentishtowner was founded in 2010 and is part of London Belongs To Me, a citywide network of travel guides for locals. For more info on what we write about and why, see our About section.