Cornerstone alumnus Holly O’Leary and Alice Harry, formerly of Monmouth and AllPress, will launch plant-based café and small plates restaurant Squeg + Bonez in London in the coming week.
With a combined 14 years of experience, the duo will operate the Mare Street venue as a brew bar and vegan café during the day, pivoting to a small plates restaurant with a bio-dynamic wine offering in the evening. Dishes will include beetroot-cured tofu, pea fritters with lemongrass (pictured) and pickled mushroom dumplings. Desserts – such as sticky miso toffee pudding – will be paired with coffee in the evening offering.
Having developed her knowledge of low-intervention wine while serving as part of the launch team at Cornerstone, O’Leary will call on suppliers Natural Born Wines, Dynamic Vines and Tutto.
In their approach the two are hoping to disrupt stereotypes in the industry. O’Leary said: “Both coffee and the kitchen can be male-dominated industries and we want to challenge that a little.”
Harry added: “I think the belief that to be successful you have to be a hard-hitting business mogul is changing. We want to nurture, grow and learn from and with our staff and customers – that’s our version of success.”
Harry, also an artist, has contributed her own work to the design of the location including illustrations and artwork. She added: “I want it to feel a little silly, a little fun. After all, what we’re passionate about, besides the products themselves, is people. So simply put, we want our customers to have a good time while they’re with us.”
The site is due to open with a soft launch on 5 June, the restaurant launch on 6 June and a brew bar launch on 7 June.