James Cochran to open Islington sports bar

14 June 2022 by
James Cochran to open Islington sports bar

The team behind 12:51 restaurant in London's Islington – chef James Cochran (pictured), Dan Henry and Bryan Mayes – are opening a sports bar on the same street next month.

Valderrama's, opening on 4 July at 163 Upper Street, will serve Beavertown beers on tap, cocktails, frozen margaritas and Cochran's Around the Cluck fried chicken concept, which launched during lockdown in summer 2020.

Named after Carlos Valderrama, the playmaker captain of the Colombian 90s football team, the retro interior will be filled with murals, paintings (including one made from vintage goalie shirts) and pictures by local artists, evoking 90s nostalgia.

The menu will include Cochran's buttermilk fried chicken: the Original, with whipped blue cheese mousse, bacon scratchings and Sauce Shop x 12:51 scotch bonnet jam; Spice Up Your Life, with mango chutney, pickled cucumber, curry sauce, Bombay mix, smoked yogurt, poppadom, and coriander; Hear Me Now with cheese and truffle fondue, smoked mushroom relish and coleslaw; and the Veganator with a crispy vegan patty, gochujang, Asian slaw, peanuts, and coriander.

Crispy buttermilk chicken thighs with chip shop curry sauce or chicken gravy mayo, spring onions and seaweed buckets will also be on offer, and sides will include hash browns and French fries topped with jerk spice, gravy and crispy shallots or blue cheese and bacon.

For sports viewing, there will be high spec screens and projectors to ensure all guests in the venue can watch upcoming events such as the World Cup, Women's Euros, the Grand Prix or some summer tennis.

The 48 covers venue will include an outdoor terrace and DJs will be in residence every Friday evening playing classic hip hop and R'n'B, while on Saturdays there will be 80s,90s, and early 2000s music.

Cochran said: "There's a new player in town. Valderrama's is exactly the type of bar I've been searching for my whole life. I'm so happy to have found a permanent home for Around the Cluck, and where better than a bar I've created with some of the best in the business. This is a game changer. It's a sports bar, but we're inclusive – there's no discrimination here, just good drinks, great food and an amazing atmosphere. I can't wait to open the doors and show everyone what we've made for them. We're all on the same team – come join the Valderrama's community."

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