Russell Norman and Richard Beatty to open Polpo in Brighton
Polpo, the sharing plates restaurant group from Russell Norman and Richard Beatty, is to open a site in Brighton on 16 November.
The 60-cover restaurant will be located at 20 New Road, a pedestrianised street near the Brighton Dome and Theatre Royal. It has been inspired by the Venetian "bàcaro" wine bars and is intended to feel "urban, rustic, and stripped back".
The décor will include heavy red curtains, a zinc-topped bar, and a three-metre long skylight designed to bring natural light into the space. There will also be dark red leather banquettes, antique maps of Venice and classic bentwood-design wooden chairs.
The menu will offer the familiar "cichetti" plates, including fried stuffed olives, arancini, and chopped chicken liver crostini; small plates such as fritto misto, pizzetta Bianca, spicy pork and fennel meatballs, and desserts such as the affogato al caffe, gelato cone, flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake, and tiramisu pot. The smallest plates start from £3, with the mains starting at £4. Walk-ins will be able to eat and drink at the bar, which will always remain as a no-bookings space.
Drinks will focus on spritzers served with Aperol and Campari, alongside Negronis and Bellinis, while new designs will include the All English Martini, with Sussex-made vermouth and gin. Wine will be only from Italy, including the group's own-label Garganega, Corvina and Prosecco.
Commenting on the new opening, Norman said: "Having visited Brighton with my grandmother Gwen every summer as a child, Polpo Brighton has a special place in my heart. I have such vivid and fond memories of the pier and sitting on the beach with soggy chips and a stick of rock. For me it's the quintessential English seaside town. As an adult I have loved Brighton for its uncompromising bohemian identity. I'm delighted Polpo will be a part of this vibrant community."
Polpo first opened on London's Beak Street in 2009, and now runs to six sites across the capital, including Notting Hill, and Smithfield, and inside the Russell Norman Cambridge Circus pub, Ape & Bird. The group also opened in Chelsea earlier this year.
The duo's other sites comprise the very-similar in style Polpetto in Soho; bar-diner Spuntino in Soho; and cocktail-deli Mishkin's in Covent Garden.
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