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Former Bowie hangout Giaconda Dining Room opens new café

02 January 2014 by
Former Bowie hangout Giaconda Dining Room opens new café

The family-run team behind the Giaconda Dining Room has opened a new restaurant, café and bar adjacent to the original site.

La Giaconda Restaurant, Café and Bar opened in late December last year and has officially started trading for 2014 today.

Located in front of the well-known musician hangout Giaconda Dining Room, the café is run by original founders, husband and wife team Paul Merrony and Tracey Petersen, who for the past six years have been developing other London coffee bars Flat White and Milk Bar.

The new site aims to bring a relaxed, breakfast-to-dinner café feel to the city centre, as well as intending to honour the brand's rock-n-roll past.

Open from 8am to 10pm, the new café has simple, colourful décor and serves hearty classics changing throughout the day, from bacon and eggs, black pudding, avocado on toast and homemade jam to croque monsieur, plates of charcuterie, steak frites and roast chicken.

Merrony said: "It's getting harder to find a central London cafe that just puts the simple back into breakfast. There's nothing like enjoying a good cup of tea and an easy going breakfast where you know the ingredients haves been well-sourced, without having to worry about all the pomp."

The Giaconda Dining Room is at the same site, but is now smaller. White tablecloths, high ceilings and a more traditional menu aim to provide a more "elegant" yet still-relaxed experience.

Petersen added that the set-up allowed Merrony to have more freedom. She said: "Paul needs to cook for himself and when he does, his food excels. Now the restaurant is smaller again, we can do that; Paul can cook what he wants to eat. And in turn we know the customers will enjoy it all the more."

Located near many former music publishers, the original Denmark Street site became known in the Sixties as the favoured watering hole for stars such as David Bowie, Mark Bolan, the Kinks and Elton John. The Grade-II listed rear building is said to date back as far as 1688.

It suffered a mishap in 2008 after Merrony broke his arm in a cycling accident and was forced to close the restaurant for over a month.

Giaconda Dining Room forced to close after Paul Merrony breaks his arm >>

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