Joe Allen finally reopens with new bar
Iconic Covent Garden restaurant Joe Allen will finally reopen its doors on 15 October following an 18-month closure.
Polpo co-founder Russell Norman will join existing owners Tim Healy and Lawrence Hartley when the venue reopens, overseeing the newly created Joe's Bar - a New York-style tavern situated at the front of the restaurant.
The revamped menu of classic American brasserie dishes will be delivered by new executive chef Gary Lee (formerly of The Ivy and The Dorchester).
"I am so happy to be joining such a creative, fun team of people as executive chef of Joe Allen, a place where I spent many nights after work tucking into a burger or two," says Lee.
"Being the well loved institution that it is, it’s a fantastic challenge and I am looking forward to putting my mark on some of the dishes - a modern approach to brasserie food. Joe's has always been a place for people to just go and sit, eat, chat and enjoy the ambiance, its a space where friends meet friends. Long may that continue.”
"Joe’s Bar at Joe Allen is the bar I always wanted to find in London but never could," adds Norman.
"Somewhere with sexy lighting, effortless style, friendly service, live piano and great classic and revival cocktails. It’s the place to go for a pre-theatre dish or two and a Jerry Thomas Manhattan, or to kick back over a few Martinis and great bar snacks with friends for an indulgent evening.
"It’s only taken 45 years but finally it’s here.”
Favourites including the full rack of oak-smoked baby back ribs with raw slaw will make a welcome return alongside Joe’s classic Caesar Salad and burger.
New dishes will include starters such as Portland crab and sweetcorn soup alongside shaved fennel, chicory and pecorino salad; and crispy duck with watermelon, cress and cashews.
For mains, a classic ‘three-minute’ USDA steak will come served with peppercorn sauce and goose fat potatoes, while brick-flattened chicken will be laden with black eye bean salsa and accompanied by corn muffin, chicken gravy and plantain crisps.
Desserts will include a twist on the classics: pumpkin pie brûlée, ‘flipped’ apple tart with pecan pie ice cream and New York cheesecake.