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EXCLUSIVE: a brand new music venue for the West End

And will Camden go pro-nightlife?

Hands in the air!

For week two of our culture campaign series we’re focusing on nightlife, and in particular how we maintain the peerless legacy of London’s late night clubs.

These venues are often incubators of artists and culture that goes on to have a global impact, but they are having a desperately tough time right now on multiple fronts, so need our support.

Striking a really positive note, in this week’s in-depth feature, we’re given exclusive first media access to a brand new venue just off Tottenham Court Road that has the potential to revive the West End’s ailing nightlife, while providing a dynamic new community space for locals from across Camden.

As we’ve said many times before, nightlife is the crucible of culture, the place where ideas become movements, and creativity gets the space to truly fizz, so as with the local pubs we championed in last Friday’s newsletter, this time we look at the 10 key challenges facing late night venues, plus the interesting developments at Camden Town Hall this week, which have seen a new pro-nightlife approach tentatively making its way to being implemented.

It’s long overdue that we recalibrate our relationship with the challenges - and the joys - of life out and about after hours, so hopefully there’s plenty of food for thought.


Crazy pub sarnies and loads more to try, plus another shock closure

Wilde’s Deli at the Rose & Crown

🥪 Latest Rose & Crown pub grub kitchen pop-up, Wilde's Deli, have been serving their ridiculous Reubens (pictured above), knish, latkes and other Jewish delights in the garden for a few weeks now, and by all accounts it’s been a smash hit season so far. Book your sarnies in advance to avoid disappointment as the kitchen is a one-man-band operation.

🍛 For decades, London’s Hare Krishna’s have been famous for their devotional chanting on Oxford Street - and for dishing out tasty vegetarian food to anyone who wants a plate off Inverness St and other points across town. Now Krishna charity Food For All look set to be taking over the old Bento Raman joint on Parkway for the supply of affordable thalis alongside unashamedly 1960s peace n’ love vibes and decor.

🍷 A grand old branch of Barclays Bank on Islington’s Rosebery Avenue has just opened as the very good-looking Morchella, serving modern Mediterranean classics and decent wines, with a refreshing policy of with service included in the price.

🍔 It's the final week of the Family Food Festival in Covent Garden, which seems to be a vaguely half-term related excuse for some Kerb trucks (Blondie’s Kitchen, Utter Waffle. Gamekeeper, Gully and The Duck Shed) to offer kid-friendly streetfood on the Piazza - runs until March 8th.

🍝 Belsize Park’s Chamomile Cafe is playing host to The Arepatoire Supper Club series, a three course unique Colombian-Italian social dining experience that’s now booking up until the end of April.

❌ More sad news from the people behind former Coal Drops Yard terrace restaurant Hicce, which was forced to close back in December after their landlords, the fashion and homewares store Wolf & Badger, vacated the building. Hicce Hart, the pub they opened in nearby Chapel Market little more than a year ago, has now also shut down suddenly, as has pizza venture opposite Little Pizza Hicce.

Here’s a way you can support independent pubs and Camdenist

Subscribe to Camdenist Premium and we’ll send you £100 of independent London pub discounts via CityStack as a thank you. You’ll get special invites to our upcoming events, too, plus will be direct helping this newsletter campaign for culture, each and every Friday.


📊 This week’s 1-click poll

What do you think of Camden Council's moves to support the night time economy?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.


🍏 It's a Community Climate Action Day tomorrow (Sat 2nd) at Kentish Town’s Greenwood Centre, with loads of sustainably-minded organisations providing talks, workshops, food and more.

🚌 The lovely Zen Project are bringing their converted yellow US school bus to King's Cross from the 6th -17th March for free guided meditations, breathwork and sound baths as part of the estate’s ongoing Mind Your Brain season.

🔥 The Community Sauna Baths pop-up at the Story Garden has been extended until 10th March so there’s a bit more time to get involved in hot steam and cold plunge behind the British Library.


The pick of the week’s local live gigs

Aba Shanti-I at the Jazz Cafe tonight

🤘 Tonight through until Sunday is the Celestial Darkness Festival, showcasing extreme metal and happening variously across Camden’s Underworld and Electric Ballroom, plus over at Islington’s 02 Academy, too. Expect the heaviest of music from 26 of the world’s top bands in the genre.

🔊 Bone-rattling dub sound Aba Shanti-I brings the booming Notting Hill Carnival vibes into Parkway’s Jazz Cafe tonight (Fri 1st March) selecting the sacred dub and soulful reggae vibes through until 3am.

🎙️ 23-year-old self-taught BRIT School protege and her band, Ellie Harris Quintet, offer an evening of soulful jazz from a London songstress to watch out for, at Pizza Express Live Holborn on Sunday (2nd).

🎭 Local actress Tracy-Ann Oberman has penned Bette and Joan and Baby Jane - The Musical, which harks back to the twilight of the careers of two of Hollywood’s biggest ever stars in the early 60s. Tracy joins the cast on stage for this one-off show at JW3 on Monday (4th)

We love a game of ‘guess the crowd’ outside the 02 Forum Kentish Town, and on Thursday (7th) you’ll find an eclectic bunch of devotees of Norway’s Kaizers Orchestra, who sing in their native tongue but have amassed a global following.


Where the work happens

The weekly column: reflections on living, working and playing in the borough…

Workshop at the ODAC

TUESDAY: Breakfast at Euston’s Old Diorama Arts Centre proved to be a joyful gathering. The facility has radical roots, starting out from an occupation of John Nash’s pre-cinema arts building at Regent’s Park by artists in the 1970s, and has morphed into a purpose-build rehearsal space with an ambitious local outreach programme today. Their team were laying out plans for the next five years, and a model which skillfully utilises the arts as a tool to contribute to the health, wellbeing and cohesion of the community based all around. There were no spare seats in the packed - and impressively rowdy/participatory for 10am - house, testament to how enthusiastically received the ODAC’s work and partnerships are already locally (and the lure of coffee and pastries, no doubt). We happily sampled some locally-roasted Honest Grind Coffee after the presentations, from an innovative project that provides training and employment for vulnerable local teens. We’ll have more on them in a future newsletter, but you’ll be able to drop in to the ODAC foyer on the regular to grab a weekday cup from their cart, starting in a few week’s time.

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Help this newsletter to grow and we’ll send you a gift for hitting your first 5 successful sign-ups 😲 Begin adding points to your running total right away. Simply share the link below with all the friends, family and colleagues you know would also love to read Camdenist every Friday morning (and keep an eye on your total as it grows!):


What do you think about BT Tower bring sold off to a hotel group?

Love it - a new lease of life for defunct communications infrastructure
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 54%

Not bothered - it's just another building to me
🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ 16%

Feeling sad - its the end of an era and another posh hotel is the last thing we need
🟨🟨🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️ 30%

Our biggest poll result to date 😲 with loads of comments left, too. The iconic tower clearly has a place in the hearts of most locals, and the new owners would be wise to take heed of the popularity of a return to the revolving restaurant... Here’s a selection of your feedback:

“At least now the public will be able to go in! I never thought I'd be saying that hotels are egalitarian, but sort of...”

“I hope they bring back the revolving restaurant!”

“It is good news.  It’s been inaccessible for decades.  Now it’ll bring life, vitality and diversity to Fitzrovia.  And footfall!”

“Hadn't realised it was totally defunct so anything that will reopen its doors is good.”

“I feel it should be open to the general public - like a tech museum or some such… of course with a revolving bar/restaurant still at the top!”

“It’s such an iconic building, and since childhood I always hoped one day to go up to the revolving restaurant at the top. I managed to visit the Statue of Liberty, including the crown, so why not (what will always be to me) the Post Office Tower?”

“I have mixture of emotions - I’d rather the Tower be a hotel than be torn down, but I wish there were more creative, interesting and viable solutions.”

“Put a nice Section 106 on it to allow public access to the top and Bob's your uncle!”

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