The Story Deli Popup
The other evening, whilst hovering around the East End of London, I happened across a popup style pizza place in the remains of what used to be a scooter garage. It turned out the Story Deli, a well-known pizzeria at The Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, had moved and settled up shop, not two minutes from its original position, on Bethnal Green Road.
The sandwich board sign on the street read ‘Pizza, Coffee & Cake’, lethargically written in chalk, whilst the main fascia still had The Scooter Shop’s graffiti signage in full show. We could not resist a peek, at least.
We were led in via a chalk mural that covered the exterior walls to find a quaint space, beautifully decorated, but with reminders of its former utility. Oddments and found objects hung from the beams and low hanging ragged chandeliers tittered above the tabletop, whist the whitewashed walls and bare electrical wires subtly revealed an account of what had been. The tiny kitchen at the rear of the shop was exposed, it felt like we’d walked into some eccentric artists kitchen/ studio.
We were told there wouldn’t be any pizza for half an hour as they only had one oven and it that needed to cool down after cooking the brownies. We were offered complimentary drinks for the inconvenience but were reminded not to drink too much, as they didn’t have any toilets! We sat at the central table (the only table) and observed. There were so many charming details to the decoration that it was almost distracting.
Our wine arrived by way of 10-year-old girl (approximately), who seemed to be just passing, but managed to squeeze in the evenings specials in the most angelic of fashions. The pizza followed shortly afterwards, by way of the chef, and I must say, it was the best pizza I have ever tasted. The whole experience was vibrant and energetic, but
above all a total surprise.
Popup restaurants are by no way new phenomena. But it takes a real confidence, along with a certain taste and skill, to pull it off as seamlessly as this. It was an intimate theatre of conversation and good food. A truly convivial evening and one I highly recommend.
In: Brand Experience, Food and Drink, Innovation, Ooh that's nice, Retail · Tags: Popup, Story Deli