What can we expect from the café and bar?
Lots of the same stuff you can take away from the shop, but to have in. There’s a list of bottles we’ll sell by the glass: we’re limited in space in terms of what we can keep chilled so it’s not everything we sell, and of course there are beers too. There’ll be a £1 cappage, as we’re calling it, for beers, and £6 corkage for wine. During the day we’ll do toast and baked goods like croissants, pastries and so on, to go with your coffee. Around 6pm it’ll have a more nighttime vibe, we’ll light candles, and the food will include olives, hummus, cheese and charcuterie. That’s how we’re imagining it, anyway: we do have an all day licence, so I’m sure there’ll be a few Bloody Marys going on at the weekend.
You’re Leyton-born and bred and have always lived in the area, and Eliza’s originally from Cornwall. When you moved from Walthamstow last year, was opening a shop, café and a bar part of the plan?
No! We were looking at the flat above the shop when the estate agent told us that the shop was up for sale too. Having a bottle shop was our dream, so we were like: “Let’s do it!”
How did you choose what to sell?
Basically it’s all our favourite things. We’ve both worked in the industry over the years. We’ve gone local where we can: Leyton’s East London Brewery is our best-selling beer, with Beavertown a close second. And then we’ve got Wild Card from Walthamstow, Pressure Drop from Hackney and Crate from Hackney Wick. Adding food was a result of us living here and realising there was nowhere to buy fresh bread nearby. We started researching and found Celtic Bakers, who do a great range of sourdoughs, as well as pastries and cakes. We’ve added more food, again buying local as much as possible, including sausages from the East London Sausage company, Vadasz Deli pickles and jams from London Borough of Jams.
We employed the services of an interior designer we’d worked with before. The aim was for industrial with a bit of warmth and as much shelf space as possible, without it looking overcrowded. We mentioned cork and she ran with it: it’s pretty much all the surfaces, including the floor. James from Design Engineering under the arches at Leyton Midland did the steel, and we worked with a joiner from Walthamstow.
What about the wines?
Obviously there’s less choice locally for wine; they’re predominantly from France. But all are small production, mostly organic, some are biodynamic, some are natural. Weirdly it’s quite difficult to get hold of English wines because they mostly go through massive distributors but we’ve found one that sells direct and we’re taking a trip to see them in a couple of weeks.
What’s next for Yardarm?
Phase three is the garden, which we’re hoping to open in spring. We’re planning to have a pergola, outside lighting, a mixture of different-sized tables, plus planters and a herb patch. It’s south facing so the light floods in; it’ll be a nice spot. We’re also going to be hosting regular tastings, so sign up to the newsletter via the website.