Just open: Yardarm Café and Bar, Leyton

The Francis Road bottle shop officially launched their cafe and bar this week. Miranda Eason took a peek

Zowie: an exterior alright. Photo: ME
Zowie: a striking exterior alright. Photo: ME
Get excited, Yardarm, the independent wine shop that landed on Francis Road back in December, officially unveils its long-awaited café and bar today. We caught up with Dan O’Connor and Eliza Parkes, the couple behind our favourite gaff to buy wine, beer and yummy food to go with it. Spoiler alert: the coffee (beans by East London’s Nude Espresso) is VERY good.

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.

Effortless. Photo: ME
Effortless interior. Photo: ME

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.


Counter. Photo: ME
‘We’ve both worked in the industry for years.’ Photo: ME
We love the look of the place.
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.

Daily bread. Photo: ME
Daily bread from Celtic Bakers. Photo: ME

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.

This is box title
Find Yardarm at 238 Francis Road, Leyton, London E10 6NQ. Open Wednesday & Thursday 10am – 10pm, Friday & Saturday 10am – 11pm, Sunday 19am – 5pm. Closed Monday & Tuesday. Follow them on @yardarm_leyton or here
  • Show Comments

  • Steffi Hoenig

    Chris Ginger Timmins the bread!

  • Elinor Jade Weedon

    Hanna-marie Creese Joanne Boyle let’s try this out!

  • Ali Taylor

    Martina Kehoe & Louise Richards – next week?

  • Becky Finnemore

    What do you think?

  • Ali Taylor

    And Caroline Till please!!

  • Martina Kehoe

    Defo!! What night? X

  • Lizzie Starling

    Becky Finnemore I’m into it.

  • Michael Sanders

    Very, very happy about this. Looking forward to becoming a regular.

  • Zana WR

    We checked it out too and give it a big thumbs up! Will definitely become a regular haunt U0001f44fU0001f3fcU0001f377U0001f31f

  • Elizabeth Curran

    Hannah this place looks nice! Briana let me know your review, I miss you, Oliver and squibs xxxx

  • Caroline Till

    yes please xxxx