There he is, Leytonstone’s cunning-est fox, casually taking a post-brunch stroll right down the middle of Grove Green Road, oblivious to traffic.
And the clued-up vulpine is definitely in the right part of town as he’s apparently hot on the trail of new cafe-bar Filly Brook. Yep, the team are back with a new location a keep-cup’s chuck from teeny but awesome taproom Solvay Society and mighty gastropub the Heathcote & Star.
The good news – in case you haven’t walked down Grove Green recently – is that work is now happening apace at the site, which will launch at the start of 2020.
It sure as hell has been a slow-burner. Back in early 2017 we mentioned that the boys had nabbed this particular location.
Fast forward two-and-a-half years and they finally got the keys this September. “It’s been a long time coming and it’s certainly been a lot of work to get here,” says co-founder Simon Purnell, “but we’re excited to say we have signed the lease on the new E11 building and work has started on renovations.”
Not familiar with the Filly Brook concept? Set up by brothers Simon and James Purnell along with friend Johann Dumelie, the original intriguingly-named cafe (which takes its moniker from a local buried stream) was a cute multi-purpose hangout right next to Leytonstone tube (now Laura Lea Design).
As well as local ales, wine was selected by Noble Rot magazine, and barista coffee from Caravan. Simon is a music industry professional, having programmed the Lovebox festival and produced radio shows for Radio 1, while Johann’s managed The Cock in Hackney and James has worked with Chatsworth Road market.
So, like many of you, we’re eagerly watching the progress of the old Army Cadets hut. You can now gawp at the white weatherboard exterior (a nice echo of the nearish Curved Brick Co) and stylish bifold windows, allowing natural light and sun into the main space.
Better still, as well as cafe, bar and – yay! – restaurant there’ll also be a community workspace. So sod it, maybe you freelancers should just move in with your laptop. It’d give Deeney’s a break, after all.
Now, about that fearless fox…