7 reasons to be cheerful? Oh, go on then

Stay positive with these new openings, pop-ups, offers and refurbs. Plus a titbit of foodie gossip

solvay

1. Will The Antelope in Leyton be saved?
Back in November we ran an article outlining a local campaign to prevent this historic pub – which really does have an important backstory – from becoming flats. This week the council has dismissed the current owners’ appeal to change the pub, which means it’s no longer any use to them “as a redevelopment opportunity.” Fingers crossed the watering hole is now safe to be sold to an independent group who can restore it to its original glory. Have your say: fill out the questionnaire on Insta @theantelopee10

2. Solvay Society to launch a brewpub
To cement Grove Green Road’s burgeoning rep as Craft Beer Central, Filly Brook’s diminutive artisan neighbour Solvay Society (see main pic, above) is looking to expand its teeny Leytonstone taproom into the next arch to create a bigger brewpub. They’ve already smashed their first target, offering locals the chance “to pay it forward” and get “double your money” behind the bar when it opens. More on @solvaysociety

Lives another day. Photo: SE

3. Mexican Fried Chicken is now weekly
Leytonstone’s premier poultry purveyor is now setting up shop every Friday evening outside elegant wine store To be Consumed, right by the Overground. This time, after a couple of early-doors sellouts, they promise way more chicken so walk-ups should be satisfied too (that’s *our* plan-averse kind of pop-up). Get there or pre-order a slot between 5-830pm on Fridays. More on @mexican.fried.chicken

4. Stone Mini Market goes big
Yep, we know many of you know about this. But just in case some readers don’t, it’s worth checking the latest development from one of E11’s best independent shops. Stone Mini Market 2.0 is a few minutes’ further south (721 High Road E11) towards the Overground, and the back room is an airy eco-friendly refill dream. As with the Francis Road delis, you’ll end up spending way more than you mean to, obvs. Follow @stoneminimarket

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5. A new burger bar on Francis Road?
The jury is, to be fair, probably still out on this, as it’s extremely hard to find anything online or on social media about the incoming Burger Yard (nice name though). But this Romford-founded joint is, it seems, about to open a sister venue next to the doctor’s on Francis Road. So, in the spirit of positivity, let’s hope it’s decent, OK?

My refill heaven: Stone Mini Market. Photo: SE

6. A leafy oasis for the sweet-of-tooth
Speaking of new openings, what happened to Mexicorner (and how much do we still mourn Le Petit Corner)? Anyway it’s now mutated into the bucolic-sounding Garden Of Desserts. When we passed the other day, the shutters were down so it was tricky to get a proper peep inside. Are we talking plant-based puddings, or simply a cake-based ‘dessert cafe’? Time will tell as, again, there’s no social media presence yet at all. Opens TBC, 734 High Road E11

7. PapiMunchies is offering free pizza!
Bushwood’s best-kept secret has the perfect lockdown offer for the bored-of-cooking amongst you: a free margherita pizza if you collect your order from the North Star pub itself. It’s only available Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – so think mid-week treat rather than weekend feasting. Oh, and you have to order one full-priced pizza minimum to bag the freebie. Follow @papismunchies.leytonstone for more

*And finally, a gossipy titbit…*
This is, we admit, strictly off the record for now, but just before Christmas we quietly observed the founder of one London’s hip indie burger chains, and his colleague, sniffing around the empty arch ‘To Let’ by the High Road Overground. If it all comes to fruition, expect an industrial interior, open kitchen, and superior patties with craft beer aplenty. We’ll keep you posted.

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