Dam Tasty Beer
This new brewery bar (and beer distribution outlet), pictured above, is just around the corner from Leytonstone High Road Overground, with a surprisingly spacious part-covered drinking yard. It’s a fun and welcome addition to a crafty corner that now includes nearby Mammoth taproom and Stone Mini Market’s beer garden. We popped by at about 8pm last Saturday and the place was nicely buzzing, with a good selection of beer, a genuine real-life hops plant – pointed out to us by the barman – and a (sadly) sold-out katsu curry-focused menu from @kotora. Go hunt it out (hint: it’s opposite the sorting office), Fridays and Saturdays, 5-10pm only. Follow @damtastybeer.
Matt Cup Roastery
In the very same corner of E11 is a classy new Istanbul-owned artisan coffee outlet within the always enticing Continental Food Exchange supermarket. It’s the only posh beans purveyor in this part of Leytonstone, so well worth supporting, with sockets for laptops, freelancers-a-plenty, as well as comfy sofas and houseplants. Grab an americano before or after a walk on the Flats if you access them, as we do, most often via Ferndale Road. Follow @mattcuproastery
Support Luna Lounge!
After 17 years of being open, and with its popularity at an all-time peak, the excellent Luna Lounge has had its pavement drinking license application rejected – with certain folk suggesting it “causes too much of a disturbance.” This self-confessed “society of misfits” is one of Leytonstone’s most industrious cultural venues and forces, with its free-entry live music policy every night, chilled diverse crowd and safe-space LGBTQ-friendly flags. It’s on the heart of Church Lane and should be able to accommodate outside drinkers (at least till a civilised hour) who can socialise and network with like-minded friends. It’s certainly one of our weekly haunts (see pic below). Join the campaign to save it here. Follow @lunalivemusic_
Truman becomes Big Penny Social
We didn’t understand this name-change at all, but it’s worth reading the brewery’s explanation about their vast Blackhorse Road taproom. “We sold the Truman’s name to survive the pandemic and keep all the team employed,” says the venue’s Frank. “Big Penny is a name drawn from the local area and community we love to call home – the nearby Coppermill used to roll sheets of copper to be made into penny coins.” Despite the wonderful space, we do think the beer is inferior to the other taprooms like nearby Signature and Exale. But from September 15th if you enter the space you’ll be in Big Penny Social. Follow @trumansocialclub (for now)
Spice Box to close on October 2nd
It’s a genuine shame this pioneering vegan curryhouse didn’t last very long. Only a year after Spice Box replaced District Mot in that sizeable venue on Leytonstone High Road, it’s sadly shutting its doors. Despite a huge Instagram following and innovative vegan menu, perhaps the room was just too big (it was often half-full) and simply couldn’t quite compete with the extreme popularity of smaller, buzzier local dining rooms like Singburi, Filly Brook, Panda and Bocca Bocca, as well as a vegan-heavy offer at popular nearby pub The Birds. “It’s getting tougher and tougher to run a restaurant business and it’s time for us to call it a day,” says founder Grace Regan. The Walthamstow branch on Hoe Street, only a walk away, remains open. Follow @eatspicebox