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Jackson and Frank Boxer announce brand new West End dive bar Below Stone Nest

·3-min read
Three is the magic number: from left to right, Tic and Jackson and Frank Boxer  (Ollie Grove / Lizzie Mayson )
Three is the magic number: from left to right, Tic and Jackson and Frank Boxer (Ollie Grove / Lizzie Mayson )

The chef Jackson Boxer has announced he is set to open a new dive bar in the West End, in partnership with his brother Frank.

The Boxer brothers — Jackson known for Orasay, Frank for Peckham hit Frank’s Cafe, the pair for Brunswick House — are to open the neatly named Below Stone Nest on Shaftesbury Avenue, at the Cambridge Circus end.

As the name suggests, the pair will launch the bar beneath Stone Nest, the former chapel next to cult chicken hit Wingstop. Stone Nest is a not-for-profit arts space that regularly hosts music, dance and performance art.

Jackson tweeted the news this morning, writing: “My brother Frank and I have spent the last couple of months quietly building a bar under Cambridge Circus. It is beautiful — a really unusual space with both a deep resonant history and profound sense of possibility. Walk ins only, with a short list of mixed drinks, beers and low intervention wines, open from 6pm to 2am Wednesday to Saturday. We are launching it in early November, but it will be in operation from this Thursday for anyone who wants to come check it out.

“The music is being overseen by our friend Tic and will variously feature live performance, djs, and ever evolving playlists. The soundsystem is large and warm, the drinks are cheap, the welcome friendly. This is a London bar, in central, for everyone. We really hope you enjoy it.”

 (Ollie Grove / Lizzie Mayson)
(Ollie Grove / Lizzie Mayson)

The drinks menu will include a low-intervention house white, house red, an orange wine, a rosé, a cava and a Champagne, all served either by the glass or bottle. There will also be a rotating cast of what are being dubbed “special” wines, which will come from the cellars of Brunswick House, as well as cocktails and soft drinks.

Frank said of the opening: “As the London I grew up in is increasingly demolished, defaced and vandalised in the name of development, the opportunity to create a beautiful old fashioned dive bar in an extraordinary historic space in the heart of the west end is thrilling. My greatest ambition would be to establish some of the sense of joyous optimism and creative anarchy which typified the early days of Frank’s Cafe, by keeping the prices low, the offering simple and unimpeachable, and the space welcoming to everyone.”

While far from the only bar called Below — there is one at Hide, run by Oskar Kinberg, another underneath Bar de Pres and plenty of riffs elsewhere — a cheap, late-night spot next to Soho seems likely to be a hit, especially with the pair’s track record for success. It also looks, design-wise, to be very of the moment; its distressed walls, all rough plaster and peeling paint, bring to mind both Mayfair’s beautiful White Horse, as well as the Sessions Arts Club, which may be the most successful restaurant launch of the year.

It seems October brings out bars in the brothers, who this time last year announced the Brunswick House Cellars, a temporary spot beneath the popular Georgian restaurant.

Below Stone Nest, soft launch from October 21, open in full from November (date TBC). Open Wednesday—Saturday, 6pm—2am, 136 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1, belowsoho.london

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