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The 49-year-old actor, who since he was 19 has also DJed under the moniker Big Driis, is set to open Porte Noire with his business partner David Farber. The bar is named for the Champagne the pair produce together, which first hit the market in September of last year.
The new bar will open at the base of Gasholders, the residential development built, as the name suggests, within the frame of abandoned gasworks on the banks of the Regent’s Canal. The project will open on October 18.
The new venture, which will seat 70 in total, will be split between five areas: a dining room; a bar; an outside terrace; a shop set to one side of the bar’s entrance; and a large tasting room off that. Across the bar, restaurant and shop, more than 800 wines will be available, which will not be confined to Porte Noire products. Cocktails will be served as well.
Farber is expected to take the reigns with the project, with Elba a co-owner but unlikely to be assisting with the day-to-day running of the place. Farber is best known in London as the founder of Connaught Wine Cellars, the wine shop close to Marble Arch, and it will be his selection that make it into the Porte Noire shop.
Food will largely be given over to French brasserie classics: beef cheek, pommes puree — the butter-heavy mash made famous by the late Joël Robuchon — and oeuf Meurette, or what you might call eggs poached in red wine.
Elba told the Standard he was excited for the future of both the bar and the brand. He said: “I’m really excited for the bar to be opening in Kings Cross, where the energy is good. It’s one thing to have a Champagne and now to have a bar associated to it — where people celebrate and drink that Champagne — it’s just great.
“My partner David has been amazing for Porte Noire, I’m looking forward to what we can accomplish together with the bar."
He added: “David has been working in the wine space for a long time, I know he is going to take the Porte Noire name and create something special.”
Farber commented: “We’re really excited to be bringing a slice of continental hospitality to London this autumn. Since launching our brand Porte Noire, we have seen some incredible reviews of the product and we’re looking forward to creating a space to match.”
Porte Noire will open on October 18 at Unit A Gasholder 10, 1 Lewis Cubitt Square, N1. For more information, visit portenoire.co.uk