Following the success of the Battersea opening last year, Humble Grape – the wine bar and shop from James Dawson – is set to open a second site in May this year.
Situated on St Bride’s Passage, just off Fleet Street, the site is tucked away down a cobbled street and hidden in the vaults of the magnificent St Bride’s Church. Unoccupied for several years, the venue will be revived to comprise a 200-seat wine bar, shops, events space, private dining room and winecellar.
Humble Grape directly imports handcrafted wine from small, sustainable, independent vineyards worldwide, avoiding the industry-standard markups from agents, importers or distributers. Here, as with Battersea, customers will be invited to enjoy wine on their terms, whether seated in the bar, attending a tasting or winemaker dinner, or buying bottles to take away.
James Dawson is working with acclaimed architect, Jean Dumas, of Trellik Design Studios. Aged woods, cork, concrete and Portuguese tiles will complement the stunning stone arches, which are thought to be the original design of Sir Christopher Wren.
The colour palette will be a mixture of natural ambers and smoky greys with rich and lively undertones. The bar, meanwhile, will be crafted from old Champagne riddling racks and a central tealleather banquette will be centred beneath dramatic industrial lighting.
Towards the back of the venue is the cavernous events space which will feature a striking glass-fronted wine cellar behind the arches, and an 18 seater private dinning room.
“I started Humble Grape in 2009 with a handful of wines that I’d discovered on my travels,” explains James. “I ran wine tastings for my friends and family and delivered cases on the back of my motorbike. Now we import over two-hundred wines, and have a loyal following. Many of my customers invested in our crowdfunding raise on Seedrs enabling me to launch the first Humble Grape wine bar and shop in Battersea, the mission being to make great quality wines accessible for all.
“The bar was so well received, we’re now in the position to bring the concept to Central London.”