The Beefsteaks take over the Manze pie shop on Islington's Chapel Market

the beefsteaks chapel market islington

A Hot Dinners exclusive

It's been three years since the old Manze pie and mash shop closed its doors on Chapel Market, marking the end of an era after over 100 years of business. But, as one door closes, another opens, and walking past the empty building on Chapel Market back in 2020 proved to be a lightbulb moment for Alex Pashby of street food traders The Beefsteaks. His lease on a railway arch down in Bermondsey was coming to an end and he needed a new prep kitchen space. But when he signed on the dotted line just days before the first lockdown hit, he got a lot more than he'd bargained for.

What followed was three years of what might finish off someone with less enthusiasm. First came squatters during lockdown who destroyed the cafe's wonderful listed benches (which he and a carpenter friend are restoring). Then there was a one-year tussle with English Heritage over getting listed building consent. Now older, wiser and - it has to be said - a little poorer, Alex is ready to throw open the doors to his new Chapel Market project.

With plans to open the space as a 'steakhouse in the style of somewhere like Brat' on hold until he has more capital, the notion came to Alex to open up as a neighbourhood wine bar. As Manze's didn't cook on site, this is going to be what he's dubbing a 'kitchenless pop-up'.

To that end, The Beefsteaks Chapel Market will first open with a menu of seasonal British small plates, and low-intervention wines. Anspach & Hobday from the Bermondsey Beer Mile will be supplying their London Black porter and there'll be a small craft cocktail list.

Dishes from the launch menu are still being worked out, but could include:

  • Steak tartare
  • Smoked eel flatbread
  • Oysters and Black Velvets
  • Cured and torched mackerel
  • Crab toast

With all but one of the original booths back in action (one is being removed for wheelchair access) there'll be 60 covers in total. And, three years after the original sign was stolen, the talented chaps from Brilliant Signs have created a gorgeous glass embossed M Manze sign which has just been installed.

The 'pop-up' will run until there's enough capital to get the restaurant properly up and running and will be an evenings-only affair.


More about The Beefsteaks @ M. Manze

Where is it? 74 Chapel Market, London N1 9ER

When? 2024

Find out more: Follow them on Instagram @thebeefsteaks


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