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Frank's an underground bar à vin to open this May

Frank’s, a new subterranean bar à vin from the team behind the critically acclaimed French brasserie Maison François, is set to open this May. Located in the heart of St James’s beneath the recently opened restaurant, the bar will serve a carefully chosen list of unconventional wines by the glass alongside a regularly changing menu designed with drinking in mind.

Founder François O’Neill has taken inspiration from his favourite spots in Paris and New York, from sampling the all-natural wines at La Cave Septime or standing at the bar with small plates at Pierre Touitou’s Deviant, to watching Brooklyn-ites in Hotel Delmano. Descending the intertwined stairs, guests will be welcomed by the impressive central bar and laid-back industrial cool of Frank’s, dreamt up and designed by John Whelan at The Guild of Saint Luke. With low lighting, polished concrete floors, black leather banquettes and mirror-lined whitewashed brick walls giving a nod to the bar’s 70’s architectural inspiration.

The menu, alongside the décor, will also be a departure from the brasserie upstairs, while retaining its focus on simplicity and carefully sourced produce. An ever-changing menu using some of François’s and Exec Chef Matthew Ryle’s favourite ingredients will be served from 5pm onwards, seven days a week. The menu will include a selection of decadent sandwiches, including their French onion soup toastie or the crispy calves’ brains with sauce ravigote in a house-baked milk bun. There will also be some daily changing specials such as, l’escargots de Bourgogne and bone marrow on toast to a summer salad of tomatoes and anchovies. Joining these will be Maison François’s much-loved pâté en croute maison, oeuf en gelée or jambon noir de Bigorre sliced at the bar. As the night draws in, the music is turned up and Frank’s comes into its own, serving glasses of the good stuff from a bold two hundred strong list of small production natural wines and quirky biodynamics alongside more established French producers. For those looking for a one-off, the team will be cracking open magnums from legendary winemakers and powerhouse domaines, providing a special accompaniment to a plate (or two). The bar will also serve a number of François’s favourite cocktails with simple, refined classics such as the Frank’s 75 or a white port Negroni; an ideal nightcap before heading off on your next adventure.

François says, “We wanted to create something a bit different in this area, a relaxed spot with great music and atmosphere, somewhere you can come for a drink or settle in till closing time with an eclectic seasonal menu - and Frank’s is just that. We are bringing a bit of the quirk and cool from some of our favourite drinking spots in the world; La Cave Septime with their incredible wines, and the brilliant Hotel Delmano in Williamsburg. This is somewhere where we would like to eat and drink, and we cannot wait to show Frank’s offering and vibe to all the hungry and thirsty people coming out of this winter’s lockdown.” Frank’s will open from midday through to the evenings seven days a week from Monday 17th May. The full food menu is available from 5pm – 12am daily. From midday – 5pm drinks and a reduced menu are available.

Frank’s 34 Duke Street St. James's, London SW1


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