Everyone’s favourite purveyor of “Modern Irish hospitality”, Homeboy, is opening a new site in South London on 12th April 2021!
Spring is in the air, lockdown measures are tentatively easing, and we’re all looking forward to being able to grab a drink at our favourite bars with our favourite people once more. To add further excitement to these hopeful goings-ons, we’re delighted to announce that the team behind Homeboy is opening a second venue in Embassy Gardens, Nine Elms!
Located close to Battersea, Homeboy Embassy Gardens has been a long-time project of the bar owners and Irish duo, Aaron Wall and Ciaran Smith, which had recently been put on hold due to the national lockdown. As restrictions ease the duo are coming back fighting, with the bar first opening its expansive terrace from 12th April for al fresco drinks and dining, and the full venue opening from 17th May.
Aaron tells us,
“From day one, we wanted the idea of Homeboy to grow. We wanted to do something that people wanted, needed and resonated with. People are ruthlessly proud of their local bar and we wanted to be that for them.”
The pair came to settle on Nine Elms for their second location after missing out on a Soho spot – a “blessing in disguise” – and being approached by Embassy Gardens’ developer, Ballymore, who’d apparently been keeping an eye on them for a while. “We always want to be ahead of the curve,” states Ciaran.
“We’d identified key places in London we wanted to be in and Nine Elms was one of them. There are 10,000 apartments around [the new venue] but no vibe yet. We wanted to be the ones to start the neighbourhood vibe down here – a destination for Friday and Saturday night, and a super neighbourhood social hub for the locals Sunday through to Thursday.“
The original bar is renowned for its “Modern Irish Hospitality”; defined by Aaron and Ciaran as the warm welcome and service expected of any great Irish bar, paired with knowledge. Ciaran elaborates,
“Everyone knows Irish hospitality worldwide but what we’ve done is put a structure to that and can be trained into our staff. Warm hospitality paired with the skill and training you have over here.“
“For me, from the bar side of things, the level of training that goes into venues here in London is massive. In Ireland, there’s a natural warm that people have and your modern Irish person is agile, inventive, and dynamic. It’s our dream to marry those together and that all relates back to the guest experience. Although we’re the faces of the business at the moment, we want to show that Modern Irish Hospitality is a thing that anyone can be trained to have, and that comes to be recognised globally, [in the same way as] “gastropub” or Japanese bartendering are recognisable.”
Some of Homeboy Islington‘s staunch industry following have voiced concerns over the size of the venue, unsure of how the guys will be able to transplant the intimacy of the small bar to this new, much larger, all-singing-all-dancing spot. However, Ciaran and Aaron are not concerned. “Both of our backgrounds are in bigger venues so this actually puts us back in our wheelhouse”, shrugs Aaron.
“That’s what good hospitality is; looking after your guest’s small world and making sure it’s intimate and cosy. It’s a big space but we worked a lot of the decor etc and it does feel cosy and welcoming.”
As well as bringing this brand of warm hospitality to the new much-larger location, Homeboy Embassy Gardens will also offer cocktails, Guinness, and an all-day food offering (from brunch through to à la carte, and Sunday Lunch at the weekend. The cocktail menu will mirror that of the Islington venue to create a cross-river neighbourhood feel (as well as a touch of South vs North friendly rivalry), and will naturally include Irish Whisky focused cocktails. One such to look forward to is The Wogan – made using Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey and apricot brandy, its dry and elegant with citrus notes and named after the great entertainer. There will also be more modern styled cocktails such as the Sparkling Strawberry Daiquiri, inspired by the Bruno Mars lyric “strawberry Champagne on ice” and Homeboy’s take on classics including favourites such as the Negroni and their famed Irish Coffee.
With Aaron and Ciaran splitting their time between the two venues, and the original Islington relocating until 17th May to instil the new team with Modern Irish Hospitality, Homeboy Embassy Gardens is sure to be overflowing with good craic. We certainly can’t wait to visit!
Homeboy Embassy Gardens, 6 New Union Square, Embassy Gardens, Nine Elms, London, SW11 7DN