The key London bar nobody can discover

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Secret London bar and restaurant Cache Cache is open Thursday through Sunday

cache cache

One would imagine that opening a bar that no one can find would be the stuff of nightmares for a new venture.

And that’s generally true – apart from the opulent exceptions of London cache cache.

Tucked away in a secret spot beneath Covent Garden’s piazza, the restaurant and cocktail club is one of the city’s best kept secrets.

As Özgür Karakaş (COO at Grizzly Hospitality – Cache Cache’s management group) tells me, the secret was once so well kept it even surprised him.

“We discovered this strange underground space in one of our restaurants and it was just too pretty to be a storage room. We knew we had to do something with it,” says Karakaş.

“We were also talking about the film Casablanca at the time and thought, ‘Why don’t we just do it?!'”

Totally clandestine and unrecognizable from the outside, they planned not to change anything on the outside, but to remodel the brick-lined interiors to accommodate 60 discerning guests for dinner, drinks and dancing. A gin joint-inspired speakeasy with thoroughly modern touches.

“It took us another year because Westminster is very tight on licenses but we finally made it!”

Originally for invitees only, Cache Cache took off in February 2020 and has hosted everyone from soccer players to Formula 1 drivers. Until Covid-19 forced its closure six weeks later.

As the night progresses, bongo players take the atmosphere of the restaurant and bar to new heights

cache cache

However, when the restrictions were finally lifted, business was back in no time.

Cache Cache’s experiential atmosphere proved to be the perfect antidote to the monotony and turmoil of the pandemic: a glamorous setting, delicious food, delicious cocktails, exceptional entertainment (instead of Sam at the piano, Cache-ablanca hosts accomplished DJs, saxophonists, and bongo players) and luxurious areas where you can enjoy anything or everything as you wish.

“There are always people enjoying cocktails and food in the early evening, but the place finds itself around 10:30/11,” says Karakaş. “Back then, the DJ and bongo players are outside and everyone gets up to dance. It’s a great atmosphere.”

Of course, don’t forget the food. Though the menu is limited, a range of small dishes and nibbles are available throughout the evening, including everything from caviar to pork belly anticucho (a personal favorite, served with bourbon sauce and Peruvian corn).

Cache Cache’s small plates offer everything from caviar to anticucho with pork belly (with bourbon … [+] sauce and Peruvian corn)

cache cache

And thankfully, it’s a little easier to get a table than it used to be. Deviating from an invitation-only model, you can now book your evenings via WhatsApp or online reservations.

“We like secrecy, but we also want people to enjoy it,” says Karakaş. “We’ll always be secretive and choosy — we’d never say ‘the more the merrier’ — but we’re happy to conform when we can.”

And if Cache Cache can’t, it certainly isn’t the only Grizzly hospitality option nearby.

The group, founded by Alex Zibi in 2011, also operates Covent Garden’s Buns & Buns (specializing in steamed buns and brioche buns) and NáNá Cafe (a Mediterranean-inspired kitchen and bar), with another brand expected to launch next year will be three to four months.

“It’s a tough market, but there’s always potential for great food,” continues Karakaş, who believes Grizzly’s concept-driven approach to restaurants – albeit only in prime locations – is the recipe for success.

“Although these are large investments, they pay off. We won’t spend like Hakkasan Group or Yauatcha, but we will continue to make significant investments in our businesses. And do it back. You can’t make money without spending money.”

Originally, the group was established as a consulting and investment vehicle to support new concepts and large-scale projects; The first of these projects resulted in Zibi raising funds for Sushisamba and Duck & Waffle, two of Europe’s top-grossing restaurants over the past eight years.

Drinks and dinner are served in hidden coves

cache cache

So yeah, while opening a bar that no one can find might not inspire confidence in the average investor, it’s fair to say Grizzly got off to a knowing start.

Here’s looking at you, Cache Cache.