The Distillery to open sister venue on Exmouth Market

Imbibe Editorial

23 March 2018

Portobello Road Gin’s The Distillery is opening a new bar, restaurant and working still room next month. The new venue Tonica By The Distillery is taking over Cielo Blanco’s site on Exmouth Market and will be modelled after The Distillery’s first floor Spanish restaurant GinTonica.

The venue incorporates 100 seats over the restaurant and bar on the ground floor, the still room and event space in the basement. The menu has been created by executive chef Greg Lewis and will follow GinTonica’s style of tapas and small plates inspired by Spain’s culinary culture. Drinks comes from Portobello Road Gin’s master distiller Jake F Burger and will include The Distillery’s well-known Gin and Tonic Plus serve, which gets creative with a traditional G&T using garnishes, tinctures, liqueurs and bitters.

Tonica, as well as The Distillery and Portobello Road Gin, is owned by Leelex Group which already owned the site as the London branch of Cielo Blanco, which has been closed. It also has ventures in Leeds including Pintura Kitchen, Cielo Blanco and Oporto.

‘From one iconic market street to another, we are delighted to bring The Distillery’s unique offering to London’s busy Exmouth Market. Like The Distillery, Tonica provides us with a new hub for craft and innovation with its working still room and house-made spirits,’ said founding director Ged Feltham.

The Still Room won’t be used to make Portobello Road Gin, but will be home to its 30l alembic copper still named Copernicus the Second (used to distill the very first bottle of the brand’s iconic gin). It will be used to support the production of The Distillery’s house-made spirits, which include an avocado vodka, butter gin and horseradish and rosemary vodka. Each distillation will be available to try at Tonica.

Décor is expected to be styled like that of GinTonica and evoke a stylish Spanish restaurant with a colourful blend of ceramic tiling and abstract artwork. The focal point of the dining area will be a cascade of foliage and planters which are suspended from the venue’s large skylights.

‘There is also dedicated event space where we plan to launch a program of unique experiences by The Ginstitute later in the year, so watch this space,’ added Feltham.

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