A counter restaurant that celebrates the British Isles and a cocktail bar inspired by the American South are coming this summer

Following his stint as Head Chef of Fenn (with time spent at Anglo, St Leonards and Roots before that), Joe Laker is opening his first solo restaurant and bar in Shoreditch this June. Counter 71 is the restaurant half and, as the name suggests, it’ll be all about counter dining. A raised marble countertop seating just 16 guests will take centre stage in the room, at which Joe and his team will serve a seasonal tasting menu that showcases the produce of the British Isles, with dishes like:

  • langoustine broth & pickled carrot
  • brown crab donut & scallop roe
  • eel tart, fried seaweed & caviar
  • cheese & Marmite scone with Poacher custard
  • chocolate parfait with yoghurt sorbet & buckwheat crumb

The cocktail bar half, Lowcountry, is taking inspo from across the pond, specifically the area that spans from mid-coast Georgia to North Carolina, which is known for bourbon and rye. That means plenty of American whiskey on the menu, which has been created by Savannah-born mixologist Ryan Sheehan.

Split into ‘Signature’, ‘Historical’ and ‘Classic’ sections, the drinks will include the Fat-Fashioned (with bacon-washed bourbon, maple syrup & Creole bitters), the Hot Tomato (with tomato water, jalapeno infused tequila & basil oil), the Blueberry Manhattan (with blueberry infused whiskey and sweet & dry vermouth), the Boilermaker (a beer with a shot of bourbon or rye on the side), and a Martini flight showcasing five popular versions of the drink from 1888 – 2023. If that sounds super boozy, fear not, because Joe has also created a snack menu riffing on southern flavours for the bar, including pimento cheese rarebit, shrimp & grits prawn toast, and fried okra.

Opens June 2023
71 Nile Street, London N1 7RD