Il Tempo owner claims concept will be the first authentic open table aperitivo bar in London

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Restaurant

Il Tempo, an aperitivo bar offering Italian drinks plus food from an open table, will launch in Covent Garden in September
Il Tempo, an aperitivo bar offering Italian drinks plus food from an open table, will launch in Covent Garden in September
Il Tempo, a restaurant and bar serving Italian drinks plus aperitivo dishes available on an open table, is set to open in Covent Garden in September; a concept the owner says is the first of its kind in London. 

Italian-born Stefano Patrone, a former marketing executive, has acquired a site in Chandos Place, Covent Garden, for the bar and eatery which is due to open on 21 September.

Open all day, Il Tempo will serve gourmet coffee and freshly-made Italian continental breakfast in the morning plus a collection of bread, cured meats, cheeses and salads at lunch - both for a fixed price. Customers will be able to dine in at the 20-cover venue, take the food back to their office or eat on the go.

Enormous tradition

However it is in the evening Patrone says the concept will be at its most unique when the bar will serve a collection of Italian drinks, including from a list of authentic wine importers, alongside an open table of small plates or aperitivo dishes showcasing unusual and unique produce.

The concept will be targeting after-work drinkers who will be able to snack from the selection and eat as much as they like by paying a slightly higher charge for their drinks - around £2 more.

Although the popularity of small plates and tapas-style dishes in restaurants across the capital and beyond is well reported​, Patrone says Il Tempo will be the first truly authentic version of the Italian aperitivo bar.

"This is one of the first open table concepts where the food is complementary with the drinks. There are more pay-per-plate or Brindisa-style restaurants that are very popular."

"In Italy the aperitivo tradition is enormous, it is massively successful. You don't have to order your food, you have it in front of you and you choose what you want and pick from the open table and come back as much as you want," he added.


The launch will mark the end of an 18-month journey for the first-time restaurateur to get the project off the ground. After struggling to find a site in the right location because of high premiums and demand from multiple operators, Patrone acquired 48 Chandos Place from property developer Shaftesbury with advice from Davis Coffer Lyons.

The venue will be run by an experienced bar manager and the small kitchen will be led by an Italian chef currently working in the capital with experience of a Michelin-starred restaurant in Italy.

After an extensive refurb of the former delicatessen, Il Tempo will open for a trial period but Patrone says if successful he has bigger plans for the concept.

"The long-term project is surely to open more than one, avoiding becoming a chain and losing high quality. If it is successful I am ready to go for another location maybe in Chelsea or the City of London."

"The long-term plan is to have 5-10 places in London, no more, and maybe then go overseas but one step at a time," he concluded.

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