Nightjar and Bar Swift team to revive Oriole in Covent Garden

By Restaurant

- Last updated on GMT

Images: Casey Gutteridge
Images: Casey Gutteridge

Related tags Nightjar Pub & bar Cocktail London Restaurant Bar Swift Oriole Speakeasy Entertainment

The team behind acclaimed cocktail bars Oriole, Nightjar and Bar Swift is opening a pop-up restaurant, bar and innovation space ahead of a permanent location that will open later in the year.

Prelude by Oriole will open in The Yards in Covent Garden as a three-month pop-up ahead of a second iteration of speakeasy Oriole, which will reopen in a permanent location in The Yards later this summer.

Launched in partnership with Edrington UK, the pop-up will be located on Slingsby Place within The Yards and have space for 34 covers.

The original Oriole opened in Smithfield Market in 2015 but closed in 2022 due to the redevelopment of Smithfield Market.

Prelude by Oriole will put food and drink on an equal footing and will have a brand-new list of cocktails that for the first time will be accompanied by an à la carte food offer.

Argentine Head Chef Gustavo Giallionardo has created a menu that ‘explores the ways that Latin American ingredients and cooking styles intersect with those from the rest of the globe’ and which will draw influences from various places and traditions, including Nikkei, and Argentine-Italian cuisines.

Dishes will include oyster, amarillo leche de tigre; raw scallop, edamame agua chile, kiwi, and seaweed; a beef tartare sando with koji emulsion (pictured below); pumpkin, tamarind, peanut sambal, and green curry creme fraiche; and duck, orange mole, beetroot, pickles, and dukkah.


Bar manager Samet Ali has developed a selection of cocktails, including the Mizuwari, combining 12-year-old Highland Park whisky washed with chocolate miso, asparagus distillate, amontillado sherry, green walnut vermouth and cold brewed Hojoicha tea.

Many of the drinks and dishes served will appear on the menu at Oriole’s new permanent home in Covent Garden later this year, with the pop-up serving as a research and development space for both food and drink. Oriole's  signature cocktails will also appear on the menu, such as the Acadia, a take on a whisky sour, inspired by the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

“After leaving Smithfield in 2023, we always planned to revive Oriole with our top employees as operating partners,” says Edmund Weil, director of brand owner Speakeasy Entertainment.

“Finding a new home has proved a long journey, but we are delighted to have settled in within The Yards at the heart of Covent Garden and one of the most happening locations in London.”

Speakeasy Entertainment owns the cocktail bars Bar Swift and Nightjar, which opened in 2010 and was voted one of the top three bars in the world at 50 Best Bars in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

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