When one of the coolest men in Britain decides to open a bar, you can guarantee that’s going to be one hell of a cool bar. When it’s Idris Elba, you can bet everything you’ve got on the fact.

The Hollywood film star, DJ and producer (I know, what are we doing with our lives?) can now add bar owner to his already unashamedly impressive CV. The new opening, a wine and Champagne bar in Coal Drops Yard opens next month, and we’ve got high hopes.

Not least because it’s not just Elba on the ticket. He’s teamed up with the founder of Connaught Wine Cellars, David Farber, on the project, and while his superstar colleague brings the suave, he brings the business know-how (he’s an ex-banker).

Developing a range of products at the swishier end of the market...

The pair have worked together since 2018 to create Porte Noire wines, developing a range of products at the swishier end of the market (prices start around £30 a bottle).

The bar is a further extension of the effort and will, appropriately, be called Porte Noir (though, confusingly, it appears to have a glass door when by rights it should surely be black).

And the whole ‘effortlessly cool’ thing continues inside. The interiors are dark and expensive looking, and it combines outdoor space, a dining room and a bar for up to 70 guests and there’s an 800 bin shop so you can purchase bottles of the stuff as you leave.

The whole thing sits in a converted gas holder!

And it’s not just the interior that’s cool. The whole thing sits in a converted gas holder! The industrial surroundings are part of Coal Drops Yard, the Kings Cross development that keeps adding more and more great restaurants and bars to its roster.

Porte Noir opens next month on 18th October, opposite Regent’s Canal and will be serving an extensive selection of international wines (along with their own) and all accompanied by artisanal cheese and charcuterie, as well as an ‘earthy’ (as opposed to moon-y?) brasserie-style menu.

Will they serve vodka martini? Shaken, not stirred...

Split into tasters, bar snacks, starters, mains and desserts the menu will include dishes like Oeuf Meurette (poached eggs in a red wine sauce, a Burgundy classic) and Slow cooked beef cheek, potato purée, and leek persillade.

The only question remains, will they serve vodka martini? Shaken, not stirred…


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