The Mayor of London recently inaugurated an award called the London Borough of Culture. The idea is to highlight the character and diversity of London’s boroughs and unite Londoners of all ages and backgrounds, placing culture firmly at the heart of local communities. The successful bid for 2019, the first year, was submitted by Waltham Forest.
One initiative, celebrating the themes of radicals, makers and fellowship, sees the opening of a new community bar, the Forest Bar, right in the town centre at 186a Hoe Street. This was formerly the EMD Cinema complex and the bar will remain open until the site is redeveloped in 2020. It is also part of the Mayor of London’s first Night Time Enterprise Zone.
The Forest Bar is a joint project between Ye Olde Rose & Crown Theatre Pub and the East London Brewing Company. It aims to be a showcase for local food and drink producers (brewers especially!). It will also house a new entertainment venue, the Little Rose & Crown, which is an offshoot of Ye Olde Rose & Crown Theatre Pub just up the road where local artists and musicians, especially young ones, can launch their careers.
The bar opened on 11 October. The programme of events includes a weekly ‘Welcome Night’, an alcohol free night for 14 to 18-year-olds who will be able to use the bar’s non-alcoholic facilities and have a space of their own. The bar will also be available for private hire for events, workshops and meetings.
Matt Chinnery of East London Brewing Company commented, “If we want to enjoy quality and variety in what we eat and drink it is vital that, as a community, we support local producers. We really hope that Welcome to the Forest Bar captures the imagination of customers – come and check it out!”
From an ELB press release