Not unlucky for Grand Union, the canal-biased burgeoning chain opened its twelfth venue on Friday 13th May in the heart of newly-regenerated Paddington Basin. The space, a stagger from Edgware Road tube station, is massive and was created from a retail unit as part of a £400,000 refit with a capacity of 400 people.
Round the edges are raised platforms with vintage drawing room furniture, complete with standard lamps and kitsch paraphernalia designed to appeal to women in their 30s. The owners are hoping to also catch local business people as the venue is near the headquarters of both Marks and Spencer and Orange. Grand Union Paddington is the second opening in 2011 for the group, following the launch of Farringdon in February.
Adam Marshall, managing director of Grand Union, said: ‘Our combination of the best bits of a restaurant, pub and bar fit perfectly with our new location and we’re really excited about opening.” Foodwise, they’ll serve more than 20 towering burgers, chips, pizzas and other pub grub favourites.
The night we visited we tried some good, skinny-base pizza, mint-stuffed mojitos and a lethal, but fun, Long Island Iced Tea – a killer for the irresponsible with five alcohols and a canal nearby. Like the other bars in the group, Grand Union Paddington has a late licence and DJs playing funk, soul and indie music into the early hours at the weekend. The bars can be found in Brixton, Camberwell Grove, Camden, Farringdon, Islington, Kennington, Kentish Town, Ravenscourt Park, Twickenham and Wandsworth.