Carl Clarke plans to turn Disco Bistro into permanent, multi-site restaurant brand

Disco Bistro, which has enjoyed incarnations at The Rising Sun in St Paul's and at Skate at King's Cross, could become a permanent fixture in East London and beyond

Itinerant chef and pop-up restaurant 'veteran' Carl Clarke is planning to make Disco Bistro a permanent fixture in East London before turning it into a multi-site restaurant brand. 

The chef, who worked at Roganic before going on to launch a number of pop-ups, including Rock Lobsta and God Save the Clam, told BigHospitality it was time to 'bite the bullet' and find a permanent site for Disco Bistro, which enjoyed a six month residency at The Rising Sun in St Paul's before moving on to Skate King's Cross for an eight-week stint this summer.

He said: "We've just finished at the roller rink (King's Cross) and I've been busy doing personal bits, but when my business partner (David Wolanski) who's away at the moment, comes back, we'll find an investor we're happy to work with and push forward. It's not hard to find an investor, but we do want to find the right one - somebody who gets it, who is buying into it because of what it is."

Multi-site

Clarke, who spent several years as a professional DJ before returning to the hospitality industry, said he had already started looking in East London for a permanent site for Disco Bistro and would be taking 'all the bits that are great' from the 'trash food' brand and 'making them better' before focusing on building a profitable business. 

"We are beyond the stage now of just moving it to different sites and we want to do something more permanent, that has all the soul of Disco Bistro, but where we can build a brilliant community and have a brilliant bar and I do think we could do over a number of sites," he said. 

"The first site would need to be right and a manageable size. We'd want to do everything correctly before we roll it out.  I'm very creative, I'm like the Willy Wonka of the gastro world, whereas my business partner David (owner of The Recipe catering company) is very business-minded, so with his business acumen and my madness we think it would work. 

"I do think Disco Bistro could be a multi-site venture. We need to find that commercial side of it and it is very London-centric, but if we narrow it down and take all the good bits out and try to get it into some kind of format that looks like a model that we can move and move, then I think it is scaleable. It's good fun food."

Disco Bistro's menu includes burgers, chicken wings and alcoholic shakes with a distinctly 'Disco Bistro twist' with those dishes set to form the core of its menu at its permanent site. 

Despite going for a roll-out of the Disco Bistro brand, Clarke, who also runs Rock Lobsta at Mahiki with his head chef Glyn Gordon, said he would continue to run more 'adhoc' projects alongside it in the future. 

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