Is everything old new again?
Further to our last post, we received word that Mark Hix is opening up a restaurant called Tramshed in a former tram electricity station on Rivington Street in Shoreditch, just opposite Rivington Grill.
Hix himself set up Rivington Grill ages ago — back in the era of the yBas, if ye can cast your minds that far back — while he was the head chef of Caprice holdings, the restaurant group that owns the Ivy, J. Sheekey’s and other big ticket items. He left Caprice a few years ago to open up Hix in Soho and other Hix-titled franchises, and now Tramshed. If we were a real news organisation, we’d
hack his phone to find out do a proper interview to ask him why he’s returning to the scene of his first crime (this is just a metaphor — we quite like the Rivington). Rivington Grill was very much associated with the yBas, which you can see in the Tracey Emin neons and Gillian Wearing prints that still festoon the restaurant (as they do his other holdings). Hix’s intimacy with the group ran beyond just buying their work — his was a hang-out for that set; there was a board in the restaurant showing what exhibitions were on; and he catered dinners for and contributed to young galleries in the area, which capitalised on the hype of the art scene to become the cool(ish?) district it is today. Funny then, wethinks, to see someone return to a place whose own glamour he helped create. There’s a little old-man-ship about this, like a craggy, minted Mick Jagger singing about youth and rebellion. Though to be fair Mark Hix is only singing about garden mint; the Tramshed website is called ‘chickenandsteak.co.uk’ – just the kind of return to plain English ingredients Rivington Street initiated all those years ago.
Of course, attentive readers of this page by this point will surmise that what the DLR is really after is a Mark Hix takeover of Jaguar Shoes (www.chickenandsteakandjaguars.co.uk), serving free-range corn-fed jaguar while demanding patrons wear cat-print shoes and speak solely in impartial headlines like ‘THIS SEARED JAGUAR IS SO F*CKING TASTY I AM GOING TO INGEST IT THROUGH MY EYEBALLS AND THEN SINGLE-HANDEDLY TAKE IT OFF THE ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST SO THAT I CAN BUY THE WORLD’S POPULATION AND MAKE THEM INTO SHOES SO THE NAME “JAGUAR SHOES” FINALLY, AT LONG, BREATH-ABATED LAST MAKES SOME SORT OF SENSE’. Mark Hix, if this too is your dream project, do get in touch. If not, well, we are curious to see what you do at Ye Olde Shed of the Tram.