No. 599 Green Lanes, N8, has a relaxed, door ajar vibe.

Jam in a Jar has only just opened. Yet one gets the feeling, as Hiyal said to us, "It's going to stay". Reminiscent of New York's Lower East Side cafés, this shape-shifting venue's charm is indeed the devilish detail; these the arcadian hints at the unfinished - dusty brick, rusty metal, worn leather, cracked windows, weather-beaten hoarding. Everywhere you look you will find a tangible texture, and consequently some sense of belonging; the best kind of déjà vu. Maybe its the old Underwood Typewriter, that greets your entrance with its smiling set of keys. Or the soft filament-filled lighting, glowing easily. Or the voluminous button-back leather Chesterfield, that makes standing a tricky task. Jam in a Jar is the kind of place you want to keep secret.

Quto has been there and done that before. He's got previous with regards to setting up a trendy bar in London town. Yet, as he mentioned through half-smiling eyes, this kitchen thing was new, and one sensed more of a challenge than expected. Their menu parallels the bar's eclectic interior - its tapas framework fused with other elements of mediterranea - Chorizo meets Salami; Shrimp Quesidilla on the same page as Turkish Eggs. Apparently the Brazilian chef has been given carte blanche to make the menu his. From what we saw, he's enjoying the challenge.

Estrella is on tap. Ground coffee a day-time essential. Wi-Fi of course. And then there is music.

Jam in a Jar encompasses a core ethos. Quto explained that live music, an open invitation for improv, and jam sessions would keep the raised wooden staging beating as the venue's pulsing heart. Bands have already begun to introduce themselves. The next big thing almost certain to cut their teeth at 599 Green Lanes.

Hiyal is contagiously unfazed. Sometime photo-journalist, she has the ability to see the big picture. And although lens-shy herself, makes Jam in a Jar sparkle.

One gets the sense that some fairy dust has been wafted up Green Lanes from its southern end. With Stoke Newington and Dalston now at bar-saturation point, our N8 and N15 locality is starting to fashion a new breed. We have that urban edginess. And great transport links, as well as green spaces. Now we have Jam in a Jar - which we discovered was almost called 'Collywobbles' - a name which might have keep this urban oasis a secret just that little bit longer.

Jam in a Jar
Tapas Bar & Restaurant • Concert venue • Art gallery
599 Green Lanes N8
07951 769 981

TAG have been invited to create an artwork for the Jam in a Jar frontage. View the finished piece HERE
All artwork, text and images © Turnpike Art Group 2022.