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Cocktails & croquetas pop-up sets up perm residency at E17 pie & mash shop

The Jellied Eel, following its huge success as a pop-up over three periods since autumn 2018, is setting up a permanent residency in Manze’s pie and mash shop in Walthamstow, London E17.

A venture by Walthamstow local Paul Jellis in collaboration with born and bred Walthamstow bar entrepreneur, Charlie Westover, and chef Elena Smileva, The Jellied Eel will continue their winning formula of seasonal cocktails and gourmet croquetas every Friday and Saturday night, as well as adding a new range of small plates to the menu.

A new addition to the team, Elena Smileva is a self-taught chef and former owner of the much loved The Lacy Nook in Stoke Newington.

Elena’s diverse knowledge of food is demonstrated in her cuisine, which makes use of flavours and ingredients from across the Mediterranean and Middle East. In 2019 Elena took her show on the road, and can now be found in a variety of kitchens across London designing menus, launching supper clubs, and working as a food consultant.

Using ingredients from local producers, the small plates will have a Mediterranean influence, with dishes including Merguez Sausages with Hot Pepper Sauce, Roasted Mushrooms with Garlic Butter and Oregano Pesto, Sweet Potato Fries with Feta, Smoked Paprika and Chives, and Fried Squid with Homemade Green Aioli

The bar will launch on Thursday 19 September, in a special evening for people who have signed up to The Jellied Eel’s new membership scheme. For a fee of £30 per person or £50 for a couple, members get access to a range of discounts and perks, including an invitation to the discounted soft launch. It will then be open every Friday and Saturday night.

Manze’s goods yard, repurposed into a ‘Cocktail Garden’, will again be open for drinks. The seasonal cocktail menu will keep favourites such as a Rhubarb Negroni, and a Blood Orange Margarita, while introducing brand new concoctions including a Chilli Pisco Sour, before reverting to their Autumn and Winter menu in November.

The L Manze pie and mash shop, which has remained unchanged since opening in 1929, has served locals on Walthamstow Market for 90 years, and was Grade II listed in 2013 for its ‘exceptionally complete’ artdeco interior.

Part of a successful empire of 14 pie and mash shops, established in the early 20th century by Italian immigrant Michaele Manzo, Manze’s will continue its normal operating hours to serve pie and mash throughout the week to their loyal customers.

Jellis is an Olivier Award-nominated theatre and events producer. Inspired by the beautiful, historic interior of Manze’s, he is bringing his years of experience in live event production to his first foray into a standalone bar concept.

Westover is the Walthamstow bar entrepreneur behind Charlie’s Bar – the successful summer 2018 pop-up at Blackhorse Workshop – and numerous events and pop-ups throughout Waltham Forest. He grew up visiting Manze’s with his grandfather, whose first ever job was at its sister shop in Poplar where his own father had been a pie chef for 30 years.