Grounded in former Barclays Bank. Photo by Albie Matthews © Social Streets CIC.
Eating & drinkingLocalOut & About

Grounded: An all-day cafe with a turn-of-the-century brasserie vibe on Bow Road

Grounded Café, Bow’s newest late-night coffee shop and eatery, has officially opened its doors and holds a surprising secret in its basement.

Just opposite Enterprise Cars on Kitcat Terrace, once the Krays Double RR Club, 90-92 Bow Road used to be a Barclays bank. However, the cash points and tellers are now a distant memory. The high-ceiled space has been transformed into a chandeliered all-day brunch spot with an evening menu too. 

With Bow Road tube station and the number 25 bus nearby, Grounded makes the convenient pitstop for commuters looking to pick up a pastry and a coffee. They have daily freshly roasted coffee from Exmouth market and offer a tempting selection of pain au chocolat, brownies and almond croissants. 

But Grounded is much more than a coffee shop. Its cavernous interior has been beautifully remodelled into a convivial restaurant with a turn-of-the-century brasserie vibe. Exposed brick walls are semi-clad with glossy green brick tiles, the original neo-classical pillars separate leather-clad booths, and art-deco light fittings lend a jazz-era mood, along with the smooth jazz playing over the hubbub of chatting customers.

If you have time to take a pew, all of their breakfasts are freshly prepared and made with locally sourced organic ingredients. They include a variety of sandwiches and quiches, a whole bunch of eggy dishes, including the classics of Egg Florentine and Eggs Benny, and a selection of French toast, English porridge, and American pancakes.

Assistant Manager Malek, says their most popular breakfast dish is their ‘beef sausage, full English’. This halal-friendly dish comprises beef sausages, fried organic white-shell eggs on sourdough bread with turkey bacon, hash browns, beans, mushrooms and tomato. 

Malek also recommended French Toast for those with a sweet tooth in the morning: generous portions of French brioche rubbed in Grounded’s own sauce mix with hints of cinnamon and vanilla essence, pan-toasted, topped with blanched almonds, strawberry jam, and heaps of berries, served with a side of creme fraiche, banana, and maple syrup. If that dish doesn’t sound sweet enough already, you can even jazz it up with a helping of Ferrero Rocher. Yum.

Despite its extensive breakfast-style menu, Grounded isn’t just a brunch spot; it has an evening menu and is open till 10 pm. So, for the night owls, Grounded offers nibbly bits like fried halloumi, calamari, chicken wings, cauliflower wings, and soup of the day. 

For those seeking a heartier helping for dinner, the staff recommends getting in quickly for their burgers, which are a hit with their evening customers. The signature is a chunky beef burger with pan-fried mushrooms, creamy blue cheese, caramelised onions, tomato, baby gem lettuce, and creamy burger sauce. They also have a popular vegan burger for the plant-based among us.

Malek also let us into a secret: in the belly of the cafe, deep in the basement, lie the original bank safes. Grounded has plans to turn them into private dining spaces and meeting rooms. So sometime this coming summer, you might be able to head underground and have their ‘Fall-of-the-bone’ ribs in your own hidden vault.

A welcome addition to Bow’s small and cosy coffee shop offerings, this large space is perfect for brunch with friends, lunch with prams, and dinner with visiting parents, as well as that quick coffee on the way to work.

If you liked this, then why not read Brick Lane’s popular Momlette cafe opens a new branch in Mile End

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