Hackney Empire

About Hackney Empire

Hackney Empire is situated in the heart of London’s East End and has been an iconic venue for the arts and popular culture since it first opened in 1901. It is now an exceptional variety theatre for the 21st century that embraces a local and global community of artists and audiences; and presents work that is at once extraordinary, relevant, inspirational and transformative.

Hackney Empire’s pioneering work with young people and its communities are at the heart of its mission. The ever-changing local demographics of Hackney and the improving local transport links and access to Central London have provided a unique opportunity for Hackney Empire to further capitalise on their ‘Empire Bar Space’.

The previous Empire Bar closed its doors approximately three years ago and Montfort Consultants were invited earlier in 2023 to take up the challenge of identifying and embedding an exciting new operator and food and drink concept for this dual aspect location with prominent street frontage. Critical considerations included ensuring that the new food and drink offer and concept would be a destination in its own right as well as support the local community and serve the 150,000 theatre audience members who visit the theatre each year.

Our Approach

Montfort Catering Consultants supported Hackney Empire with the identification, selection and appointment of an exciting new food, drink and music operator for their ‘Empire Bar’ space on Mare Street, Hackney. From utilisation of our broad hospitality and cultural sector professional contacts to introduce the opportunity to, to developing full request for proposal documents, heads of terms and negotiations, we supported through the entire catering tender process. Needless to say we had some very strong and exciting proposals from some of the most high profile restaurateurs, neighbourhood pub and dining rooms, art based bar operators, cafes, breweries, hospitality based social enterprises, coffee companies and event providers.

Key to the overall success of the appointment of  Hackney Empire’s new hospitality partner was the liaison and communication that we provided between the parties through the process, ensuring that all requirements were appropriately considered and developed to ensure that the operation would be a long term success for all parties – the operator, Hackney Empire and guests.

After a detailed and through competitive tender process involving multiple stakeholder from Hackney Empire, including the Executive Director, Artistic Director and Trustees, Jaguarshoes Collective were appointed and Two Palms was launched.

Jaguarshoes Collective is much more than a hospitality partner. In their own words “Jaguarshoes Collective create beautiful and unique exhibitions, events, media content, publications…within a constantly evolving, world renowned venue where people who share that belief can relax and have a great time in good company”. Jaguarshoes Collective constitutes a group of creatively motivated businesses and individuals working in art, fashion, music, publishing and design.

Two Palms will be their fourth venue, with the other three iconic venues being Dream Bags Jaguar Shoes, Hand of Glory and The Victoria.

Two Palms has a new live music stage, housed within a vast kaleidoscope mega installation by Hackney artist Kelly Anna. As well as great food and drink, this new all day venue is curating in-house shows with the best up and coming bands presented by Permanent Creeps.

Advice & support has included:

  • Catering Tender Advice & Project Management
  • Develop of Café Bar Request for Proposal
  • Café Bar Heads of Terms
  • Identification & Selection of Hospitality Operators and Preferred Supplier
  • Catering Tender Negotiation

Get in touch

Get in touch to see how we could help you.

Montfort Consultants Ltd
86-90 Paul Street
3rd Floor

Tel: 020 3667 7286
Email: info@montfortconsultants.com