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Silver Bullet: Finsbury Park music venue to reopen as ‘Zelman Drinks’

PUBLISHED: 16:16 13 October 2016 | UPDATED: 16:28 13 October 2016

General manager Josh Montgomerie and bar manager Dario Mazziotta outside the new-look venue

General manager Josh Montgomerie and bar manager Dario Mazziotta outside the new-look venue

Archant

The venue formerly known as the Silver Bullet will reopen this weekend as Zelman Drinks.

The Silver Bullet was open for six years before closing in June The Silver Bullet was open for six years before closing in June

The independent live music bar closed in June after being bought out by Goodman Restaurant Group – the company that owns the Burger and Lobster chain.

Bosses, who have used branding from their Zelman restaurants for the name, have spent £200,000 sprucing up the place.

And even though it is opening for the first time on Saturday, operations director Dave Strauss said they were still undecided about what kind of venue it would be.

“I’ve got Sky Sports installed for the football but if it ends up being a late-night cocktail place I wouldn’t be surprised,” he told the Gazette. “And I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up putting Stella on draught and serving cheese and onion crisps either.”

Campaigners, including Jeremy Corbyn, fought to save The Silver Bullet, which championed live music and hosted acts such as Rudimental and Laura Marling.

But Dave, who has lived in the area for 30 years, said he was fed up with the “gentrification” label and said had the previous owners been forced out by a huge rent increase he would understand, but they simply “weren’t making any money.”

As a local, he said he’s looking forward to learning a lot from neighbours like Quality Fish Bar and The Twelve Pins, where he regularly drinks.

“Very few businesses can get it right,” he said. “But the pins and the chip shop are run a lot better than 99 per cent of the restaurants in the West End where we have places.

“They’ve got people on the bar taking multiple orders and in the chip shop they know everyone’s name in the queue.

“We turn over £60m as a company but these guys will teach us a lot.”

The bar will be open 12pm to 3am Thursday to Sunday and 5pm to 2am the other nights.

Fried chicken popup Spit and Roast will be in the kitchen when it’s up and running next month and Dave said live music is an option.

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