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Basement jazz bar opens underneath the Famous Cock Tavern

Jam and Rye is launched at Highbury Corner after £600,000 renovation

23 February, 2018 — By Biba Kang

Manager Carl Hufton outside the new bar. Photo: Joel Chant

A JAZZ bar has opened up underneath the Famous Cock Tavern at Highbury Corner.

Stonegate, the company which owns the venue, has undertaken a £600,000 renovation, revamping the pub and reopening its basement bar.

The underground space was once known as The Buffalo Bar, a music venue which closed in 2014 after running for 14 years.

The legendary venue hosted bands such as The Libertines, Friendly Fires, The Zutons and Hot Chip.

The new venture, Jam and Rye, is themed around the 1920s, serving cocktails, playing piano and saxophone music on weeknights, and staging performances by four-piece jazz groups at the weekend.

Stonegate said that the new bar is a “likely destination for the area’s celebs from 5pm every day, and all day on what’s down to be some memorable Sundays”.

Manager Carl Hufton said: “The previously-closed underground bar of years ago has come into our fold only this year and, while we’ve protected its music legacy, it’s a contemporary bar that meets the needs of a vibrant Islington.”

The venue is due to host soulful duo Norford & White tomorrow (Saturday), London-based blues guitarist Andrea Carola on Tuesday and The West Four Quartet, known for their Latin and Jazz fusion, on Thursday.

Mr Hufton explained the differences between Jam and Rye and The Buffalo Bar: “The music genre really is very different, but we didn’t want to try and recreate a piece of history that wouldn’t do it justice.

“Our predecessor’s success deserves to keep its place in history.”


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