Duck and Waffle – London’s sky-scraping iconic 24-hour eatery – goes local, opening the new Duck & Waffle Local in Mayfair this May
There’s nothing better than a local restaurant – one that oozes community collaboration, focuses on provenance and is within stumbling distance of home when you’ve had one too many Chiantis. But nobody expected the award-winning Duck and Waffle to descend from upon Heron Tower heights to open Duck and Waffle Local this spring.
Given, Mayfair is hardly The Bronx, but it’s exciting nonetheless. The new restaurant, which will set up shop in the re-developed St James’s Market this May, is set to be a casual offshoot of the iconic 24-hour eatery, but one that will still tap into the playful energy of the original. Duck and Waffle Local will still emphasise local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients, but with a more accessible, cost-friendly format, where guests can order at the counter before being shown to a table. There’s also a new takeaway service by collection for time-pressed customers.
But most importantly, the new venue will continue to champion the unsung hero of poultry – the duck. Under the direction of Duck and Waffle’s award-winning Chef Director, Dan Doherty, the new eatery is the first casual restaurant of its kind to entirely focus on the undervalued ingredient.
‘Even now I find it hard to describe what Duck and Waffle is, but I think the best way to sum it up is that it’s a creative restaurant that just moves with the minutes and the hours of the day, and evolves with London as it grows and changes,’ says Doherty. And as London has grown and changed, so has the restaurant.
Duck & Waffle became a lot bigger than I thought it would ever be and it’s opened up this opportunity now
‘When we opened it was when social media wasn’t as big as it is now, but it quickly started growing and new platforms came up that could showcase food,’ he continues. ‘That, combined with the 24-hour nature, the views and the detail of the restaurant meant the reputation grew quickly. It became a lot bigger than I thought it would ever be and it’s opened up this opportunity now.
‘We are focusing on duck, having seen how people react to it and realising that there aren’t all that many places in which you can get it. Likewise, we will have an incredible amount of vegetables on the menu so the whole thing will be a very fresh and vibrant approach to food. I feel that serving free-range duck and focusing on as many fresh vegetables as possible is really quite unique.’
Fans of the original restaurant need not worry either, as they will still find several signature Duck and Waffle dishes on the new menu, including the BBQ spiced crackling pigs ears, and the full Elvis, a peanut butter and jelly waffle with vanilla cream, peanut brittle, fresh berries and caramelized banana.
The aspect of local, for us, is about engaging the community and doing something more personal
In terms of the local aspect of the new name, Doherty is set on championing provenance, local producers and the community: ‘It’s local in the sense that our food is going to be sourced from places within close proximity, but also the best places so if they happen to be a bit further out then that’s okay too,’ he says. ‘The aspect of local, for us, is about engaging the community and doing something more personal.’
What’s immediately striking is that the décor is also set to mimic the local vibe too. Designed by O1 Creative, the interior takes inspiration from farm-to-table dining – with a twist – merging polished concrete flooring and timber fittings with contemporary sculpture and handmade glazed tiling. The curved corrugated metal ceiling and red open kitchen offer a subtle nod to the original restaurant, while sculptural farm machinery hanging overhead reinforces the casual eatery’s playfulness.
Duck and Waffle might have flown the nest of the high-energy, 24-hour lifestyle of the City, but one thing is for sure, this new deli-style version is set to make just as much of an impact at its new ground level location.
52 Haymarket, St James’s Market SW1Y 4RP; duckandwafflelocal.com