Plans for a new community-based creative space in Dalston were last week given the go-ahead by Hackney council.
London musician, Sian Dorrer, is set to open Power Lunches Arts Café – a venue that will feature live music promoted by London labels Moshi Moshi and Upset the Rhythm. The space will also host a band rehearsal room, art exhibitions, film screenings and art classes; while fresh, organic food – sourced from a farm in Suffolk – will be on the menu.
Ms. Dorrer, who is part of electropop duo Plugs, decided to establish the cafe because she was frustrated by a lack of affordable places in which to practise with her band.
“I’m a musician and a lot of my friends are. We found there was nowhere to rehearse cheaply.”
Following the initial idea of setting up her own rehearsal space, the vocalist decided to combine her love of food, art and music to create Power Lunches. The site on Kingsland Road is arranged over two floors; exhibitions and food will be available at street level, with bands practising and playing gigs downstairs.
She also intends to appeal to people beyond the arts scene saying: “I want to involve people who are not already involved with music and art. I want to have a community feeling and to include people who live in Dalston.”
She plans to run activities that cater for young children and the elderly, such as free film screenings and craft sessions.
Some local residents were concerned that the café could cause disturbance and Hackney council received letters from locals anxious about noise pollution, drunken behaviour and reduced car parking. However, there was no opposition voiced in person during last Tuesday’s licensing committee meeting.
In response to the complaints, she said: “Part of it comes down to them not knowing what [the café] is. I’m going to send them a letter to say ‘come in for a free lunch’.”
She is currently negotiating a lease for the venue, which will be opening early next year.