Bethnal Green’s Roman Road is buzzing with new places to eat and drink, shop, places filled with things to look at and sometimes buy, pop-ups to pop into and pop out again, or perhaps stay awhile. The Store is one such place. A coffee shop upstairs, an art-gallery-cum-record-store-cum-diverse-use-art-party-space in the basement, The Store’s laconic name is entirely appropriate. A little, rough-cut and not-too-polished London gem, this is.
Long story short, The Store is a kind of diminutive cultural warehouse. The view from
Bethnal Green’s Roman Road is presents nothing of the forbidding prospect you
expect from London’s institutional cultural clearing houses. It’s no Tate and thank
goodness for that. It’s a fairly new but well-tested and publicly admired model, to
pop-up and propagate a procession of transient happenings within, we hope, a
permanent home that is plastic enough to accommodate the wonders that London
throws up from the gutter and less-travelled artistic appendices. The Store is a
humble place, with a humble name, but in possession of a deliciously soft underbelly
bursting with surprises.
Come in to The Store’s Roman Road premises in Bethnal Green, grab a quality coffee and, perhaps, an egg sandwich taken by elevator to the thirteenth floor with the addition of blue and cheddar cheeses and chipotle sauce. Again, unfussy, yet something special. And what’s that I hear rumbling below? No longer the stomach, that’s for sure. The London Underground? In a sense. Oh, wait, it’s The Store’s pop-up vinyl fair. No, that was Saturday – still not it. Ah, it must be the weekly Wednesday film night. But it’s Friday! Aha, then it must be The Store’s monthly grime night. They’re a wiley lot at The Store, and it’s all the better that The Store’s modest shopfront houses some of London’s best up-and- coming and independent art – and music, and records, and films – and then the coffee. The coffee.