There are many reasons to pass through the doors of Chats Palace – the arts centre on Brooksby’s Walk is home to live music, exhibitions, classes, and even a darkroom and bar.
But those doors are in desperate need of some sprucing up. A statement reveals that staff are “tired of being accidentally locked out [or] asked if we’re still open”.
Fundraising has begun in earnest, including a newly announced food market and supper club on Friday 16 March.
Star of this particular supper show is David Bez, the chef and food blogger who turned his desk-based lunchtime salad creations into four successful books and, until recently, a spot operating the cafe in Brooksby’s Walk’s solar-powered public loos.
This initiative, Pride Kitchen, is sadly defunct for the time being, as Hackney Council decided not to renew the peppercorn lease held by Clapton Improvement Society – despite what the CIC describe as a council “promise” of a 100-year extension.
But Bez is sure to be a continued feature in Hackney cuisine, starting with this jaunt across the road for a supper club that Chats Palace promise will be “a culinary and communal experience of fresh, flavourful and colourful sharing platters that will excite and indulge all that dine with us!”
There will be two sittings: one at 6:30pm and one at 8pm.
The supper club will follow a Foodie Makers Market in the daytime, which will bring fifteen of East London’s many food artisans and entrepreneurs together for a well-fed celebration from 2pm – to which the public are invited, for a £1 donation on the door.
Chats Palace director Paula Van Hagen told the Citizen: “I am thrilled that the Theatres Trust has chosen to support Chats Palace in our restoration campaign.
“With their £5,000 award, we are well on our way to making Chats Palace a fully accessible building.
“Our 16 March supper club is a fun way for local people to be part of this campaign. With wonderful food by local chef David Bez of Pride Kitchen, we’re looking forward to coming together in celebration of Chats Palace ongoing role as a much-loved Hackney community asset.”
Chats Palace has been serving residents of Chatsworth Road and beyond for over 30 years, having taken over the old Homerton Library building when the current one opened in 1976.
As a listed building, it must gain special consent alongside the usual planning permission, with higher costs as a result.
Chats Palace’s Foodie Makers Market and David Bez’s supper club will take place on Friday 16 March
Tickets for the supper club cost £30 at their early-bird rate, or £35 once half of the tickets are sold. They can be purchased from this Eventbrite page
To donate to Chats Palace’s door fundraising drive, visit their Spacehive page