April 2021: Nearly a decade since it was last enjoyed, a historic site in the heart of Shoreditch reopens under new independent ownership. Within the former Victorian ‘Great Eastern Light’ power station, long- standing Hackney residents Morten Jensen, Darren Collins and chef Johnnie Collins present The Light Bar. With lovingly restored interiors set across three floors, the new restaurant, bar and outdoor terrace promises to become a social and culinary destination for good times.
Located on Shoreditch High Street, the site has been an icon of London’s East End since it was built in 1893 to generate electricity for the UK’s first powered train station, Liverpool Street’s Great Eastern Railways. Due to its pioneering role in the development of electric power, the building is said to have inspired Shoreditch’s original motto, adopted in 1900: ‘More Light, More Power’. Converted into a bar in 2000 by previous owners Oliver Williamson, James Goff and Ben Chesterfield, ‘The Light’ helped Shoreditch become famous for nightlife and dining. Despite its success, the venue was forced to close in 2014 when redevelopment plans threatened to tear it down. After a successful campaign to #savethelight, led by Oliver and thousands of locals and several celebrities including artist Tracey Emin, the building is now protected as part of Hackney’s Shoreditch Conservation Area.
Morten Jensen says, “This place is an institution, and deserved to be preserved and enjoyed by all. From the building’s original working class history to its more recent guise as one of the first original bars in the early 2000’s that helped make Shoreditch the place it is now. I’ve always loved this building, and have fought passionately to open the concept, even more so through a global pandemic. I’m so proud to be launching our new concept here.”
Rupert Bentley Smith acted on behalf of the Landlord’s Brookfield.