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Penny, a new food and drink space for The Old Vic

THIS summer, The Old Vic will undergo a front of house refresh and total transformation of The Pit Bar into Penny: a place to engage with and experience new thoughts in food and art.

The much loved Pit Bar space will convert into an all-day café imagined by the team behind Milk, Balham, and Fields, Clapham. The renovation will utilize the space and create an environment in which non-theatre goers and theatre lovers alike can while away the hours, away from the hustle and bustle of Waterloo and Southwark.

Inspiration for the name comes from the Penny Lectures: a series of talks hosted in the halls of The Old Vic in 1882, designed to encourage new thinking and ideas amongst the people of London.

The space will be inclusive and functional. During the day it will be a place to meet, have good coffee and/or brunch over a meeting, but will then seamlessly transition into a place to drink modern and engaging wines and grab something delicious to eat.

Penny will serve creatively driven food and drink from local products and like-minded producers, with simplicity and provenance at the heart of the offering. Speciality coffee from Workshop Coffee, Clerkenwell will be served alongside an all day menu flowing from breakfast into a relaxed evening service.

Dishes will range from morning pastries from Little Bread Peddler in Bermondsey, to ‘smashed avocado, Sussex ricotta, garden herbs on Brixton sourdough’ and ‘poached organic Oxfordshire eggs with herb salt.’ Seasonal salads and small plates include beechwood smoked anchovies on toast, chilli salt’ and a selection of cured meats and cheeses from the British Isles served with acorn flour crisps.

Penny will serve an exciting selection of natural wines from biodynamic producers across the continent and craft beers from London and abroad. Fresh juices will be available throughout the day and draw from seasonal fruit from New Covent Garden Market such as ‘blood orange, watermelon and wild ginger’.

Opening hours will be 8am – 1am Monday – Wednesday and 8am – 2am Thursday and Friday. On a Saturday Penny will open 10am – 2am.

Penny opens in September.

To compliment this brand new addition to The Old Vic, the front of house spaces will also be refreshed to tie into the opening of Matthew Warchus’ first season as Artistic Director. This marks the beginning of a five-year plan to deliver the theatre for the future, which includes a full-scale restoration of the historic Grade II listed theatre building to be commenced once funds permit.

Kevin Spacey worked tirelessly to save The Old Vic from imminent demise and built the foundations for a stainable and secure future, whilst investing in emerging talent. Now that the baton has been passed, it is Matthew Warchus’ desire to prepare the theatre for its new ambitions.

The Old Vic has always been a theatre that reaches out to other parts of the community. Therefore, a penny for each item sold at Penny will be donated to a charity inspired by the themes of the show on the main stage at the time.