DT popped into Mona’s Bar a couple of days after they opened to have a chat with co-owners Chig and Kate. Chig grew up near Wood Green and Edmonton and has lived in Tottenham for the last five years, and for the last 10 years, has been a professional DJ. Kate is originally from Poland and has been a cocktail bartender in London for over 10 years.
How did it all start?
Chig: I was working with Kate in Soho. I was Djing there and she was working behind the bar and we decided to open our own. I live in Tottenham and I love it round here so this is where I thought we should focus on.
Kate: I always wanted to open a bar and… I liked the idea of being away from central. I thought it was a great idea to start something new. I’ve been a cocktail bartender for 10 years and it’s really exciting to open a cocktail bar in a place where there’s not too many of them.
What’s on offer? What can people expect?
Kate: Seasonal cocktails. We plan to adjust our menu every two to three months, adjusting to the weather. We also stock craft beers and wines. Apart from what’s on the menu, we’re ready to make any other cocktail.
We would like to focus on classic cocktails and retro cocktails – forgotten cocktails from the 1920s and 30s. I don’t want to create new concoctions as I believe that the best cocktails have been created already. I like to base it on that and I put a little bit of a twist on them.
What are each of your roles?
Chig: The way everything looks in here that’s all me. And Kate’s the cocktail creative genius.
Kate: I’m a bartender.
Chig: Don’t be modest!
What’s the secret to a great cocktail?
Kate: You have to like it yourself. I would never serve anything that I don’t like – that’s just wrong. You have to know what you’re serving and you have to believe in good brands. I believe in quality not quantity and that’s all. I’ve been doing this for so long it feels natural to me. I can read people I think. I just need two words, you do have to find out what they drink normally, and I can recommend a cocktail.
What are your favourite cocktails?
Kate: We both like whiskey…
If you had to choose one now?
Kate: Old fashioned.
Chig: Yeah same.
Over the next few months what would you like to see happen here?
Chig: We want it to be somewhere where people can meet. I want people to use the space for other things not just drinking and listening to music. We’re interested in using the space for other enterprises. A meeting space. I think it’s important for groups who have something to say to have a space.
Kate: Or just come for a drink after work. A glass of prosecco or gin and tonic and go home afterwards. Friday, Saturday, people want to stay longer, but during the week it’s nice to go somewhere to have a drink and relax.
It feels like quite a chilled space…
Chig: That’s what we tried to create. A really chilled space.
Did you design the space yourselves?
Chig: yeah it’s really weird to see it in the physical ’cause it was all just in my head. I didn’t do any drawings.
Kate: The first time we spoke about having a bar, it’s really weird, this is exactly what I imagined… That’s quite awesome.
Chig: This is really everything I hoped it would be so I’m really pleased.
Mona’s bar is open Sunday – Wednesday 4pm – midnight, Thursday 4pm – 1am, Friday – Saturday 4pm to 1.30am.
£4.50 for a spirit and mixer, £7.50 for a cocktail.
560-568 High Road, N17 9TA