This morning on my way to VL Towers, I popped in to Polo Bar opposite Liverpool Street Station.
I’d never been in before but was fascinated to discover this place is a London institution! Open 24 hours a day, it’s a real London caff run by Italian immigrants and their first and second generation families.
Over coffee and a delicious bacon buttie I chatted to the charming Philip who used to work night shifts in Polo and shared some lively tales. One involving a stolen salami and a very contrite, very hungover customer the next morning seemed to perfectly sum up the wild yet life-affirming experience of working behind the counter in a 24-hour cafe.
Philip now works closely with Stefano Ispani, CEO of Ponti Group, which owns Polo Bar (plus numerous other Ponti’s Italian eateries around town). His late father, Peter Ispani, ran Polo Bar back in the day, and it retains the feel of a family business. To honour its heritage, there’s been a full refurb that takes Polo back to its 1950s roots – funky green railway tiles, rock’n’roll memorabilia and comfortable but stylish mid-century style furniture.
To celebrate the re-opening, you can get one of Polo’s tasty bacon rolls FREE for 24 hours from 7.30am tomorrow morning (Thursday 2 Sep). Say hi if you spot me in the queue!