Brixton Buzz review: Sophie Lam goes in search of a Spanish fiesta at Gremio de Brixton’s grand opening night

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A sizzling slice of Spain came to chilly Brixton last night when Gremio de Brixton opened in the unlikely location underneath St Matthew’s Church just off Windrush Square.

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Antic London (the people behind Brixton’s Dogstar and Effra Social)  have partnered with the folk behind Gremio tapas at the Graveney & Meadow bar in Tooting to bring us  Gremio de Brixton.

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Their opening night poster promised “the taste of Spain in the heart of Brixton” and it delivered, with an authentically Iberian flavour in the crypt of the church’s rib-vaulted underbelly.

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Formerly Babalou, the tapas bar and club now features an exclusively Spanish wine list (with bottles of vino tinto starting at around £15), Spanish beers such as Mahou from Madrid and tasty tapas including tortilla. Even on a sub-zero midweek March night, the cosy, candle-lit room was buzzing contendedly with cosy chicos y chicas.

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A more extensive menu and live music will follow soon, but for now, punters can expect an atmospherically candle-lit room with framed vintage photos of matadors, flamenco dancers and Catholic imagery, vases of fresh flowers, old fruit crates re-purposed as counters, friendly staff  and a Spanish soundtrack of folk songs and covers.

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We can only expect the fiesta to get more fiery as our overly long winter thaws and a Spanish summer takes hold in the heart of Brixton.

Review & photos by Sophie Lam. You can follow Gremio de Brixton on Twitter @GremioBrixton.