The Man Behind Frank’s Café Is Opening A Wine Bar – And It’s In East London

By Olivia Emily

8 months ago

Opening next month

Like birds migrating for winter, you’re about to see a gaggle of south Londoners flocking east – from Frank’s Café in Peckham to Bambi in London Fields. James Dye, the co-owner of Frank’s Café, is launching the latter next month – here’s everything you need to know.

Bambi: New Wine Bar From The Team Behind Frank’s Café

Bambi food and wine

Frank’s Café has been drawing Londoners to its car park rooftop since 2009, luring them with its great views, food and negronis, with a slice of art to boot. It’s part of Bold Tendencies, a non-profit arts organisation based on the rooftop of Peckham multistory carpark, transforming the disused space. Entirely outside, though, it’s a summer affair, shutting up shop every September to await the next season – along with Frank’s.

Now we have a winter alternative – kind of. Bambi won’t have the same relaxed, summery vibes as Frank’s Café, but it’s the brainchild of James Dye, one of the people behind Frank’s (as well as The Camberwell Arms). Named for James’s great grandmother, expect great music, food and wine in equal measure.

Just like Frank’s, Bambi will be taking over an old building. This time, it’s a site on Westgate Street that was once occupied by Bright, which sadly closed in March. A wine bar and restaurant in the early evening, Bambi will be taken over by resident DJs after dinner, playing tunes from a custom-built wall of records on a high-spec vintage sound system, until 1 am at the weekend. All music – from DJs to records – will be curated by legendary London DJ, musician, and Run Dem Crew founder, Charlie Dark MBE.

Records and wine at Bambi

In terms of food, chef Henry Freestone will take the lead, having previously won a Bib Gourmand at Peckham Cellars. From bar snacks to larger dishes, think casual, fun food with an emphasis on British produce, from cauliflower cheese arancini to roast chicken with chicken fat focaccia and green sauce. But by day, it’s all about coffee and sandwiches, from chicken caesar focaccia to stracciatella with roasted courgette.

Meanwhile, the wine list will champion natural, low intervention wines from across the globe, with everything available to buy from the shop at takeaway prizes, too. Cocktails focus on aperitivo pre-dinner, with liveners like the Bambi Martini and a frozen tequila coffee cocktail for later.

Food at Bambi


Bambi will open on 6 October 2023.


Netil House, 1 Westgate Street, London E8 3RL


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