Converted from the old multi-storey car park behind Peckham Plex, Peckham Levels is a new space providing cheap premises for creative businesses, bars and restaurants to set up shop. For the next six years, the temporary project will house artists, craftspeople and business owners from the area, providing an opportunity for small creative ventures to find their feet. Floors 5 and 6 are open to the general public, providing food and drink, entertainment and more, while the other levels act as workplaces for members of the community getting their work off the ground. Here’s a run-down of what you’ll find in the old car park, writes Alex Daniel…
Thought pizza wasn’t for vegans? Think again. Picky Wops sets itself apart from Peckham’s many pizzerias by offering a menu which is entirely free of animal products. After co-owner Cristiano went vegan in early 2017, the restaurant’s animal-free menu came about in April last year. With toppings as varied as smokey coconut mozzarella and cashew nut camembert, this is one for the adventurous pizza connoisseur.
Near and Far bar
This cocktail bar makes the most of its setting with panoramic views of the London skyline from its window seating. Inspired by a “Peckham meets Palm Springs” aesthetic featuring palm trees and disco balls, they serve a quirky mixture of local ingredients and global imports. Drinks such as the Peckham Sunrise and the Rhubarb Martini mingle with wasabi pea snacks and pork scratchings.
Drums and Flats
Drums and Flats was born out of two blokes’ love for chicken wings. Growing up together in Southwark, owners Khamisi and Daniel have years of experience perfecting their recipes in each other’s kitchens. They’ve drawn inspiration from family food and the recipes they’re grown up with, creating a menu that strongly reflects their South London roots.
Sitting at the heart of the public space in Peckham Levels, Lady Godiva is a bar with a focus on the community. From the people behind the Made of Dough pizzerias in Pop Brixton and more recently Peckham, comes a team that will hire locals and ex-offenders, serving craft beers, organic wines and small batch spirits.
Behind the scenes (these businesses aren’t open to the public but are operating on the site)
Ella Bull’s jewellery design marries traditional design with contemporary methods. Ella was at last year’s Peckham Festival, but for anyone who didn’t see her there she has a studio in the Levels. Using precious metals and stones, she specialises in bespoke projects.
Andreas Hudelmayer makes violins, violas and cellos from his studio in the Levels, and was the first artist to sign for the project. Andreas harks from South Germany, where he was brought up in a musical family. After moving to the UK he studied at the Newark School of Violin Making, before working in Berlin and then back in London.
The Kiln Rooms
The Kiln Rooms ceramics studios have opened a new base in Peckham Levels, just across the way from their main space in Copeland Park. Due to popular demand, they are now running taster, 4-week and 12-week courses from the new space, which brings their studio tally up to three.
Cahoona’s Hair Hub
This hair salon aims to move away from the traditional hairdresser’s aesthetic, bringing relaxation and breath-taking views of the London skyline to the table. Located on the sixth floor and run by stylist Tracey Cahoon, a Peckham resident of 15 years, Cahoona’s has also enlisted award-winning colourist Jason Gray
OTHERS ON SITE
Lords of Poké
Poké is a Hawaiian-inspired dish from California, of fresh raw fish, salads and sushi rice. Lords of Poké bring their vibrant, US west-coast cuisine to Peckham.
Hao Hao Chi
A popular South London Chinese food stall finds its first permanent home, serving regional Chinese cuisine in street food form.
A family-run business mixing contemporary Kurdish food with Western cuisine, specialising in mezze and baklava.
An all-day bar, bringing a small corner of California sun to South London, via coffee, juice, wine and organic food.
South Londoners Jake and Hugo present classic French cuisine in street food form.
Other Side Fried
Originally at Pop Brixton, these high-end fried chicken burgers with fries, shakes and all the trimmings come to Peckham Levels.