In May 1971, American artist Gordon Matta-Clark (a real maverick, who changed the way we look at city life, urban spaces and the buildings we spend most of our time in) opened a restaurant commune for artists called Food around the corner from 112 Greene Street in SoHo, NYC. This was no ordinary resto - it was an exciting and creative hub where artists could meet, gather, collaborate, bounce ideas off each other.
This 'open kitchen' was something of a stage, where Gordon-Clark also extended his practice. He designed and reconstructed the interior, and made his first 'building cut' (which is a theme in his work) by extracting a section of the floor and wall.
But my goodness, what surprised me was how tasty this menu looked. It was cheap and tasty, and the resto was staffed by artists who needed a bit of cash to get by or needed more flexible jobs to fit around their art making. On the restaurant's opening night, free garlic soup, gumbo (which I've yet to try), chicken stew, wine, beer and homemade bread were served. On one occasion, Clark served up a house dish: 'Matta Bones' special, which was oxtail soup, marrow bones, stuffed bones, frog legs and pot roast bones (all for the cheapo price of $4). The bones were then cleaned and drilled to be made into necklaces for the guests to take home!
Sadly it closed after 3 years. But learning about this resto made me want to find a similar one in London - I'll keep you posted...