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Carl Barat and Gizzie Erskine to launch new cafe in Margate

The Libertines’ lead guitarist, Carl Barat, and restaurateur, Gizzi Erskine, have announced plans to open a new restaurant in Margate.

Set to open later in the summer, Carl Barat said that The Love Cafe would be a seafront art and music venue as well as a cafe. It will be a space for like-minded creatives to gather, exchange ideas, and eat “proper sandwiches”. Barat has said it will be there for everyone, whether that be day-tripping Londoners, newbies, or long-time locals. It really is the perfect time, too – especially considering how much regeneration has taken place in Margate over the last few years. What was once a crumbling seaside town is now, to everyone’s surprise, a hotbed of culture.

Of his hometown, Barat had this to say: “It’s the whole thing down here, there’s something always happening – I’m on a roof right now in a hammock,” during an interview. “There’s something in the air. Margate is so beautiful, it’s close to London, it’s still relatively cheap. It’s a bit like Shoreditch before Foxton’s moved in. It’s inevitable they’ll [Foxton’s] arrive eventually, but for now, we have this wonderful town and the opportunity to do creative things without anyone being frozen out financially. Margate is bursting with fun and creativity. I know there’s a long history of people down from London. But I think there’s togetherness with the locals – it doesn’t feel like an invasion. That’s the aim with Love Cafe – to be inclusive and to build something for everyone in the community.”

But the food is, of course, the most important thing. As Erskine has implied, there looks to be no skimping on quality: “The food will be focused on breakfasts and sandwiches, and will make the most of Kent produce. The produce in Kent is fantastic. I’ve been working with farmers and suppliers to find the best. It won’t be a greasy spoon but it will be a cafe, with good, simple food. It’s our take on a classic Margate cafe, but a little bit different. It’s a bit like a sandwich bar on steroids.”

Diners will be able to choose from a variety of for-the-foodie takes on the classic sandwich. A sandwich of roast beef, beetroot, horseradish, watercress, ready salted crisps and Bovril mayo is a particularly exciting prospect. Erskine added, “Basically I’m excited to be doing this. Margate is thriving. It’s about day-trippers as well as the community. It’s really special and it’s wonderful to be a part of.”