A popular award-winning restaurant in Blackheath has revealed plans to refurb the upstairs of the venue into a cocktail bar with a seasonally changing bar menu.

Copper and Ink is based in Blackheath Village and is run by former MasterChef 2015 finalist Tony Rodd with partner Becky Cummings.

The head chef is Rob Parks, who was a MasterChef semi-finalist in 2015.

News Shopper: Head chef Rob with restaurant owner TonyHead chef Rob with restaurant owner Tony (Image: Copper and Ink)

The restaurant first opened its doors in late 2018, offering guests a fine dining experience without, according to owner Tony, “the stiffness of a Central London eatery.”

Guests who visit Copper and Ink can expect to dine on a monthly changing menu using seasonal produce and ingredients, with dishes inspired from around the world.

Copper and Ink was named as one of Britain's Top 100 Restaurants in the Good Food Guide 2023.

News Shopper: Lamb and merguezLamb and merguez (Image: Copper and Ink)

However, in the last year, Tony and his wife Becky began to notice a “change in spending habits” of their customers as the cost of living crisis continues.

Tony explained: “Over the course of the last 12 months while the cost of living crisis has been happening, we've just seen the numbers of people coming through the doors reducing.

“We talk to the guests after every meal and the feedback has always been excellent, but when we talk to the guests, they all say the same thing - the cost of living crisis is just squeezing them.

“So for us, we started to see those numbers decrease. And on a Friday and Saturday night, we might still open both floors. But on a Wednesday and Thursday, we just don't.

“The danger there is if you're not using the entire building, you're essentially losing money.

“So we're seeing the real risk of if we don't do something drastic to change it, that we could be one of those that close.”

News Shopper: PoussinPoussin (Image: Copper and Ink)

Driven by this, the couple decided to adapt their business to accommodate the budgets of their customers and convert the ground floor of the restaurant into a cocktail bar.

Tony said: “I think a natural accompaniment to a restaurant is a bar.

“In Blackheath, we've got lots of pubs and we've got a wine bar.

“But we don't really have anywhere that sells cocktails.

“And I think as well we wanted somewhere where people could come and enjoy really good quality drinks.”

News Shopper: Becky enjoying a cocktailBecky enjoying a cocktail (Image: Copper and Ink)

The downstairs will be redecorated and become the main dining area, with some tables remaining upstairs for those with access needs.

Tony told the News Shopper that the cocktail bar will feature a “modern take on art deco” with copper and dark green furnishings.

The bar will also feature two new bar areas along with “comfortable seating” where guests will be served.

The ground floor of the building, that currently serves as a dining space, will be converted into a relaxed cocktail bar where guests can sit and enjoy a cocktail and a selection of bar food snacks.

News Shopper: Camomile Lawn cocktailCamomile Lawn cocktail (Image: Copper and Ink)

Keeping with the Copper and Ink’s key theme, the bar, like the restaurant, will feature a cocktail menu that is “seasonally changing”, made with seasonal ingredients.

Although Tony added that there will be some classics on the menu too.

Along with the cocktails, Tony will also work to curate a bar snack menu from a charcuterie board, cheese board and small nibbles for guests to have with their drinks.

Tony said: “For cocktails, we're going to have a number of classics on there. You have to have the classics.

“But I think we're also going to have quite a few unique cocktails that are special to us.

“And they'll probably change, again much like the menu and the wine list does, they'll probably change whether that's monthly or seasonally.

News Shopper: A classic MartiniA classic Martini (Image: Copper and Ink)

“And we'll do the same with the bar snacks as well. There's going to be some really lovely bar snacks up there.

“So for example we might have fried chicken and waffles, or chicken karahi and waffles. We might have some smoked butter popcorn one month.

“But again all those things will change up quite frequently, just to try and keep people excited about what we're offering, not just for the cocktails but also for the nibbles.”

Tony and Becky launched the fundraiser on Kickstarter earlier this week, with the goal to reach £70,000 in order to fund and start their new venture.

Supporters can choose to pledge any amount without a reward, or they can opt to choose between a number of rewards on the Kickstarter page ranging from £25 up to £2,500.

Rewards range from dining experiences at Copper and Ink to private cookery classes with Tony himself.

News Shopper: Asparagus tortelliniAsparagus tortellini (Image: Copper and Ink)

So far, they have managed to raise over £24,000 towards the project after launching it six days ago.

If the pair meet their target, Tony confirmed that they plan to begin the refurbishment towards the end of February 2024, with plans to reopen sometime in March 2024.

Anyone wishing to support the fundraiser can find it by searching “Copper and Ink” on Kickstarter or by visiting Copper and Ink’s social media.

Tony said: “What we can do is we can serve excellent wine with a really good selection of craft beers, but then also some superb cocktails.

“Then it becomes a new venue in the village for people to come and have a drink before they're going out, or maybe on their way home, or maybe just as a night out.

“But also, what it should do, hopefully, is it should bring some people to the restaurant that wouldn't normally come because it's not their thing or they've not heard of it.

“But they've come for a cocktail and then they thought "Well, actually it's good in here, maybe we'll try going and eating in the restaurant as well."

“So it should hopefully mean that both floors are busy all the time, as opposed to just at weekends.”