Highly acclaimed Spanish chef José Pizarro opens two restaurants at the Royal Academy of Arts

13th July 2021

London’s much-loved Spanish chef José Pizarro – who owns and runs the acclaimed José Pizarro group of restaurants, pubs and tapas bars – is delighted to announce that this August he is to open two vibrant restaurants at what he describes as “London’s most precious and prestigious art space”: the Royal Academy of Arts.

In what is José’s first foray into central London, and to celebrate ten years since he first opened the doors at José on Bermondsey Street, the exciting new ventures allow him to bring together his two biggest loves – food and art. The two locations in the iconic venue on Piccadilly have been created in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Arts and its longstanding creative catering and hospitality partner, Company of Cooks, which is part of CH&CO.

On the ground floor, the Poster Bar by José will offer an informal, drop-in, all-day menu of delicious tapas and drinks, whilst upstairs José Pizarro at the RA is a seated restaurant, located in the Dorfman Senate Room, with the same relaxed style and an all-day menu centred around high-quality produce and the best of Spanish cooking.

José has created a beautiful menu for both rooms.  José Pizarro at the RA, as graceful as it is grand, will be offering tempting plates, including the universally loved Jamón Ibérico and Presa Ibérica; his Strawberry gazpacho, bursting with the colours and flavours of summer; Chipirones encebollados, beautiful baby squid cooked in caramelised, sticky, sweet onions; Leeks with Jose’s famous romesco sauce – nutty, vibrant, and picanteMediterranean red prawns cooked with chilli and garlic; Hake in salsa verde; and Black ink croquetas. The room is light and airy and the perfect setting for José’s delicious menu.

Downstairs at the Poster Bar by José there will be more of the feel of José on Bermondsey Street: a buzzy, vibrant, informal tapas bar. The offer is a casual, café-style menu, including the must-have Truffle Sandwich as well as several of his classic, smaller plates: Tortilla de patatas, cheese and charcuterie boards, and a changing menu, all perfect for sharing. Also available will be the delicious Empanada Gallega – a beautiful Galician pasty stuffed with tuna, confit onion and caramelised red pepper. Chorizo with vino and quince and José’s unique Pan con Tomate are always huge hits, as are his famous, mouth-watering Spicy Prawn fritters with silky lemon allioli.

Drinks too are all proudly Spanish. The wine list is laden with exquisite labels from Spain’s foremost wine making regions, including Rioja, Penedés, Priorat, DO Rueda and Ribera del Duero, and features José’s own beautiful Chardonnay and the gorgeous Syrah Cuvee from Tierra de Cádiz.  Alongside an extensive list of sherries, there will be beer on tap from Estrella Damm.

Friends and fans of José will know that he has loved and collected art for many years.  He says, “When you see art, it’s all about how it makes you feel… your whole body responds, it’s the same with food – well, good food anyway!  The creativity and soul that you find in food and art is the same… you get the same excitement. To be able to bring the two together makes me so happy – it’s an incredibly proud moment for me in my career.”

Jo Prosser, Director of Audience and Experience at the RA, says: “Conviviality has been part and parcel of the Royal Academy for the past 250 years: a place to meet, to talk, to debate, to celebrate art and artists, often with a glass in hand and good food on the table.  We are truly delighted to welcome José and his team to the RA, whose passions and commitment to quality are so closely aligned with our own.”

Rob Fredrickson, Managing Director of Company of Cooks, who specialise in hospitality in the visitor attraction and cultural sectors, comments: “Creating fresh and exciting food, beverage and service experiences for our partner venues is what we’re all about. And enjoying José’s exquisite food in the exceptional surroundings of the Royal Academy of Arts is going to be something rather special. This is a fantastic collaboration and our whole team is enthusiastic to learn under the great man himself and we can’t wait to open and bring this unique experience to our customers.”


Poster Bar by José and José Pizarro at the RA will both open at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, on August 11th 2021.

  • Poster Bar by José will open for breakfast and remain open all day 10am – 6pm. Walk-in only. 
  • José Pizarro at the RA will be open from 11:30am – until 6 pm. Bookings can be made by visiting Roy.ac/josepizarro

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