From eldest daughter Ella, who has been in charge of the visual side of the Nine project (from menu design to painting the kraken in the stylish loos), to youngest daughter Felicity (who inspired and created the s’mores dessert), everything you see, touch or taste has the imprint of one or more members of the family.
In terms of hours worked, family friend Nicky Northover is up there with Sharon and Dan, having put in hundreds of hours over lockdown to restore the kitchen and interior of Nine to its current glory. Their sheer work and creative input have made a massive contribution to the Nine Project. Using materials sourced by Sharon and son Thomas, Nicky repurposed materials such as bricks, copper pipework, corrugated iron and scaffold boards to create the tables, wall coverings, the bar and loos; he even did the upholstering of the bench seats.
Sharon’s other sons, Charlie and Harry provided essential IT support as well as help with fonts for the menu, which was designed by Ella. The inspiration for the logo and sign came from a business that once occupied the Nine West Street site – E H Robins Fishmongers and Poulterers. It is the original metal letters from that business’s sign that make the new sign outside the restaurant.
Like Nine’s food, the interior and exterior design combine a respectful nod to the past, with a stylish modern interpretation. Elements as diverse as Thomas’ old home-made chopper-style bike and miscellany of fascinating objects, old wood and oddments from Nicky’s personal workshop and antique mirrors that Charlie brought back from France, all contribute to the warm steampunk aesthetic.
Nine is a visual feast before the culinary feast to come.