Two people sitting on stools in a cafe. A table with toasted sandwiches and a coffee.

Chris and Lena Greenwood, Louie Louie

South London Louie opens at the South London Gallery on 10 January 2023. We sat down with Chris and Lena, the duo behind Louie Louie to find out more about them!

Tell us a little bit about Louie Louie. How did you get started? 

Living locally, we felt the area needed a neighbourhood spot with good coffee, even better drinks and the best food. And we wanted to be able to walk to & from work….

Louie Louie opened on the Walworth Road in January 2017 as a joint project between ourselves & Fowlds Cafe in Camberwell. We managed to get strong local support via a Kickstarter campaign, which was at the time, quite a new way of raising funds.

We wanted to work with chefs in residence in the evening to keep things fresh and interesting for our audience and staff. Quite a few chefs have returned for second residencies and four of them so far have their own restaurants, something we are really proud of. We plan to continue this model at South London Louie, starting with supper clubs on the last Friday of every month.

South London Louie opens at the SLG on 10 Jan. What are you most excited for about the new location? 

Being part of a gallery with a forward thinking programme and next door to an art school with a constant flow of creative people is a match made in heaven.

What can visitors to the gallery expect from South London Louie? 

Great food & drink served by friendly staff to a brilliant soundtrack.

Louie Louie is rooted in south London. Do you have any favourite places to go/eat/drink in SE London? 

The Camberwell Arms for Sunday roast, Zeret for amazing Ethiopian food , Ocean Fish Bar for fish & chips, Royal Dragon for dim sum, Orbit Taproom for lots of beer.

Music is a big part of Louie Louie. Tell us about that aspect of your work. How did this come about? 

Music, food & drink have always been important to us in equal measures. Chris’ background is in the music business, running music venues & festivals.

From the diversity of the playlists, DJ soundtracks and live shows to the quality of the sound systems we use, at Louie Louie we always keep it accessible yet credible. Our “Altar_Native” live music programme of concerts in St Peter’s Church, Walworth, now in its fourth year is testament to this. Featuring music representing the local diasporas coupled with workshops & mentoring on all aspects of the live music business, it combines community work with a fine night out!

At South London Louie, we plan to hold album listening parties, alongside Q&As with artists and musicians involved in the making of the vinyl played on the night.

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