The Proud Archivist only opened in October 2013, but it's already carved out a distinct and community-based identity. Having joined because of the venue's commitment to the arts and the local area, Anton Weiss talks to Hire Space about tips for success, barn owls, and the value of hugs and good coffee.
1. What is the inspiration behind The Proud Archivist? What's the name about?
"The Proud Archivist is built around an engaging concept, which is to echo, emulate and revive the traditions of London’s grand 17th & 18th century coffee houses.
"Bringing together a simple café and bistro within an aesthetic that combines the feel of a gallery and library, we want to reflect and represent the interests and passions of the people who make up our area. We're pretty much interested in everything, reflected in our diverse fringe cultural and community event programming.
"Alongside this, our regular program of exhibitions will showcase some of the most interesting and exciting art around, whilst our kitchen serves modern British cuisine guided by principles of seasonality and sustainability."
2. What's the craziest event you've seen at The Proud Archivist?
"The Live wildlife classes we are currently hosting are quite bonkers. There were 6 barn owls in our Library which was a bit surreal."
3. What about the future? What next?
"Short term it’s all about the King's Terrace – canal-side hard shakes, pulled pork buns, beer on tap in the sun, swan watching.
"But we have got some seriously interesting events in the pipeline as well as some very cool experiential dinners and kitchen guest residencies. We want people to always find something new to engage with at our venue.
"We are also very excited to be part of the emerging hotspot that is the Haggerston Riviera (it’s now an official destination, has a website and everything!)."
4. What tends to be the best and worst qualities of your clients?
"We only see the good in people."
5. What advice would you give to a struggling venue?
"Think outside the box. Seek out fruitful interesting partnerships. Take a risk now and again. Believe in the power of recommendation."
6. If we wanted to keep The Proud Archivist for ourselves, what would you demand in return?
"Hugs and good coffee."
7. Outside of The Proud Archivist, which space would you most love to hire?
"Dennis Severs’ House in Spitalfields would be amazing."
by Tommy Shane
Thanks Anton - canal-side hard shakes and pulled pork buns sound like an absolute dream. You can hire out the entire space of The Proud Archvist by clicking here