I confess my bias – I worked for one month at Negozio Classica in Notting Hill before I was transferred to their new location in Primrose Hill, where I worked for four months. This place was, and most likely will always be, my home. Not only because I worked long hours, but I would also arrive an hour early at times to hang out with the other staff, whom I worshipped. I studied Italian at uni, and I lived there for a year, so I loved hearing the different dialects and colloquialisms all day long. If anyone can speak for this place, it’s me: a former employee.
The name Negozio Classica is a bit confusing, as well as incorrect, for those of us who know a bit about Latin grammar–the argument goes that it should be ‘Negozio Classico‘, but the brand is Classica, and negozio means ‘shop’ or ‘store’. Consider it as thus: Negozio [di] Classica. This wine bar was birthed from the concept of bringing the pleasure of drinking wine in good company to London. That’s what it’s all about. Again, because it is a wine bar, it will attract an arguably pretentious and arrogant crowd, but let me assure anyone who wishes to venture here: no one is going to snub you or provide you with shoddy service because you’re not dressed in Gucci. You don’t need to have an upturned nose for them to serve you. My favorite customers were always the regulars who behaved as friends: informally and affectionately. I’ll never forget any of you. Come in and laugh, share stories, enquire about the wines and what you’d wish to try, bring friends and share stories. That’s the Italian way. I remember, when I was an Erasmus student in Bologna, the one thing I admired most about the Italians was how they treated their friends. It was more than familial, it was ardent. So… moral of the story? Come, drink wine, eat food [that’s meant to complement the wine] (it’s a very distinct menu), and celebrate your life in good company. Sit at the bar and meet someone new (or converse with the staff) or sit back at a table, swirling your glass. Friends [always] welcome.
Primrose Hill: 154 Regent’s Park Road, NW1 8XN T: 020 7283 4492
Notting Hill: 283 Westbourne Grove, W11 2QA T: 020 7034 0005