There have been a number of drinking establishments opening up in Tottenham recently, so we were very to excited when we found out one of these was founded and run by women! Local Chig Karadogan along with Kate Borycka have opened Mona's Bar, an evening cocktail bar in a slick and intimate space on the High Road. Rachel Ho caught up with Chig to find out more.
Photo Supplied: Chig Karadogan, co-founder of Mona's Bar
Where did you grow up and what did your parents do?
I grew up in north London around Wood Green and Edmonton. My parents are Turkish immigrants, they owned a dry cleaning business in Hackney where I also spent a lot of time as a child working with my parents. I'd pick buttons off of suits my mum was altering and let them know when we had customers if they were in the back of the shop, I was too young to do much else.
Describe your relationship to Tottenham. I've moved around a lot but moving back to north London felt like home. I've lived in Tottenham for 6 years and I was excited to start a business here and contribute to the high street and the community.
Photo Supplied: Chig (L) with the other founder of Mona's Bar, Kate (R).
Tell us about Mona's Bar. What is it and how did it starts? Mona's Bar started as an idea in a basement club in Soho where my business partner Kate and I met and worked together. Kate managed the bar there and I was the DJ. We bonded over our love of whiskey, cocktails and music, it seemed a natural progression to create a space of our own. We wanted to focus on creating a beautiful space where we would serve elegant and simple classic cocktails with a modern twist.
The property we now occupy was a shell when we found it, it took 3 months of actual blood, sweat and tears (and a broken toe) to complete. Luckily I have a lot of wonderful friends who were happy to help with plumbing, painting and laying concrete floors, the rest I did myself.
Hopefully we've created a space that feels like an oasis, a break from the outside world with a little touch of luxury.
Photo Supplied: Inside Mona's Bar
What advice do you have for other woman wanting to open a bar? Do your research, have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and be prepared to work incredibly hard. You might also encounter negativity, but switch it around and use it to your advantage. You can do it.
As a woman, how do you think the Tottenham has changed? What would you like to see change? As a woman working and living in Tottenham I pay attention to what other women are doing and achieving in my community, a lot of wonderful stuff happening that perhaps could use more exposure. Favourite thing to do in Tottenham? I love that there are late night venues in Tottenham. I can close up at the bar and then head out to Five Miles or The Cause to meet friends and then walk home at the end of the night!
Anything you would like to add? Visit Mona's Bar for seasonal cocktail deals. We are also starting a gin promo soon for all the gin lovers.
Photo Supplied: One of the cocktails at Mona's Bar
Find out more about Mona's Bar: