Night Tales

Night Tales

Creative Collaboration — Night Tales transform a Dalston car park and WWII bunker into London's dopest winter street food spot.

Night Tales brings East London’s most creative people together to construct the ultimate winter chill spot. A covered Dalston car park and WWII bunker make up an incredible space that will host weekly live visual art and a series of interactive exhibitions in the run-up to Christmas. Quality food, drink and music is guaranteed, from the minds who brought you Dalston Roof Park. For the very first time, the summer pop-up concept will be twisted to work in London’s winter temperatures, with the aid of heaters and log fires. Background Bars and street traders Bao and Rainbo have the food and drink under control, while tunes will be provided by NTS DJs, the Vortex Jazz Club and Smokey Tails founders, Seth Troxler and Ryan Crosson.

Big names are involved, but giving the next generation of creatives the chance to shine is at the heart of Night Tales. Background Bars are working with local unemployed young people from the Bootstrap Campus programme to build the space, giving them valuable experience of working on a major event. Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Apprentice Programme will also be offering young chefs the chance to show off their exciting culinary ideas. By working with the next generation of talent, established outfits are passing their knowledge to the new faces who will be smashing it in years to come. This marriage of experience and fresh new talent has helped create a killer event. Huck spoke to three of our favourite crews involved to get the lowdown on Night Tales.

Bootstrap Campus

Bootstrap Campus is a social enterprise that gives underprivileged young people in East London the opportunity to work with a wide range of professionals to develop their skills and social networks. Background Bars will be working side by side with unemployed local 16-24 year olds from the programme to help design, build and manage the space. Henry Trew told us more about the project.

Why do local kids struggle to get into work, particularly in the creative industries, and how are you changing that?
Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to know someone in the industry and are less able to work for free. We partner with the local Job Centre to allow unemployed 16-24 year olds to go on placement while keeping their financial support. Bootstrap Company is a charity that manages workspace for over 500 organisations in Dalston, from charities and social enterprises to designers, film makers and more. Bootstrap Campus makes a bridge between this buzzing community and young people from the local area.

How are you attempting to train people up for the jobs of the future?
We think creativity is a crucial skill to be successful in all types of work. We focus on core employability skills that cut across all jobs and will give our graduates more confidence to transition into work. Their experience here will improve their confidence to network, be creative and work collaboratively.

Background Bars

Background Bars are at the forefront of experimental bar culture and constantly pushing things forward. They are also helping to cultivate new talent by working with Bootstrap Campus participants on all of their events.

What do you enjoy about collaborating with street food traders?
We are always conscious of creating something different and making sure things never get stale. Food and drink are two pleasures that we think come hand in hand. It’s great to work with different London institutions and bring them together under one roof.

What excites you about Night Tales and what creative opportunities does it offer you?
We are super exited to be working with a group of friends to see what we can achieve. The set up behind Night Tales is very much an East London collective of creative people, coming together to combine different sets of skills to create something cool for London to experience this winter.


Rainbo is one of London’s finest street food trucks. They serve Japanese gyoza from a dope 1948 Ford pickup and donate a percentage from each meal sold to Nepalese NGO Base, who work to end child labour among the Tharu caste. We spoke to Ben to talk street life and ethical food.

Why is the charity element so important to you?
My partner Shrimp and I were deeply unsatisfied in office jobs. We wanted to create a model where giving back was at the centre of the business. Every time we go home and count up how many meals we’ve sold, we know that money is going to help the lives of people across the globe in Nepal. That’s quite a big thing really.

What do you love about being on the road?
I really enjoy the lifestyle of street food. It’s fun being part of so many different events, meeting amazing people and having such a direct connection to the customer. I cook the food in front of them; it’s a really honest interaction.

The Night Tales launch party is on Thursday November 7 in Dalston, East London. RSVP here. The event runs every week, Thursday-Saturday, into December. See the Night Tales website for more info.