However, like a phoenix from the flames, what has emerged from the rubble is a really gorgeous local venue, which hasn't lost any charm and still manages not to be pretentious or ostentatious. With lots of diner style booths, natural light streaming through the glass ceiling and chic Parisian style cafe music humming in the backround, the general ambience is of laid back chic.
As this was an early Friday evening, cocktails were the order of the day. We were excited to try the special Wimbledon cocktail - a light, cleansing cocktail based around lime and cucumber - created by the Picasso team to celebrate the annual tennis event. Decorated with a twist of lime peel which reminded me of the tracks around a tennis ball, the flavours countered each other really well and I wasn't disappointed.
Sarah plumped for the Herbalist, which was zingy, sweet and refreshing all at once. The bitter Tanqueray gin was offset perfectly by the cucumber.
Ann also really enjoyed her Romeo's First cocktail; apparently is the drink of the moment amongst Picasso customers. Based around passion fruit, the mixologist managed to avoid its sweet taste overwhelming the other flavours. The end product was rather aromatic and elegant and not in the least sickly.
Accompanying our drinks was a perfect mini mezze plate of olives, feta and sundried tomatoes - the perfect way to start the evening!
Unfortunately we couldn't stay to sample the full menu, but true carnivores amongst you would be pleased to hear that it's based around steaks and hamburgers which, if the Black & Blue reputation is anything to go by, are bound to be mouth-watering.
127 Kings Road,