A cool new modern Mediterranean restaurant and bar is opening in a former Victorian bank.

The corner site on Rosebery Avenue, near Exmouth Market has been a restaurant since the 80s and previously housed a Chez Gerard, La Porchetta pizzeria, and most recently a pop up called Double Dragon.

But on February 20, the team behind neighbourhood favourite Perilla in Newington Green will unveil their latest venture Morchella, offering a "modern interpretation of classic Mediterranean dishes prepared with the highest quality produce."

Ham & High: The team behind Perilla in Newington Green are opening a modern Mediterranean restaurant in ClerkenwellThe team behind Perilla in Newington Green are opening a modern Mediterranean restaurant in Clerkenwell (Image: Perilla in Newington Green)

Head chef will be Great British Menu finalist Daniel Fletcher, who has a background at The Square, Sky Garden and 28 Market Place. Executive chef is Ben Marks, who won Food&Travel's breakthrough chef of the year award in 2017 and previously cooked at NOMA and The Square.

And seasoned restaurateur, Matthew Emmerson, former GM at Polpetto, will lead the front of house team.

They are committed to preserving the original features of the former London and South West Bank - later a Barclay's - which was built in 1894 by architect Edward Gabriel, but closed in the early 80s.Ham & High: The new restaurant will include Mediterranean dishes including fish stewThe new restaurant will include Mediterranean dishes including fish stew (Image: Perilla Restaurant)

They have lovingly restored the curved wood doors and are aiming for a "tranquil yet informal space" in the 68-seat banking hall, with a minimalist design featuring greenery, raw plaster, and stripped original wooden panelling, creating "a warm, inviting atmosphere".

The open kitchen will produce "refined yet simple" sharing dishes using seasonal produce, sourced from artisanal Mediterranean suppliers and small independent British day boats and farmers, such as octopus luciana, salt baked poussin and hake with sobrassada sauce.

Wines hail from Newcomers, Keeling Andrew, and Dynamic vines.

Ben Marks says, “We are absolutely thrilled to be opening in Clerkenwell, we feel we’ve found a beautiful site and put together a really talented and experienced team.”

Matthew Emmerson adds "We hope Morchella will be an extension of the vibrant community we've built at Perilla. We're bringing that same neighbourhood warmth to Exmouth Market, with exceptional food, great wines & a talented team.”

Daniel Fletcher adds: “I am really excited to be joining Ben and Matt on this journey, and to get started cooking the food I enjoy eating. It is something we have been planning as a team for a long time and it is wonderful seeing everything come to fruition.”

Morchella also has a cosy wine bar offering a quick bite to eat or after-work drink, and a staircase leading down to a basement private dining room for 14, featuring a bespoke oak wood table, and the restaurant’s wine cellar.

There is also a 24 seater outdoor dining terrace, overlooking Exmouth Market.

Morchella opens at 84-86 Rosebery Avenue Islington on February 20.