Modelled on “milk bars” of the Soviet era, when Poland’s meat was sent to Russia, Mamuska! serves Polish classics such as pierogi, borscht and pork fillet alongside imported beers and almost 40 vodkas – which customers can ask to be frozen ahead of their visit.
Scottish-Canadian founder Ian Coll has a Polish wife, Paulina, and named the restaurant after an affectionate term for mother-in-law. He has a background in marketing, and founded Mamuska! in 2010 with a budget of £30,000.
The business turned over £65,000 in September, he said, with 90% of trade coming from return customers. “We’re ready to go, we’ve got cash in the bank, finance, options lined up and a team who can make it happen”
Coll is now looking for good-value sites in areas frequented by economically active, trendy young people, such as Camden, Kentish Town, Bloomsbury and Shoreditch, with White City the most likely opening in 2017. Further afield, Edinburgh, Manchester and Bristol are under consideration, along with an approach from a potential partner in Holland.