New music-driven restaurant opens on Brighton seafront

We love it when there’s a new restaurant opening in the city and we’re particularly excited about this one: Rob Shenton (Riddle and Finn’s) and Charlie Bunn (Hickstead Estate) launched music-led restaurant Drifter on Thursday, 11th April.

The relaxed 70-cover, two-storey restaurant specialises in all of the good things: exclusively vinyl music, natural wine and wood-fired small plates, celebrating the diversity and vibrancy of Brighton’s food and music scene.

The concept was the brainchild of hospitality consultant Jake Northcote-Green, who took inspiration from Japan’s listening bars where people go to actively listen to music.

records on shelves at drifter brighton

Jake said: “We chose a strictly vinyl music policy as these recordings represent a moment in time. It’s someone saying: look at what I have created, please enjoy it. I love that!”

We were able to pop in during the soft launch and it’s a beautiful, laidback space. It’s been thoughtfully designed to make the most of the listening experience with top-notch gear (B&W speakers, Marantz amps) ensuring excellent sound quality.

In keeping with the restaurant’s relaxed vibe, you’ll find muted lighting, leather-topped bar stools in shades of amber, comfy leather banquette seating, and mid-tone wooden panelling and shelving, with records displayed in pride of place behind the ground-floor bar and upstairs in the DJ area. It’s a space where you’ll want to spend time.

food at drifter

Music-wise, they’ll be keeping things low-key with jazz, 90s boom bap, soul and African disco, while they’ll also be bringing in creative directors from the worlds of music production, art and hospitality to put their own spin on things with bespoke collabs and events.

The food menu is based around top-quality locally sourced seafood cooked in a wood-fired oven (think whipped cod’s roe and potato skins, brill crudo, langoustine, crab rarebit toasts, and more). Drinks-wise, interesting natural wines from around the region and beyond are a key focus, with plenty of beers and seasonal cocktails to choose from, too.

And with those stunning sea views and an outdoor terrace to enjoy when the weather’s a bit more reliable, we know where we’ll be this summer.

Drifter officially opened on Thursday 11th April at midday. It will be open Thursday to Monday; midday to 11pm
139 Kings Road Arches, Brighton BN1 2FN