The Posh Wine Bar You Didn't Know Idris Elba Owned

While definitely not a new concept, it's evident hordes of celebrities are venturing into new arenas. An array of actors, musicians, politicians, and other famous names make the time to invest in side hustles — a growing number of which are in the form of owning eateries, bars, shops, and other establishments around the world. And these star-owned restaurants and bars are definitely having a moment. One particular celeb whose assets include a ritzy enoteca is Idris Elba. In addition to his decades-long on-screen résumé, Elba is the proprietor of a wine bar in England, which opened in October 2021.

Who knew that the man many people know as Stringer Bell (or perhaps Charles Miner) is also a wine enthusiast and hospitality connoisseur? Along with American financial journalist David Faber and founder Connaught Wine Cellars, Elba is the co-owner of the relaxing, congenial, elegant Porte Noire Restaurant and Wine Bar in the Gasholders apartment complex.

Porte Noire's wine list features dozens of bottles from all over the globe, plenty of which can be purchased online. The chic yet approachable food menu includes sharable tapas such as cheese boards, charcuterie plates, Cerignola olives, steak tartare, mussels, and duck liver parfait, plus delectable desserts including scoops of ice cream and sorbet.

Idris Elba co-owns the Porte Noire Restaurant and Wine Bar at King's Cross

Insider contributor Maria Noyen wined and dined at Porte Noire, where she indulged in champagne, orange wine, and a croque madame sandwich that "did not disappoint." Noyen described the champagne as "light and refreshing" and felt the atmosphere lent itself to romantic outings. 

So, why did Elba open a wine bar in the first place? As it turns out, the esteemed English actor, DJ, and rapper genuinely knows a thing or two about wine. In fact, his Porte Noire Champagne, XXXX, has been praised by the likes of British GQ and Wine Searcher. Before the wine bar's grand opening, Elba told The World's 50 Best his goal was to create a "luxe and special, but also relatable, warm, and welcoming" ambiance. He has a deep fondness for bars and exploring business ventures. Naturally, turning his established passion into an establishment made sense.

Elba also once owned The Parrot, a cocktail lounge and music venue at the Waldorf Hilton in London. Sadly, The Parrot is permanently closed.