Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Crabshack to open in Covent Garden
Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Crabshack is to open a second restaurant, in London's Maiden Lane in February 2014.
The new venture will be a sister site to the existing King's Road restaurant.
It will offer American fresh-smoked barbeque, seafood, and cocktails, and executive chef Kenny Callaghan, the former chef partner of New York restaurant ‘Blue Smoke', will be in the kitchen.
Pit Master will be Pete Daversa, former pit master at Hill Country Barbeque Market in New York. Daversa also worked at Blue Smoke BBQ (NYC and opened in Hong Kong).
Meanwhile, Big Easy founder Paul Corrett's design vision has been overseen by Macaulay Sinclair.
The site is located in a former electrical power station built in 1883, owned by the Gatti Brothers and first used to light their own restaurant, ‘The Adelaide' on the Strand. On the back of their success in the electricity business , the Gattis' then formed the Charing Cross & Strand Electricity Supply Company and the site went on to power the first bright lights of the West End.
The interior will honour the building's original heritage, retaining many authentic features, such as copper conduits, brickwork, and steel and concrete girders, complemented by industrial lighting.
A central feature will be the 9m, theatre-style kitchen situated on the lower ground floor. There will be a "wall of fire", comprising two, 2.5m Argentinean-style parilla charcoal grills, as well as a two-metre rotisserie spit that will roast whole pigs, and a huge 2.5m wood burning oven.
A dedicated barbeque pit area will house two, 1.5t J&R wood burning smokers imported from Texas, where meats will all be freshly smoked on the premises using a variety of woods, including oak, hickory, apple and cherry, for up to 18 hours.
The menu itself will be based around barbeque pork and beef cuts, rare-breed British steaks and freshlocal seafood. Lobsters will be sourced all year round from Nova Scotia for their consistency, flavour and quality. A specially designed 1500kg lobster tank has been constructed on the premises to house almost 2,000 live lobsters with sizes ranging from 1 to 10 lbs.
On the ground floor will be a 9m bar, boasting over 500 bottles on nine levels with a focus on domestic and imported premium and American whiskeys, as well as rare tequila, rum, liquor and French and Spanish brandy. Imported, purpose-built cocktail machines will dispense frozen Margaritas and other well loved cocktails as well as Manhattans and Old Fashioneds on tap.
Big Easy founder, Paul Corrett, said: "As London's love of Bar.B.Q, lobsters and steaks continues, I am absolutely thrilled to offer the evolution of the Big Easy to Covent Garden. No-one in London is cooking with wood and charcoal in such an unprecedented way. Fresh Bar.B.Q straight from the smoker is the holy grail for Bar.B.Q aficionados and we are aiming to provide local residents, workers and visitors alike, with the most comprehensive genuine, quality US style Bar.B.Q and seafood dining experience in the UK. This will truly be a return to extravagant social dining of a bygone age, with great food, drinks and music, in a relaxed, vibrant and unforgettable setting."