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Chicago Rib Shack to test Baby Rib Shack concept at Westfield Stratford City

By Emma Eversham , 19-Aug-2011
Last updated on 19-Aug-2011 at 11:10 GMT

Knightsbridge rib restaurant Chicago Rib Shack will launch a scaled-down food court style concept called Baby Rib Shack at Westfield Stratford City next month and could roll the brand out elsewhere if it is a success.

Baby Rib Shack will open within Westfield Stratford's Cafe Court area this September alongside brands such as Chip & Fish, Comptoir Libanais, Tossed and Cantina.

It will serve a 'stripped down' menu of popular dishes served at the restaurant such as burgers, wings and its famous baby back ribs with Chicago Rib Shack's head chef Thomas Kiss also in charge of the smaller concept's food.

Chicago Rib Shack director Christian Arden told BigHospitality the company, part of Cavendish Bars, had the concept in mind for a while, but had not yet found the right place for it.

He said: "We have been waiting for the right opportunity to launch in a big way and Westfield Stratford is so special. It is not only a privilege to be associated with the Stratford development for the 2012 Olympics, but this also provides us with the ideal showcase for the future expansion of the brand.”

Expansion

Arden is already planning to roll the concept out to another 10 units within similar spaces such as shopping centre food courts, over the next two years, dependent on the success of the Westfield Stratford site.

"We'll know pretty quickly if it's going to be a success, probably within the first month," he said.

"Just in the last week we have had a lot of shopping centre owners asking us about our plans. Everyone seems to love the Rib Shack, it's up to us now to get the operation running smoothly and finding the right places. We are well backed financially so funding is not a problem."

Chicago Rib Shack

Arden said its Chicago Rib Shack restaurant in Knightsbridge was performing well and although the company is on the look-out for a second site in Clapham, the current focus for the business is on maintaining the flagship restaurant and developing the Baby Rib Shack brand.

He said the restaurant, although closed early on the Tuesday of the London riots, had not been badly affected by the disruption that hit the capital.

"The weekend was a little quieter than usual, but on the whole we were only about 5 per cent down on the week. Rib Shack goes from strength to strength and we want to keep it going that way," he said.

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