Danish steak restaurant chain MASH is set to open its largest restaurant to date at a site in Soho as the group's owners reveal London's 'extremely exciting' dining scene helped it beat Stockholm and Hamburg to host the first venue for the concept outside Denmark.
Copenhagen Concepts, which operates the MASH, Le Sommelier and UMAMI brands, has secured an Art Deco site on Brewer Street as part of The Crown Estate's development in the area and is preparing to introduce London's diners to MASH in November.
The 300-cover restaurant will feature a separate bar with its own dining area for 50 people which will make it the largest site to date for the brand which currently has four restaurants.
"We started exploring foreign markets about two years ago as part of a strategic plan to move out of Denmark," Peter Trauboth, one of the directors of Copenhagen Concepts and the man who will head up the restaurant's UK operations, told BigHospitality.
"We had a few places in mind to start with – Stockholm and Hamburg – but we chose London. In my opinion it is a happening place – it is like New York was ten years ago. I find it extremely exciting."
Although he didn't rule out operating up to three sites in the capital, Trauboth said no decision would be made on future UK expansion until at least four months after the Soho launch. "It is one thing to play like a world champion at home but it is another to go to Wembley," he admitted
MASH, short for Modern American Steak House, was founded by experienced restaurateur Jesper Boelskifte in 2009. It offers a full steak menu which currently includes American, Uruguayan and Danish options plus Australian Wagyu as well as one poultry and one fish dish.
Placing the restaurant somewhere between Hawksmoor and 34 or CUT, Trauboth revealed all the restaurant's menus would be changed slightly ahead of the London launch with British beef a possibility for the future.
"British meat is really good and that is definitely something that Hawksmoor is offering. I wouldn't say we will leave it up to them but we just need to find the right meat for us that fits our profile. We don't want to come in and have British meat that isn't better than our competitors," he said.
The restaurateur, who began his career as a waiter in the Copenhagen Concepts group, explained with 20 sommeliers in the company, including himself, wine was a very key part of the MASH offering.
He also suggested what else marked the restaurant out from other steak concepts. "Our steak houses have a tendency to also attract a large female audience which is rare - they are a bit sexier with fewer brown interiors. They are appealing to everybody."