CAU snaps up restaurants in Cambridge and Kingston as UK expansion begins

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

CAU restaurants use beef bred on the Argentinian Pampas along with a range of chicken, pork and burgers
CAU restaurants use beef bred on the Argentinian Pampas along with a range of chicken, pork and burgers
CAU, Charlie McLean’s Argentinian steak concept which opened its first restaurant in Guildford last year, is set to launch a second site in Cambridge in January followed by a third in Kingston later in 2013.

CAU Cambridge will be a 130-cover restaurant on a 4,000 sq.ft site on Bene’t Street, while the Kingston venue will take up residency in the new Riverside development in the town centre, which will contain six new restaurants overlooking the Thames. 

“We are very excited to be opening CAU in Cambridge and Kingston,” said managing director McLean,​who is also the finance and commercial director of sister restaurant group Gaucho.

“We hope both new restaurants will be popular with local residents, shoppers, students and visitors. We believe the old Barclays bank building on Bene’t Street is a perfect location and will build on the success and popularity of our first site in Guildford.

CAU's expansion

“High-quality Argentinian steak will be on offer as well as many other freshly prepared Argentinian influenced dishes, all cooked from scratch on site. We hope that this, combined with our modern and funky design, will create a new restaurant for Cambridge and Kingston that everyone will love.”

Earlier in the year BigHospitality reported that McLean would spearhead CAU's expansion, which had initially included plans to open six restaurants in the UK this year.

CAU, which stands for Carne Argentina Unica, opened its first branch in Amsterdam. Like its sister restaurant Gaucho, its focus is steak, but delivered in a more casual setting.

Steaks, chicken, burgers

The restaurant uses beef bred on the Argentinian Pampas, wet-aged for six weeks and grilled in such a way that the meat is turned only once, and is salted on one side only. Diners can choose from a detailed list including sirloin (8oz, £14) rib eye (10oz £15.95) lomito (16oz, £27.50), and tapa de cuadril (8oz £14.50).

CAU’s range of grilled steaks, chicken, pork and burgers is balanced with a variety of fresh fish and pasta, and Argentinian wines prevail the drinks menu with a heavy nod to the old world.

Aesthetically, CAU features distinctive design, incorporating key Argentinian themes with a modern twist. CAU Cambridge, for example, will include a contemporary steel staircase dividing the restaurant into large and intimate spaces. Striking glossy ‘Bubble lamps’ create pools of lights within the booth seating, while the white-on-black resin floor recalls the night skies of South America.

Alongside McLean, the CAU team includes creative director Patsy Godik and operations manager, who have both also worked with the Gaucho group. 

Related topics: Restaurants, Venues, Business

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