Situated in Kingly Court just off Carnaby Street, the new 70-cover café and bar will have the same focus as the original The Rum Kitchen in Notting Hill;offering classic West Indian dishes and over 100 varieties of rum within a ‘Caribbean beach shack’ environment.
Jonny Boud, who founded The Rum Kitchen with business partners Stevie Thomas, Alex Potter and Fraser Shipsides, told BigHospitality that the brand will now take a central focus for the group in terms of expansion – ahead of their table tennis, bar and restaurant concept, PING.
“The key thing for us will be the extension of The Rum Kitchen brand,” said Boud. “We’re looking very closely at opening a third site in Shoreditch, but it hasn’t been secured yet.
“The Rum Kitchen – Carnaby will indeed have a similar look and feel to Notting Hill – the offering will remain focused on Caribbean cuisine and rum cocktails. This will always be the case with any Rum Kitchen venue, but we will adapt the interior and branding to suit each location.
“With regards to expanding the PING concept, you’re looking at 7,000 sq.ft for another site - with that comes relatively high investment. So The Rum Kitchen is definitely more malleable - we can work down to a site of 1300-1200 sq.ft.”
That said, Boud did concede that the popularity of the 420-cover PING venue in Earls Court made it a viable concept for potential expansion in the future.
“There is an appetite to look at university towns for the growth of PING,” he said. “We might start to look at the likes of Bristol and Oxford and we’ll see whether there are any opportunities there, but nothing’s been secured.”
The first The Rum Kitchen opened at the start of this year in Notting Hill, on All Saints Road. Fellow founder Potter initially told us he believed the key to success for the brand would be to offer customers an ‘experience’, much like they do with their table tennis concept.
“We felt London’s restaurant landscape was missing a relaxed dinning and drinking Carribean offering,” said Potter. “Our focus was to successfully achieve a space which could provide our customer with a full night out; eating, drinking and relaxing after dinner downstairs in the cellar bar.
“The food at The Rum Kitchen naturally has a huge influence, but ultimately we wanted to create an experience - one which merges wonderful music, exciting food and drinks in a Caribbean beach shack environment.”
The menu at The Rum Kitchen includes a range of starter plates priced between £5 and £7, such as ackee and salt fish bruschetta with spinach and slow-roasted cherry tomato; alongside staple Caribbean mains (£8-£15) such as jerk chicken and curried goat.
The extensive rum list takes centre stage on the drinks list, with Caribbean-inspired creations including The Rattle Skull Punch– a blend of rum punch with spices and fruits, served in an enamel jug.
The Rum Kitchen – Carnaby will open in Kingly Court, Soho, this autumn.