Situated in Maiden Lane, the new, 300-cover restaurant will open in February 2014, taking inspiration from its sibling in King’s Road; offering American, fresh-smoked, barbequed pork, beef and seafood.
Restaurateur Paul Corrett, who founded Big Easy over 20 years ago, 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.”
On the menu
In the kitchen will be executive chef Kenny Callaghan, who comes in from New York restaurant ‘Blue Smoke’. And taking the key role of ‘pit master’ will be Pete Daversa, also formerly of Blue Smoke but more recently at New York’s Hill Country Barbeque Market.
The menu itself will be based around the finest pork and beef cuts, rare-breed British steaks and freshest local seafood. Carefully sourced beef including Wagyu and USDA and traditional-breed pork will be showcased together with what Big Easy is also renowned for – fresh lobsters.
The 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.
Big Easy Covent Garden will have an additional emphasis on the drinks offering. Situated on the ground floor will be a nine-metre 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 classic cocktails as well as Manhattans and Old Fashioneds on tap. The bar list will also include 'Boozy Juices' and milkshakes with an alcoholic twist and a list of craft beers including exclusive brews on tap.
The design of the new restaurant has been overseen by industry heavyweights Macaulay Sinclair, with the interior honouring the building’s original usage as a power station in the late 1800s. Many authentic features, such as copper conduits, brickwork, and steel and concrete girders, will be retained, complemented by industrial lighting. Neon lobsters, Americana and nautical touches will add to the ‘Big Easy’ theme – set over three floors and 10,000 sq.ft of space.
A central feature will be the nine-metre, theatre-style kitchen situated on the lower-ground floor. Focus will be on a ‘wall of fire’, comprising two Argentinean-style parilla charcoal grills as well as a two-metre rotisserie spit that will roast whole hogs, and a large wood-burning oven.
A dedicated ‘Bar.B.Q pit’ area will house two 1.5-tonne, 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 to impart their unique flavours.
Big Easy Covent Garden will open at 12 Maiden Lane in February 2014.