Based in the former Bar Music Hall on curtain road, the Blues Kitchen will offer Texan BBQ food, live music and a large bourbon selection seven nights a week. The space is a converted Victorian warehouse which spreads two floors. There are 150 covers, though the site can accommodate 500 people altogether over a diner, two bars, a dance floor, a stage and some private events space. It will be open for brunch, lunch and dinner.
Owner of the Columbo Group Steve Ball said: “We thought the concept of the Blues Kitchen would be perfect in Shoreditch as the area is quite similar to Camden. Then a fantastic site became available so we went for it.
“The 6000sq.ft size of the site attracted us, as did its 3am license. It’s also slap bang in the middle of Shoreditch, which is perfect.”
The Columbo Group has been working with consultant pitmaster John Hargate to put together their menu at the Blues Kitchen, as well as having ‘the Rib Man’, Mark Gevaux, design some special sauces for them.
Hargate has worked with the Colombo group since the beginning of the venture, planning the menu and working with the chefs on the execution of the dishes in a creative collaboration and partnership.
Ball said: “We want to deliver the best product we possibly can. We’ve obviously got years’ worth of experience in barbequing but working with people who are experts in their field can only add to the product and add to customer experience.”
The menu will feature signature dishes such as fried alligator, salt beef Reuben sandwich and pan fried catfish. The Blues Kitchen also has extensive bourbon collections and offer bourbon infused milkshakes and American whiskey classics on the cocktail list.
The Columbo Group intend to host live music events and DJs encompassing a variety of genres at their new site in Shoreditch. There will be Monday acoustic blues, Tuesday live swing and dance, Wednesday blues jam, and from Thursday through the weekend there will be live touring acts and DJs.
The Blues Kitchen will be the first venue in London to serve Crate Brewery on draught, which is brewed locally in Hackney Wick. It will also stock Snake Venom, the world’s strongest beer at 67.5 per cent.
The site will house a vintage 1950s silver Airstream caravan that has been cut in half, which guests will be able to hire out or use as a VIP drinks area. There will also be a 150 gallon lobster tank installed into centre of the main bar as a design feature. This will contain live lobsters from Scotland, available to order.
Ball said: “What’s so unique about the Blues Kitchen is it’s not just a restaurant, it’s also a bar and a gig venue and a nightclub. We are able to successfully offer the experience of all those different things in a single space.”