Aiming for ‘affordable luxury’, the brand is starting with a £1m flagship venue in Southend-on-Sea with a 140-cover venue (100 inside and 40 outside) serving steak and lobster priced between £20 and £30.
Headed up by chef Mark Baumann, the menu also includes sharing plates such as lobster lollies and tapas-style dishes. The beef is sourced from northern Spain and cooked on a Josper grill, which the lobster comes from UK shores.
“Our concept is to give beautiful venues with exceptional but unfussy service, wonderful products, all for exceptionally good value.
“Lobster particularly has been viewed as the property of wealthy people forever, but now our pricing structure will make it possible for anybody to have a whole lobster for dinner. We spent a year and a half developing the look and feel of the venue, to be rolled out in all our restaurants,” co-owner James Welling told BigHospitality.
The company has already secured another Essex site in Billericay, to be opened in early 2015, and plans another venue in the county before expanding to Kent, Surrey, Sussex and the rest of the UK (except London), for a total of at least 15 restaurants.
The food offering is complemented by a range of cocktails, champagnes, wines and beers, and the brand hope to appeal to late-night diners by staying open until 2am.
“The music is just at the right level and tempo, we have a sizeable bar area and people are welcome to stay until 2am with the kitchen open until the last minute, so if someone wants a full meal at 1.30am they’re welcome to have it,” added Welling.
In terms of interiors, he described a ‘calming, relaxing and welcoming palette’, with grey and beige tones, a water wall and a seating plan that ensures there are ‘no bad seats in the restaurant’.
“All of our seats are in a beige pony material and all the dining areas have a very luxe dark grey carpet to give a feel of decadence. The idea behind it is that you feel welcome and relaxed. We want people to have a complete experience for the evening, not just come in, eat and leave,” he said.