The group, which operates Goodman steakhouses as well as Beast and the Burger & Lobster brand, has teamed up with Chelsea fishmonger Rex Goldsmith for the new venture, due to open on 26 November. Named after Goldsmith and Mariano, a father of a Goodman employees who set up initial meetings with Sicily-based suppliers, the 115-cover restaurant will feature separate oyster, ceviche and salad bars as well as an open grill kitchen.
The restaurant, which takes inspiration from US oyster bars as well as Mediterranean tapas bars, will focus on serving seafood at accessible prices in the same vein of Burger & Lobster. Fish will be sourced form the UK and from Sicily, with prices considerably cheaper than many London fish and tapas restaurants, according to David Strauss, operations director at Goodman Restaurants.
“Instead of serving three red prawns for £18 we will offer 12 for £8,” he says, adding that oysters will be available from £1.50 each. “We are going to cut out the middleman - which usually takes a massive chunk, whether it be fish, beef or lobster - and serve fish at prices people can afford.”
Rex & Mariano will also take the unusual approach of serving only eight wines - four from California, three French and one Italian - all on draught. The cheapest starts at £4 for a 125ml glass, rising to just £8 for the most expensive. It will also have a six-strong cocktail list.
In another unconventional move it will levy only a 5% service charge instead of the standard 12.5% that most restaurants apply.
Located in St Annes Court, the dining room will have an informal feel with white tiling and hand basins to dispense with the need for finger bowls. The restaurant also intends to make use of iPads for at-table food ordering, with staff trained across all areas of the business to further streamline its operation.