A small section of the Minories-based site is now a ‘slimline’ version of Randy’s Wing Bar, which could be rolled out nationally by way of a franchise agreement, the group says.
Conceived during the throes of the first lockdown, Claw & Hammer started as a weekly pop-up out of Randy’s Wing Group Hackney Wick site in the middle of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, serving Louisiana Cajun seafood boils.
Despite varying degrees of restrictions it went on to be sold out weeks in advance, the group says, with people travelling from all over London to try the menu when travel restrictions allowed.
The success of these nights, coupled with the empty city centre in London, has led founders Andrew Watts and Emma Whittaker to explore many new concepts and revenue streams both during and post-pandemic.
The venue is being billed as a new seafood experience in the heart of London, serving 'the very best sustainable seafood and shellfish in traditional seafood boils, as well as an a la carte offering of unique grilled and fried dishes'.
“The pandemic has been such a mixed story for so many across the hospitality business, we’ve seen first hand the disparity across geographical locations when the lockdowns really took hold," says Watts. "The positive impact on residential area restaurants was clear as thankfully our Hackney Wick site has had an incredible year both when open and during our takeaway-only, alcohol-free, periods but the negative impact on inner-city sites was painfully clear to see for us and everyone else we know based in the city."
"With no office workers, meaningful residential or tourists in our Tower Hill catchment we saw a real opportunity to innovate for reopening to grow our portfolio but also safeguard our existing brand...and that’s exactly what we’re doing."
“The success of our Claw & Hammer nights during the pandemic made this bricks and mortar site an absolute no brainer. We were overwhelmed by the reviews and the popularity of the concept and we are so excited to take this to market in a more meaningful way," says Whittaker.
Claw & Hammer is currently in soft launch ahead of an official opening later this week (20 August).