One-of-a-Kind London Restaurant to Get a Sexy Sibling in The City
Bob Bob Ricard, the Soho restaurant known for emergency Champagne buttons at each table, is to open a related establishment in the Leadenhall Building in the City of London, where the luxury dial will be turned up to 11.
The newer dining room will seat 180 guests at booths, with another 120 in private rooms available in Standard and Executive Class. The latter will have their own bar areas and private-jet style seating.
The modern British grill, with the working name of Bob Bob Exchange, or BBX, is scheduled to open in April next year in the wedge-shaped building, known as the Cheesegrater, which at 225 meters (738 feet) is the tallest in the City of London. The restaurant will occupy the entire third level.
"We want to create a destination restaurant for an eclectic crowd that represents London as a whole, not just the Square Mile," said Leonid Shutov, who created Bob Bob Ricard in 2008. "In Soho, we get everyone from big-hitting CEOs to the media crowd and theater people through to visitors to London. That's what we will be looking for at BBX. People in the City don't just want a corporate crowd."
A nine-seater restaurant-within-a-restaurant will be an opulent Japanese room where sushi, sashimi and tempura will be served. The total seating of more than 300 guests compares with 200 at Bob Bob Ricard.
The Champagne buttons will be used at the new restaurant. A display will also show bids for an auction, every 30 minutes, at which diners compete to buy fine wines starting at cost, Shutov said.
Bob Bob Ricard is known for some of the lowest wine prices in London, even featuring some of the charges of rival restaurants on the wine list. At BBX, Shutov said he plans to serve house Champagne from methuselahs (6 liters) at about £14 a glass ($19.50).
Wine and food prices in general will be similar to those at Bob Bob Ricard, where most mains cost between £16 and £30.
The menu will center on seasonal meat, fish and vegetables cooked over an open flame or smoked in-house. The look will be modern urban, but warm and luxurious rather than cold and austere, Shutov said.
Richard Vines is the chief food critic for Bloomberg. Follow him on Twitter @richardvines