The first Burger & Lobster restaurant outside of London will open its doors in Cardiff in December this year following a three month renovation process.
The site used to house a Habitat store and following a change of use application by the landlord has now been split into two restaurant units. The ground floor now holds a Miller & Carter and the first floor unit is home to Burger & Lobster.
Premier Hospitality caught up with Alex Neil, Project Manager at the Burger & Lobster restaurant Group, to find out more about the renovation process. The team applied for Listed building consent in order to fit out the Listed venue and worked alongside building officers to ensure the feasibility study and plans to renovate the venue were in line with building regulations.
“When we got on site the venue was in a shell condition; we took up the flooring and stripped out the plumbing and electric systems. After the building officers reviewed our feasibility study and plans we were able to start works.
“The first floor comprises large iron arches which separate the room and act as a main feature of the building. The structures are heavily listed, as is the entrance of the venue, so we had to be careful how we interacted with those arches to make sure we didn’t affect them.
“As with all of our sites we like to enhance the original features of the building which is why we take on sites like this; all of our sites have historical references.”
The 18 cover venue opened mid-October and now boasts a grand, glass-fronted entrance as well as an attractive, redesigned staircase. Upon entering the venue diners are greeted by a vast wine and lobster display wall which showcases the theme of the restaurant as soon as people step inside the door.
Around the corner from the entrance area a large open kitchen has been constructed in front of a large communal table. The communal dining experience reinforces the Burger & Lobster emphasis on the produce.
The main feature of the venue is the large, square bar which comprises a central island as well as incorporating the buildings Listed columns. Main contractors HCM Interiors and project designers Design LSM worked alongside the Burger & Lobster team to create an elegant, yet up-beat dining experience. Tables have been placed around the venue close to the stone framed windows offering diners views of the picturesque surroundings.
In the centre of the venue, in between two of the columns, a large glass atrium has been constructed and below this atrium is one of the restaurant’s communal tables. This acts as another feature piece of the venue.
Although the project ran relatively smoothly there were a few challenges. The wet weather affected the buildings roof and meant the team had to spend time patching up the structure. The original plan was to retain the venue’s original parquet flooring but it was too heavily damaged to repair so was replaced with a new hardwood floor.
Interacting with the building’s Listed columns has also been a challenge for the on site team. Restoring the columns was difficult as they were not allowed to alter them too heavily; working around the columns in order to make the most of the venue’s space was also difficult.
“It’s really exciting to see the Cardiff restaurant take shape as this is our first one outside of London. We know the London market well and hope we can bring some of this experience to new territory making the most of the growing Cardiff restaurant scene. We have thought about how evolve Burger & Lobster to work in Cardiff and have incorporated Welsh influences in the design.”
A new concept for Burger & Lobster
Smack the Lobster Roll Deli has opened on Binney Street, in London’s Mayfair district, offering diners a premium takeaway offer right on their doorstep. Lobster Deli Roll, the first of its kind, offers diners five different varieties of the famous Lobster Roll, influenced by flavours from around the world.
Guests can choose from a variety of options of the Lobster Roll and either eat in and enjoy the downstairs wine bar and surrounding Siren projections or takeaway. The aim of the venue is to offer a higher quality fast food experience, providing something different to what is already on the market.
Works began on site in July this year and posed the on site team, comprising of HCM Interiors and Design LSM, an array of problems. The venue needed to be made structurally sound before the strip out and fit out works could occur and so the project took longer than initially planned.
The design concept was to focus on the food and not the design so a lot of the upstairs elements of the venue are stripped back & functional. Upon entering the restaurant guests will see a large food counter with an order point, next to which is a variety of drinks options, which can be consumed whilst awaiting an order. Downstairs the story of Smack deli comes to life, with moving siren projections, a giant copper bath-tub and unique wine & beer tanks that are the only ones of their kind.
“The aim of the Smack is to give the customer something new; we want to be the first place to do lobster rolls at a reasonable price. We are trying to make sure the new concept is linked to Burger & Lobster via the quality of the food & drink but with an entirely different dining experience.”