The Smoke Haus
After success in Swansea and Cardiff, The Smoke Haus, an American inspired restaurant that offers larger portions and even bigger flavours, has opened the doors to its first site in England. Located on Brindley Place in Birmingham, The Smoke Haus replaces former Cantonese restaurant Tin Tin and will accommodate 210 covers.
Speaking to Premier Hospitality magazine, Owner Mark Power said: “At the time I was very aware of the fact that nobody did what we do in Birmingham – a few have crept up since we opened – but I thought there was a real place in the market for it and Birmingham is really up and coming. The new Birmingham Central station is a big thing, there is a huge amount of investment and I just liked it. The site had a lovely feel and is in a vibrant area that we really, really liked.”
Work on the new restaurant began in February 2016 with the doors officially opening to the public in mid-June.
Mark said: “Since opening things have gone well. It is a great business and the refurbishment we have done is something that I am really proud of.”
The site has been completely transformed to accommodate The Smoke Haus Brand with Mark and his business partners Jayne and Owen ploughing £450,000 into the building’s transformation. The main contractors on the project were Pro-Spec Interiors with the design thought up by Mark.
He said: “It cost us a considerable amount to refurbish because we had to rip it out and start again. We know what the brand is and what it looks like so once you know that, it is then down to flow and once you understand flows and how the business should work, the rest is easy. We are learning as we go along and it is something that I love doing. When you have something that is in such a bad way and then you refurbish it, you do get a sense of pride from that.”
Inspiration for The Smoke Haus came from Dinosaur BBQ in New York. Mark then brought that design to Wales and Birmingham and used a lot of different textures such as metal, brick and wood to create an urban and modern space. Classic images hang on the walls including Only Fools and Horses, Game of Thrones and Rocky as well as images of famous sports teams, Birmingham, Cardiff and Swansea, which Mark hopes resonate with diners and provide conversation starters for everyone.
The Smoke Haus menu offers a variety of freshly cooked meals for diners. Diners can chose from the Smoke Haus Pulled Pork Sub sandwich, Steak and Ribs, The Mixed Grill, The Donut Burger or steak, chicken and hot dog dishes as well as indulgent sweets including Ice Cream Sundae’s, Waffles and Chocolate Brownie.
“It is American driven,” said Mark. “So BBQ, brisket, pulled pork, burger and ribs and that sort of stuff but it is all fresh food and it is all prepared on site. We smoke the food on site so it is very real food. There is a real quality about it and the produce is fresh, Welsh produce. We are proud of our background and beginnings so that is the part that we like to shout about.”
Now with their third site open, Mark is looking ahead to the future and has plans for more Smoke Haus venues.
He concluded: “We will keep going. We are on to something – we have a great brand, a great identity, great produce and I think going forward, we will look to do more.
“There were a few moments in Birmingham where I went back to the ‘pinch myself’ moment. We started in Swansea with £20,000 and we have just spent £450,000 on Birmingham so there are moments where you go ‘Really? Is this happening?’ The three of us do have moments where we have to say ‘wow’ and I think there do come times in business where you stop and ask questions and then you go with it. We just have to keep going. We have created this thing that the public want, engage with and it is absolutely important to us.”
Pro-Spec Interiors Ltd
Pro-Spec Interiors Ltd is an internal fit-out specialist operating a small, yet unique team of operatives. The company was formed in 2001 and since this time has worked on projects for various prestigious clients including Waitrose, Tesco, Subway, Mumbles Pier Café and The Smoke Haus, amongst others.
Pro-Spec Interiors Ltd has built up a strong working relationship over the last three years with Mark Power MD of The Smoke Haus, having provided the full fit-out for Smoke Haus Cardiff; the full refit for The Smoke Haus Swansea; and the demolition, removals and full fit-out works for SmokeHaus Birmingham, including a goods lift. Working with The Smoke Haus, Pro-Spec Interiors Ltd provides a complete project management service, along with all the clients’ design and installation requirements, covering all building regulations and any planning issues. They also work very closely with a freelance kitchen design consultant with 30 years’ experience in the commercial kitchen sector.
Pro-Spec Interiors Ltd Director, David Sparks, commented:
“At Pro-Spec Interiors Ltd we always look to work with like-minded, honest clients where relationships are built alongside interesting projects. On The Smoke Haus, we worked in partnership with The Smoke Haus owner, Mark Power, operating on an open book policy at nett cost with an agreed margin upon completion. With Waitrose coming to the end of their 6 year expansion plan we are now actively seeking another client, where we can develop a strong working partnership going forward, whether it be scheduled rated work or an open book policy.”
“I recognise talent and I keep the team quite small and focussed, with all tradesmen multi-skilled in various trades, which saves a fortune for the client on prelims and there is no down time. Brindley Place was a fantastic project to be involved with from the beer barrel urinals and sinks (yes we came up with that one half way through the project) to the show kitchen with two tier bespoke heated serve over.”