Red Dog Saloon
American barbeque chain Red Dog Saloon has continued to expand across the UK, with Nottingham and Southampton the latest cities to get a taste of the American South.
Passionate about creating a true American experience for diners, Red Dog restaurants cook only the highest quality cuts of meats, for up to 18 hours over aromatic hickory wood, in award winning smokers imported from America – obtaining a truly authentic taste.
The latest openings for the brand marked a highly successful end to 2016. Red Dog Saloon Nottingham welcomed its first diners in October while its Southampton counterpart followed suit at the end of December.
To implement their design vision for the two new sites, Red Dog once again turned to hospitality specialists DesignLSM. The design firm has worked with Red Dog since their first restaurant in 2011. Project Director Tim Burford spoke to Premier Hospitality about both new sites, beginning with Nottingham:
“The Nottingham site is situated in the town centre, in a Victorian building with high windows. It had previously been a restaurant at some point but more recently was retail space so it was quite a clean shell with a few traditional details.
“The site has high ceilings and tall windows all around two sides. We have effectively split the space into three different areas plus a lobby. With the lobby, we wanted to create a dark, fairly atmospheric room with taxidermy and a shop counter full of curious pieces of Americana. ”
“The first room contains booth and fixed seating with a reclaimed geometric oak panel floor. The ceiling has been fitted with traditional tin tiles, hand painted in a dark colour to give an aged appearance. The walls are clad in reclaimed pine panels to add to the atmosphere. For the artwork in this area a selection of early 19th American century portraits have been used.”
“The main area contains a large, American-style horse timber bar which is stained in a black high gloss finish. Around the bar there’s an apron of black and white hexagon glass mosaic tiles and classic saloon style stools. The final area is a small room at the back which we based on a small New York bar, and the Red Dog Soho site, absolutely full of framed photographs and artwork.”
The Southampton site required something of a different approach due to its location. Situated within the £85 million Westquay shopping development, Red Dog Saloon Southampton is a brand new shell sitting amongst other restaurants. Tim explained:
“We wanted to make Nottingham feel a little more opulent and make Southampton slightly more accessible to shoppers and families. The Southampton site differs in that it’s lighter and has lower ceilings. The challenge was to make the restaurant fit with its surroundings and not feel completely out of place.”
Despite only being open a short time, the Southampton site has already received an overwhelming response from diners. Commenting on the opening, Marketing Manager, Fabricio Aguilar, said:
“We have been overwhelmed by the response to our new restaurant; the people of Southampton have been very welcoming and seem to have an appetite for good American Bar-B-Q. In opening week alone we have been fully booked every day, serving over 4,500 diners. This is a really exciting time for Red Dog Saloon and we look forward to what 2017 has in store.”
Popular dishes at both sites include the St Louis Cut Ribs, Beef Brisket, Philly Cheeseburger, Bacon Deluxe Cheeseburger and the Wing Sampler. Guests have also had the opportunity to take on the ‘Devastator Challenge’ – three 6oz steak burger patties served with 200g of pulled pork, six applewood smoked bacon rashers and six slices of cheese.
Red Dog Saloon is a family-run business and was the first authentic American restaurant to open in the UK in 2011. Owned by Tom Brooke, Red Dog Saloon currently has three London restaurants in Hoxton Square, Clapham and Soho. Nottingham was the first Red Dog to open outside of London.
“What’s great is that Red Dog is a family business and we can work directly with the owners. They’ve been loyal to us and I really enjoy the process of creating the sites.”