Coming from the literal translation of the French word for barbecue, barbe à queue, Beard to Tail comes from the highly creative minds behind Shoreditch speakeasy Callooh Callay.
The quirkiness doesn’t end with name, as this very different restaurant venture champions weird and wonderful cuts of meat and a fine collection of whiskies on a totally macho menu.
The location of Beard to Tail could not be more appropriate, straddling the border of the City and the heart of still hip Shoreditch at the Great Eastern Street end of Curtain Road. It could be any old building or apartment block from the outside, but venture indoors and you’ll discover plenty of visual stimulation from the wooden shack bar, right through to the long and narrow rear restaurant.
Most noticeable is one portion of wall with a shimmering bronze mosaic in the style of a mirror ball, a striking chandelier fashioned from what appear to be glass shoehorns, and plenty of exposed ceiling ducts and metallic wall lamps. A little piggy statue perches on a window ledge, through which you can catch all the action in the kitchen.
Tristan Hay Design conducted all the design work on the restaurant and speaking about the process, Tristan Hay, Chief Designer said:
“We had a complete blank canvas in terms of the building itself as it was just a complete vacant unit. We were able to work with the client to come up with a number of proposals, layouts and basic models – the end result of which was a tight design which suited the needs of staff and restaurateurs alike.”
On the internal design of the restaurant, Tristan added:
“The owners wanted quite an industrial chic sort of feel, so we left a lot of exposed elements. We also used a lot of reclaimed materials, such as a Victorian pine floor, a table from a convent, old metal window frames for the back bar and door frames make up the bar.”
DSG Electrical Ltd, were the preferred Electrical Contractors for the installation. Although the project had a complicated layout and required facilities in the correct orientation, DSG Electrical were devoted to ensuring that the client’s expectations were met.
Daibhid Gray, MD at DSG Electrical said:
“From start to finish Beard to Tail was a great project to be associated with, Tristan Hay is an exceptional designer who had some excellent ideas to enable the client to get the end result which they did.
“In terms of lighting, we retrofitted quite a lot of the fittings in order to ensure they were compliant with industry regulations and we are quite happy with the outcome. The installation has quite an industrial feel to the place and hence a lot of conduit and cable tray, fabricated to a very high level was utilised in the project. Another happy customer.”
The kitchen is overseen by head chef Dan Thrippleton, who previously worked with Mark Hix. Beard to Tail’s menu is certainly not one for the veggies, or indeed for the faint-hearted, with the restaurant instead exploring meat in all shapes and sizes – think offal, marrow, cheeks and the like.
Work began in November 2011 and was completed in October 2012, the restaurant has 70 covers but for special occasions it can accommodate up to 100.