London & South East Premier Hospitality

Chicago comes to Clapham

Chicago Rib Shack, Clapham

Chicago Rib Shack, Clapham

 The iconic barbeque restaurant chain Chicago Rib Shack has just opened a brand new venue, bringing the big taste of American-style cooking to Clapham.

The new American diner-style restaurant and bar is particularly distinctive in that it is located beneath a formerly empty railway arch – which greatly influenced the imaginative design, created by Stuart Taylor of 44th Hill, working with main Contractors Glover Design.

The single storey restaurant has been designed to make the most of its location, with the railway arch being infilled to create the external elevations. As the space was previously empty, works included everything from infilling the space to the installation of a full catering kitchen complete with imported applewood ovens, fitting out the restaurant and installing toilets and all building services, including heating, lighting, drainage, water and air conditioning.

The interior space is long and narrow, so a special lighting scheme was designed to accentuate this, as well as to create a warm and welcoming look and to ‘lead’ the eye to the open kitchen to the rear, Stuart Taylor of 44th Hill told Premier Hospitality.

Chicago Rib Shack, Clapham

The interior design is further enhanced by a combination of tall and low tables, as well as booths located down the right hand side of the restaurant.

“We have also used a wide variety of materials to create ‘difference’ and ‘own-ability’ including timber specifically detailed for the project, together with a palette of tiles, with all of these elements working visually alongside one another,” said Stuart Taylor.

The exterior of the building features a continuation of the interior lighting scheme, together with a large illuminated sign.

“The project went extremely well and to schedule. The customers love the space and as we are working on future projects for the company, we assume that the client likes it too,” said Stuart Taylor.

The project was completed in mid-July 2014.

Chicago Rib Shack, Clapham

Christian Arden, CEO of Chicago Rib Shack said:

“This is an important milestone for the company. I am delighted with the look and feel of the new style Chicago Rib Shack, serving the neighbourhood. The wider menu is going down really well, paving the way for the future development of the group.”

“This is an important milestone for the company. I am delighted with the look and feel of the new style Chicago Rib Shack, serving the neighbourhood. The wider menu is going down really well, paving the way for the future development of the group.”

The success of the Chicago Rib Shack restaurant is based on the company’s commitment to guaranteed freshness and quality as well as excellent service – and the fact that all their recipes are genuinely authentic and brought over from America. Then there’s the secret barbeque recipe introduced by founder Bob Payton – and the fact that all their meats are cooked on applewood in specially imported ovens, giving a unique, smokey and delicious flavour.

Chicago Rib Shack, Clapham

Diners can choose from a wide variety of tasty treats including Chicago style hot dog served with onions, pickle, tomato, jalapenos, mustard, celery salt and relish and burgers made in house using prime cuts of beef supplied by the local butcher and served with mayonnaise, relish and pickle. Other items include premium organic steaks, free range BBQ chicken, baby back ribs, and pulled pork.

Shakes come in a range of amazing flavours from banana to peanut butter & jelly. Then there’s Root Beer, speciality soft drinks and imported craft lagers.

After two successful sites in Knightsbridge, in 2012 the business transitioned to the new Westfield Centre, Stratford just in time for the Summer Olympic Games. Additional sites have since been added at Southampton’s WestQuay Shopping Centre and Leeds Trinity Centre.

Each future venue will be adapted to best suit its neighbourhood and involvement in the community.

Chicago Rib Shack, Clapham

Glover and Company was established in 1991 and the firm specialise in projects within the Leisure Sector, providing Design and Build, Design, Architecture, Cost Control and Project Management Solutions for PLC and private clients.

On Chicago Rib Shack Clapham the firm acted as the Main Contractors, Technical Designers and overall Project Controllers.

Company founder John Glover said:

“We were involved with this project because we have been involved with all the Chicago Rib Shack Brand Roll Out Projects to date – Westfield Stratford City • West Quay  Southampton and Trinity Kitchen Leeds,  as we will continue to be involved with the ongoing roll out”.

Chicago Rib Shack, Clapham


Originally founded by Mark Storr-Hoggins and a fellow roadie in search of a more settled lifestyle; H&BWR started as a social enterprise, with the remit of keeping waste wood out of landfill. The company evolved after designer Stewart Walton joined and saw the potential for using the reclaimed timber to create a range of furniture and products.

H&BWR are more than just manufacturers and enjoy working with clients quite early on in the design process. H&BWR has years of experience with using recycled timber and understand both its potential and limitations.

H&BWR’s first collaboration with 44th Hill was The Jerwood Gallery in Hastings, but the company has since gone on to work on several projects, the most recent being Chicago Rib Shack. Working on Chicago Rib Shack, H&BWR were responsible for the restaurant’s back bar panels, bar tops, tables and floor panels.

Chicago Rib Shack, Clapham

“Stuart puts a lot of trust in our understanding of the theme he wants to create, then leaves us to it,” said Stewart Walton. “I think this brings out the best in everyone and our workforce takes pride in the work we do and in meeting those deadlines.”

H&BWR has an adaptable rather than prescriptive approach to the materials they use, as much depends on what they have in stock and in sufficient quantity when a project comes up. The range is wide and could be sea defence timber, 200 year old roofing joists, floorboards from a demolition site, old scaffold boards or hardwood pallets.

They recently collected all the salvageable decking boards from Hastings Pier, which burned down in 2010. In exchange for the timber H&BWR are now contracted to make all the furniture to be used on the newly refurbished pier out of this original reclaimed timber.

Clients include the Turtle Bay chain of Caribbean-themed bar/restaurants for FUSION DESIGN and ARCHITECTURE; The Gallivant Hotel and HABITAT.

Chicago Rib Shack, Clapham

Whilst H&BWR do have a website they are keen to stress that it’s a bit of a relic from their earlier days. That’s not to say that it isn’t worth a look to see the wide range of work they’ve done. Alternatively, email Stewart directly:

To watch a short film of their pallet wood Christmas Tree project for the Conran Shop, please visit:

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