Levi’s Caribbean Smokehouse
Last month saw Levi Roots – the creator of Reggae Reggae Sauce and undoubtedly the biggest success of BBC’s Dragons’ Den programme – launch Caribbean Smokehouse eatery, which opened in Westfield Stratford shopping centre. Levi Roots joined forces with award-winning studio, B3 Designers, to create and deliver the branding and interiors of his new restaurant venture inspired by Caribbean roadside shacks, bringing authentic Caribbean cuisine to the Stratford area.
B3 Designers have worked closely with Levi ensuring the space provides the perfect platform for Levi to bring the tastes of Caribbean cuisine, to as many people as possible. The interaction between the branding identity and the interior identity is almost limitless.
From the branding design, B3 Designers incorporated various elements directly into the venue such as marrying the brand colour pallet into the space. The 2850 sq ft restaurant accommodates 134 covers and evokes touches of humour and comfort mixed with retro vibe and bric ‘n’ brac – clad timber walls, steel mesh and the exposed steel work reference rough around the edges ‘roadside shacks’ inspiration.
Up on entry to the restaurant, diners are met with what appears as a raised banquette seating area but is actually a performance stage. With music in his roots, Levi wished for the space to have a stage, so in designing the venue with an approach to flexibility, B3 Designers needed to ensure that the vintage looking car seating were removable to create a stage, while also being a feature when the space is in use as seating. Staying true to the original Caribbean cooking methods, the meat is rubbed and then cooked in a pit on a wood-burning grill.
B3 Designers made the pit a main feature of the restaurant, adding a corrugated tin roof and timber frame, as well as an old, deconstructed shipping container that was sourced and cladded onto the front of the pit, reflecting the authentic pits of the Caribbean. Custom made for the pit area was a slow turning vintage style fan, delivering cool air to the chefs at work. The fan was engineered to replicate the old school fans that were used in the Caribbean with belt drive in keeping with the originals.
Red Source acted as the main furniture contractor with Caribbean Smokehouse, supplying the vibrant and stylish furniture that is now homed within the restaurant. Red Source is an agency that provides contract furniture, lighting and décor for the hospitality sector, working closely with clients on interior design projects and providing beautiful bespoke solutions.
The Smokehouse evokes everything about Levi’s personality and his way of communication – his restaurant is his way of inviting guests into his home – warm and welcoming with great hospitality and great food. It homes the one framed photograph of Levi as a child, and shelves hold lots of vinyls – 260 records from his own collection and his guitar from the very first Dragons Den.
Mark Bithrey, Design Director at B3 Designers, commented:
“Working closely with Levi and Real Restaurants on the details to create his brand and interiors has been a unique opportunity for our team. It is a pleasure to be working on a project with clients who not only have an in depth understanding of food, but also how casual dining works and what customers desire to make their experience seamless.”
Caribbean Smokehouse aims to deliver the best Jerk Chicken in Jerk Pit Style amongst other traditional Caribbean favourites, including smoked meats, patties and vegetables all finished on the authentic jerk pit. Impressively, Levi has also created his very own beer named Dragon Slayer – Caribbean Smokehouse has it all!
The menu features a range of delicious options such as street food favourites including jerk chicken wings, patties, Bajan fish cakes, ackee and saltfish, creamy jerk spiced mushroom and Reggae Reggae plantain. One pot dishes include the famous Jamaican curry goat and vegetable curry pepperpot.
Dishes done ‘Jerk Pit Style’ are marinated in special jerk sauces, bursting with herbs and spices, slowly smoked and then barbequed for a memorable taste experience. Reggae Reggae jerk chicken, shrimps on a stick, steamed sea bass and rack of lamb are just several of the options on this menu.
Alhambra Tiles Ltd
Specialising in niche Spanish tiles, Alhambra Tiles Ltd provides a range that includes encaustic cement tiles in bespoke colourways, handmade terracotta and patterned and textured porcelain. Having been in operation since 2009, the company has supplied clients all over the world, from Hong Kong to Denmark and Dubai.
The largest project that Alhambra Tiles has supplied was the Nico Osteria Restaurant at the Thompson Hotel, Chicago, with 300sq m of bespoke patchwork. Evuna Spanish Restaurants, Manchester, have used tiles from all their ranges, and the Z Hotel in Shoreditch used their Picasso Porcelain range. Alhambra also supplied tiles for Hoppers Restaurant which was featured during last month’s issue.
Premier Hospitality spoke to Rebecca Leathlean, at Alhambra Tiles Ltd, in order to discuss the company and its involvement with Levi’s Caribbean Smokehouse. According to Rebecca:
“We supplied bespoke encaustic tiles to go around the restaurant’s cooking pit. We created a brand new colour and delivered the tiles in record time. We love interesting projects like this, and the Alhambra team are all big Levi Roots fans!
“We offer a flexible, one-to-one service and often go the extra mile – in Levi’s case this meant creating the new colour. We can also make completely bespoke patterns for clients – we’d love a company to order tiles with their logo on it. The Alhambra team is very friendly and responsive. We pride ourselves on our good customer service.”