London’s most celebrated group of steak restaurants, Hawksmoor, has finally announced that it will open its first site in New York City, in 2019. It will occupy the former United Charities Building on the corner of East 22nd and Park Avenue South, in Manhattan — with 180 covers in the dining room, and an additional 50 in the bar.
About the long-awaited plan to move stateside, co-founder Will Beckett said: “When we open in 2019, Hawksmoor New York will have been 5 years in the making. While that has felt like an incredibly long wait, it has given us the opportunity to get to know New York intimately, meet the people who make the industry tick, eat extensively in its amazing restaurants and find some passionate farmers, fishermen and suppliers.”
Hawksmoor was founded by Beckett and his childhood friend, Huw Gott, in 2006, at a site on Commercial Street in Shoreditch. It was, they say, “built on a childhood memory of how good steak could taste.”
Gott believes they’ve found the perfect space. “We have found what we believe is the perfect Hawksmoor restaurant space in New York: a beautiful National Historic Landmark built as The United Charities Building in 1893 with an incredible 10m-ceilinged assembly hall that will be the main room of our restaurant.”
The New York restaurant menu won’t stray away from what’s made Hawksmoor such a hit in the U.K.: The likes of its so-called “dictionary thick cuts of carefully sourced [grass fed!] beef” together with seafood, bar snacks and “carefully prepared vegetable dishes.” It is hoped the Sunday roast, one of this city’s finest, will make an appearance, too.
Beckett and Gott also hope to emulate their reputation as “progressive employers” in their adopted home. The Hawksmoor company has been ranked as one of the 100 best employers in the country across all industries, according to the Sunday Times, for eight consecutive years.
Although London’s steak scene is good, and counts the likes of Goodman, Blacklock, and Sophie’s Steakhouse among its most celebrated venues, New York is an altogether different beast: a city which claims a degree of ownership of the steakhouse genre, and which includes not only classics like Peter Luger, but celebrated modern restaurants, like The Grill.
Hawksmoor’s bid to break America will be fascinating to observe.