Shoreditch breathed a sigh of relief when Gordon Ramsay pulled out of opening his Mayfair Asian cosplay house Lucky Cat, but it will now have to suffer the ignominy of a real restaurant from a company hitherto confined to the realm of virtual brands.
Peckwater Brands will flip the Bird on Kingsland Road into a “restaurant, development kitchen, and engagement centre” for its gargantuan ghost kitchen operation, according to Big Hospitality. Its brands revolve around the usual delivery suspects: fried chicken; burgers; fried chicken, in burgers; and, in one notable deviation, a salad brand called Chicken Sees a Salad. Still chicken, but also salad.
Founded by Sam Martin and Leo Bradshaw, the explosion of popularity in ghost kitchens — boosted by the potential for lucrative partnerships with YouTube influencers like Mr Beast and the Sidemen — has seen Peckwater backed by Stonegate, Softbank, and other investors via crowdfund to the tune of over £15 million, with its most recent crowdfund set at a £50 million valuation, according to Big Hospitality. While its rival, Reef, is behind those collaborations, their impact on the market has benefited Peckwater.
What it has planned for Bird remains to be seen; whether it can be worse than Lucky Cat? Wait and see.