160 degrees Fahrenheit is the name of a new smokehouse bar/restaurant opening soon in West Hampstead. David Moore, who owns Michelin-starred Pied à Terre and L’Autre Pied, is taking the Me Love Sushi site.
The site is owned by Tragus, which operates brands including Strada and Café Rouge. The rent was advertised at £80,000 a year, which many local business owners considered to be too high for the 80 seater restaurant. Moore’s strong track record, however, suggests that he’s spotted an opportunity despite the high rent.
Sean Martin will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the bar/restaurant. He’s already revamped the Northumberland Arms in Fitzrovia and Marylebone’s Barley Mow. He told Big Hospitality that “smokehouses have gained a cult following in the US and I believe we can open a smokehouse and bar in London that will inspire the same devotion.”
The restaurant will serve British meat cooked on American smokers, alongside craft beers and cocktails.
If Moore and Martin can get the pricing right (avoiding the classic mistake of conflating West Hampstead with more affluent Hampstead), then it is likely to do well. Recent history suggests that restuarants with a unique offering in the area can flourish, while copy-cat tactics are generally doomed. The only place locally that offers a smoker is the Priory Tavern, but I doubt either would see the other as competition.
The reaction on Twitter was generally positive.
— West Hampstead (@WHampstead) January 3, 2014
— luke mepham (@lukemepham) January 3, 2014
Look forward to welcoming @DavidPied's new smokehouse restaurant to West Hampstead. Good to see another empty unit come back into use
— WHampBusinessAssoc (@WHampBiz) January 3, 2014
West Hampstead is getting a "smokehouse" restaurant – this is just another posh term for "kebab shop", right?
— Paul (@parobeth) January 3, 2014
Here are the particulars for the property
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