US restaurateurs Altamarea Group, who are behind NYC's Ai Fiori, are about to make their first stab at the UK market with upcoming Haymarket restaurant Chop Shop, a "butcher-shop inspired" restaurant.
They're joining up with Will Guess, whose family own much favoured Rowley’s Restaurant in St James. Guess was also a director of Rowley's and was behind the launch of 101 Pimlico Road as well as consulting on the recently launched Rum Kitchen.
Chop Shop will be a casual restaurant and is aiming for a neighbourhood vibe, despite its very West End location. The menu will be divided into sections called "jars", "planks" and "crocks". The jars will be meat and fish pâtés, the planks cheese or charcuterie and the crocks will be baked meatballs and gratins. Alongside this, there will be "steaks and chops" - USDA fillet, hanger and sirloin steaks alongside roast chicken, baked salmon, and the Chop Shop short rib steak sandwich.
There will also be the ‘White Label Burger’ (named after Altamarea’s chef Michael White) that may well be getting some attention from London's burger bloggers. This is from NYC's Ai Fiori and, if it follows that template, it will have a mix of chuck, brisket, short rib and aged rib-eye in a square patty with bacon and American cheese (according a rather in-depth study over at Serious Eats).
Cocktails at the bar will include "the Haymarket" which is a London version of a Manhattan with Buffalo trace bourbon, Dolin sweet vermouth and pink clove. The restaurant look itself is inspired by Rowley's, which was the home of the original Walls butcher shop back in the day. Set across two floors, it'll have plenty of distressed panelling, exposed white brick walls and reclaimed furniture.
Chop Shop opens in September at 66 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4RF, opening from noon to midnight. Follow them @chopshoplondon