Hawksmoor is to open in Edinburgh in the summer after securing the former Royal Bank of Scotland building in St Andrew Square.
The 170-cover restaurant, Hawksmoor’s second outside London, will launch in July.
Co-founder Will Beckett told MCA he was excited by the possibility of opening a space that is “epic but very different from what we normally do” and that he was committed to the site being “an Edinburgh restaurant rather than a London restaurant opening in Edinburgh”.
He said that it was unlikely Hawksmoor would look at other UK cities for openings but that the group’s delayed plan to open in New York – now expected in May of next year – could open up new avenues for growth.
He said trade had been strong across both Hawksmoor and Foxlow, with December like-for-like sales in the former up c5%.
He said: “The site in Edinburgh is very stripped back but because it’s listed lots of the original features are still there and have been nicely maintained. We don’t usually go into grand spaces so it’s really exciting because it’s a new thing for us to design something that feels like a Hawksmoor in a space that’s very different from what we normally do.
“Produce and design will be the big focus for this site - seeing how much of a supply chain we can build up. I remember saying when we opened in Manchester that the worse thing that could happen would be that people felt like this was a London restaurant. This is an even bigger leap than Manchester.”
On further growth, he said: “The challenge for us is to do something epic. I don’t want to do 4,000 sq ft restaurants in a city I’m not super excited. London, Manchester and Edinburgh feel like the logical cities for us, then there’s New York and if that works, that opens up a whole load more possibilities. If something brilliant came up we would look at it but it would need to be something that got us excited.”