David Carter on creating a more stripped-back version of Smokestak

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

David Carter Smokestak Shoreditch founder Manteca

Related tags David Carter Smokestak Shoreditch Chefs Manteca Casual dining Barbecue Meat London

Shoreditch barbecue restaurant Smokestak re-opens its doors tomorrow with a simplified offer centred around meat cooked overnight sold by the 100g.

Speaking on BigHospitality's UnitedWeStand podcast, founder David Carter says that the concept is roughly the same as Smokestak - which opened in 2016 - would have been if it hadn’t launched at around the same time as a number of other London barbecue places.

“It became more of a restaurant than a US barbecue joint. I still would not call it a US barbecue joint now but it’s got a few more of those elements. It’s quite raw,” says Carter, who hasn’t yet decided if he will ever revert to the original Smokestak model.

“We’ll see how well it’s received. We’ve reduced the capacity by 30%,” he continues. “We just want to see what the demand is like and how much of an appetite the pubic have to get out. We’ll probably decide if this stays or goes by the end of summer.”

Part of the reason for the change is that initially only around 40% will be brought off furlough. The restaurant will be open for dinner Wednesday to Friday and for lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday. 

A re-opening date for Manteca - the Soho restaurant Carter launched with chef Chris Leach - has yet to be set.

“Chris has been in town looking around quite a bit,” says Carter. “The area is so heavily reliant on people working in that bit of town or going to the theatre. We’re on the fence right now."

"I hope it’s sooner rather than later and it’s likely the model will be similar to Smokestak, in that we won’t be open for lunch much.”

#UnitedWeStand​ has been created by William Reed hospitality titles BigHospitality, Restaurant magazine and Morning Advertiser and is supported by Britvic, CocaCola European Partners and Unilever Food Solutions.

To download this podcast via iTunes, click here.

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