Big Easy embarks on expansion backed by crowd-funding

Big Easy Covent Garden The Shelter

A third site is to open for Big Easy restaurants and bars in London, heralding the start of a new expansion programme backed by crowd-funding.

The new 11,000 sq ft venue will be on the top floor of the new Crossrail terminal in London’s Canary Wharf later this year, including a terrace for dining and drinking overlooking spectacular views.

It follows the success of the original Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Lobstershack in Chelsea, which opened in King’s Road in 1991, and the second which opened in Covent Garden a year ago including a basement bar (pictured).

The Canary Wharf site will feature a destination bar, an oyster and raw bar and private dining rooms. It will have a large open kitchen with a focus on charcoal and wood parrilla-style grilling and a pit room housing three enormous two-tonne US-built smokers.

The décor will be reminiscent of an early 20th-century dockside warehouse shipping goods from the Southern states of America and the rest of the world. It will have live music every night and, for the first time, serve an American breakfast and weekend brunch.

With a large fan base, Big Easy aims to raise over £3million for further expansion through a mini-bond on Crowdcube. It will allow private investors to make an initial investment of £500 upwards and offer the option of a fixed cash interest rate of 8% per annum or 12% in restaurant credit.

Other rewards on offer will include a free meal of up to £50 every three months, during the life of the bond, to the first 100 investors who invest £5,000 or more.

To support expansion, a new management team has been put in place, including managing director Noel D’Arcy who has over 25 years’ experience in the trade, working across a range of dynamic brands such as Browns and All Bar One at Mitchells & Butlers. His main focus will be to continually improve Big Easy’s operations while staying true to the roots of the brand’s offering.

To support the accelerated expansion, Mayuri Vachhani has come on board as finance director. She has over 15 years’ experience in the casual dining sector including Ed’s Easy Diner, Modern British Canteen, Ask Restaurants and McDonald’s.

Kevin Todd, an industry heavyweight and also formerly at Mitchells & Butlers, has joined as a non-executive director to provide advice from his experience of franchising and brand building in the leisure industry.

Big Easy founder Paul Corrett said: “As London’s love of barbecue, lobsters and steaks continues, I am absolutely thrilled to have built the ultimate team to help the brand grow, starting with the opening of our next big site Canary Wharf.

“I hope our customers are excited about our new mini bond offering and having the chance to be part of the business.”

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