Martin Williams, the new chief executive of Gaucho has announced bold plans to launch a new "socially and environmentally responsible" concept in the steak restaurant group's original site.
Dubbed Gaucho 2.0, the new concept will open in Charlotte Street on 9 December serving what it claims will be "carbon-neutral" beef, as well as featuring a new design.
It was in Charlotte Street that Gaucho, which earlier this year merged with Williams' M Restaurants after it was bought out of administration in October 2018 by Investec Bank and SC Lowy, opened its first UK site in 1994.
Now Williams, managing director Ross Butler and brand/marketing director Jenna Bromage are ditching the cowhide interiors for which the brand became known and replacing them with earth tones inspired by the Argentine landscape, in conjunction with interior design firm Design LSM. The new design will gradually be introduced to all 16 restaurants.
Meanwhile, the 128-cover restaurant will offset the entire methane and CO2 imprint of the beef sold in the new restaurant through a combination of planting trees in South America and investing in green power. The company said it wanted its entire beef offering to be carbon-neutral by 2022 and for the entire company to be carbon-neutral by 2030.
And it claimed that serving a selection of world and Argentine wines on tap would also reduce its carbon footprint, with other plans to reduce the restaurant's environmental footprint still to be developed.
Gaucho also revealed that 10% of the workforce at Charlotte Street will come from those being helped back into work by charities such as the Clink, SOHK, Just a Pavement Away, Leonard Cheshire and Armed Forces Covenants.
Among other features at the redeveloped venue will be:
A Beef Bar: A four-seater counter offering a more intimate experience with the chef running through tartare, carpaccio and a variety of specials and new dishes
Two bars with a new cocktail list and bar food
A cinema screen to be used for regular film nights for the Gaucho Film Club throughout the year, starting with Love Actually and Nightmare Before Christmas ticketed dinners in December.
A lower ground floor private dining room with banquette-style seating area, uniquely commissioned artwork and photography and a tri-fold entrance opening out on to the bar floor allowing a larger space and screening area with the cinema screen
Typical dishes on the menu, overseen by culinary director Mike Reid, include scallop ceviche and a selection of empanadas, steaks in a variety of cuts and weights, with the option to be marinated and served according to classic Argentine recipes, including tira de ancho and churrasco de lomo. There will also be seafood options such as fillet of seabass and Atlantic cod, with garlic and herb half lobster served alongside steak.
The new restaurant has also been designed to offer more plug sockets and superfast WiFi to facilitate co-working during the day. Dogs are also welcome.