The team behind Argentinean restaurant chain Gaucho is launching a new dining concept, which will be a more casual, accessible restaurant brand aimed at regional cities.
Cau, which is a new company formed by the same shareholders who own Gaucho, will open its first outlet in Guildford, Surrey, next month. Further sites have already been earmarked for cities including Brighton, Bath, Oxford, St Albans and Cambridge.
The restaurants will be inspired by Argentina, offering a menu with beef bred on the Pampas at its heart. However, the food offer will be much simpler than that at Gaucho with, dishes such as steak sandwiches, burgers and sausages dominating the menu.
Cau director Charlie McLean told Caterersearch.com the idea behind Cau was to bring a more casual version of Gaucho to the high street.
"We wanted to come up with a brand for the regional towns that is informal, cool and a bit quirky," he said.
"Our experienced team have developed the idea for Cau over the past year and we are filling a gap in the market by offering a casual and accessible dining experience in a cool and contemporary environment. Gaucho is more expensive and more formal but the Cau brand gives us a road to the regional towns."
Cau's first outlet will open in Guildford in July comprising a 4,000sq ft site with a capacity for 110 diners. Interiors will incorporate key Argentinean themes and details with a modern twist. White corrugated walls evoke the urban neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires, which will be contrasted by green grass imagery on the ceiling and blue sky on the walls.
The menu will be overseen by executive chef Mike Reid, who previously worked at Gaucho. It will offer a variety of cuts of steaks as well as a range of burgers, fresh seafood and pasta dishes. The wine list will feature both Argentinean and Old World wines.
The team behind Cau includes McLean, whose experience in the restaurant industry has included Yum brands and Gaucho Restaurants; as well as Patsy Godik, creative director of Cau and Gaucho; and Alex Rojas, operations manager, who previously worked with groups such as Zizzi's, Group Chez Gerard and, for the past five years, Gaucho.
By Kerstin Kühn
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