Nick House (Mahiki, Whisky Mist and Bodo's Schloss) and Kelly Brook may seem like ‘the odd couple’ but they are the duo behind new one-stop destination venue, Steam and Rye. The 550 capacity space, opening this week, is set within the former bank of New York building in the City, harks back to the glamour and decadence of America’s Gilded Age.
Says House: “It was love at first sight when I set eyes upon the old Bank of New York on Leadenhall Street and immediately the concept sprung to life in my head. In a few seconds, an amalgamation of movies ranging from Hugo to Gangs of New York started to take form and I knew then that I had to make Steam & Rye a reality.”
The bar and restaurant (Monday-Saturday from 4pm-3am) will offer live music and dancing with a classic Americana theme – think Great Gatsby meets the Wild West – and travelling shows will be fused with new rock ’n’ roll. And just to make sure you’re in the mood, House has enlisted the help of production designer Jonathan Lee, who won the Milan Film Festival Production Design Award for Penelope Cruz’s Head in the Clouds.
The Main Hall and Station Gardens are modelled on New York’s Grand Central Station with a sculpted bar, a stage, living clock, and Eastern Pacific Steam Train Dining Carriage. Classic Americana fare includes USDA Grain-fed beef from Greater Omaha, BBQ spare ribs & beautifully flavoured steaks cooked on a Josper Grill. Head chef is Andrew McLeish (Michelin starred Chapter One, Kent). Andy Mil (formally of London Cocktail Club) heads up the bars.
A winding stairwell leads to the mezzanine level and the Cargo Hold – crammed with ephemera, taxidermy, flotsam and jetsam with a glass fronted wall offering a bird’s eye view over ‘Grand Central Station’. Finally the basement 1st Class Cocktail Carriage is a luxurious retreat with rich sumptuous velvet and intimate leather-lined booths. Get on board.