Hawksmoor, the chain of upmarket steakhouses, has secured a location for its first restaurant in Dublin. A spring 2023 opening date, subject to planning approval, is slated for the UK company’s new branch, which will be at 34 College Green, in the former National Bank building opposite the main entrance to Trinity College Dublin; it was most recently occupied by the US retailer Abercrombie & Fitch.
Hawksmoor, established 16 years ago in London by Will Beckett and Huw Gott, recently opened its 10th steakhouse, in Gramercy Park, New York, in the Assembly Hall in the United Charities Building. The Dublin location is in a similarly impressive building, owned by Paddy McKillen and Tony Leonard’s Clarendon Properties. McKillen’s son, Paddy McKillen jnr, heads the Press Up hospitality group, which has restaurants in prime locations across Dublin.
Beckett and Gott had been seeking a Dublin premises for some time before settling on College Green. Will Beckett said: “We’ve been coming to Dublin for years to spend time in one of our favourite cities for food and drink, always keeping an eye open for a beautiful space. When we saw the former National Bank on College Green we fell in love. It’s only taken us 16 years to finally get from London to Dublin, but we can’t wait to open Hawksmoor in what we think is the most hospitable city in the world.”
Huw Gott confirmed that restoration rather than renovation will be the driving force behind the project. “A lot of time and thought have gone into this design for Hawksmoor Dublin, as we’re hoping to celebrate the original fabric of the National Bank building by restoring original features, such as the banking hall’s grand 40ft cast-iron dome and ornate plasterwork, and reinstating elements like cast-iron railings similar to those originally installed in the 1880s. Our goal is to restore it to its former glory, enhance features that have been shielded from public view in recent decades, and enable as many people as possible to enjoy this beautiful historic building.”
Hawksmoor has a strong focus on sustainability and local sourcing; Beckett and Gott are sourcing Irish produce for the restaurant. In the UK Hawksmoor serves only ethically reared British beef; an entry-level 300g rump steak at the group’s original Spitalfields branch is priced at £25. The Hawksmoor hamburger, served only until 5pm, is £18. The drinks menu will feature an Irish version of the “world’s coldest martini”, currently featuring on the Hawksmoor cocktail list in New York.