We sat down with Tim Danby, General Manager of the show stopping restaurant that is Beach Blanket Babylon. Read on to find out more about the restaurant and all it has to offer.
Tell us about your job and what it’s like to work at BBB?
Interesting, unique, lots of challenges but at the same time I love coming to work everyday. I look forward to everything and dealing with all sorts of different people, so I’m very happy.
Describe the concept behind BBB in one sentence.
Dining with an experience. And fun, it’s a fun dining experience.
Inspiration for the name?
The first Beach Blanket Babylon that we have opened up in Notting Hill in 1990 and the name came from the show in San Francisco. San Francisco looks like more of a set design different to here, a lot of baroque, a lot of theatre so it’s a spin off of that.
Inspiration for the décor?
It’s changed quite a lot here from when it originally opened but I guess it’s more theatre inspired than anything else. It’s like any restaurant you come and you put on a show and the décor really shows how unique we are. And it invites people in to experience what we offer.
You have branches in two very distinctive areas of London – why did you pick these two locations?
Well Notting Hill is really an area that has a very neighbourhood community type of feel and we like that. We opened in Shoreditch about 8 years ago before the big boom happened here and I think it was on the back of seeing what a great area it is. I would describe it close to New York , I think it really is like a film or theatre set everyday, which is the same feeling in New York. And I guess they are the opposite ends of London and for us it’s the two important places to be.
If you could open a BBB anywhere in the world what would your dream location be?
I’ve got a couple but I think from what customers say when they come to BBB, they say we should open in Miami. And I really want to go and I think BBB would be great for that kind of location.
How do you select what goes on the menu?
Well I think up until now we kind of try to bring a lot of what we do in West London to Shoreditch. We kind of want that bridge between the two branches. In the next couple of weeks we’re going to change the style of dining here a little bit and offer more East London dishes. We’ve started to do that with the Bar Food menu and people really enjoy it a lot more in this area.
What sets you apart from other restaurants in shoreditch?
I think that the biggest thing that sets us apart is that as a venue we can offer a lot. We have a really great restaurant, which is open all week long; downstairs we have a champagne lounge/club on a weekend, which is really fun. Its not as intimidating as a West End club which is busy with thousands of people. We have a couple hundred people and its really fun. We also have two floors of members only space upstairs opening soon so we can cater for a variety of things on different levels.
If BBB could host the ultimate celebrity dinner party whom would you invite?
I’d love to have Dave Lamb, the voiceover guy from Come Dine With Me.I think his very funny and makes the show. I would really like have David Attenborough because I studied geography in school and I watched all his shows. And the third person would have to be Joanna Lumley, I think she’s great and fantastic and anything that she does I want to read, watch or listen to. I think those three people would be a lot of fun.
What exciting things does BBB have in store for us?
For BBB Shoreditch we are going to change the style of food that we offer and we have quite a big refurbishment plan that will happen in two stages. One stage before Christmas and the second stage after Christmas. The dining area will be made a lot bigger and informal to appeal to people everyday of the week and hopefully we’re going to do some big events, we have a big Halloween event coming up which should be fun and hopefully New Years will be a big event for us too.
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