Hawksmoor is a British steakhouse and cocktail bar. The original establishment is in Spitalfields, near to where the architect Nicholas Hawksmoor built Christ Church. Subsequently there are four other restaurants in London: in Seven Dials, Air Street nearby Piccadilly Circus, Knightsbridge and Guildhall district of the City. Most recently they have opened their first restaurant outside London: Hawksmoor Manchester on Deansgate (near Spinningfields).
The restaurant was founded by Will Beckett and Huw Gott in 2006. They had previously worked in bars and kitchens in London's East End and opened their new bar/restaurant on the Commercial Road there. Their plan was to offer high-quality, well-butchered beef and so they tasted the meat of a variety of breeds and suppliers before choosing the longhorn cattle bred and butchered in Yorkshire by Tim Wilson's Ginger Pig company.
Their second branch in Seven Dials was opened in 2010. This was especially successful and the turnover of their company, Underdog, increased from £4 million to £11 million.
In 2013, the founders sold a majority stake in the chain to the private equity group Graphite Capital — investors in other London businesses such as the Groucho Club and Wagamama. The valuation was £35 million but the founders planned to continue to work and invest in the business.
The company has been ranked three star Sunday Times Best Companies for four consecutive years (in 2014 was the best restaurant company to work for), three star Sustainable Restaurant Association award as well as being involved in variety of charity projects (predominantly for Action Against Hunger, for which Hawksmoor raised/donated over £500,000).
Giles Coren, reviewing the Seven Dials branch in The Times, praised it as "great, great steak. Best you’ll find anywhere. ... cooked medium rare at Hawksmoor's suggestion and had deep black charry cooking flavours and sweet pink fruity juices. The fillet was uncommonly flavourful, the sirloin unusually tender. There was no texture-taste compromise to consider, it was all good. All, all good". A. A. Gill, reviewing the same place a few months later for The Sunday Times, disliked the beef which, "came on an iron trivet. It was adequate rather than generous. It had been sliced, and contained large, pale jelly gobs of adipose fat. It was undercooked for this particular cut. I’d left the timing up to the kitchen."
Tom Parker Bowles, while reviewing opened in 2014 Knightsbridge restaurants summarised Hawksmooor restaurants as "(...) one of the best restaurant groups in the country, one that manages to mix the bracingly modern (brilliant, no-nonsense cocktails, unusual cuts of steak, beards, tattoos and east London soul) with the reassuringly traditional (proper service, reservations, serious wine list)".