Features 3 minutes 29 March 2024

Riccardo Giraudi Unveils the Artistry of the European Steakhouse in New York's Culinary Tapestry

Beefbar's grand entrance.

"It's a way of expressing my thanks to the American people; it’s because of their beef that I'm where I am today," says Beefbar founder Riccardo Giraudi on opening his first American flagship of the iconic European steakhouse in New York. Giraudi, who got his start in the beef business through his family’s importation company, the second-largest importer of American beef globally is finally ready to carve his mark in the heart of Tribeca's culinary scene in late March. “Everyone has always told me Beefbar is such an American concept, but I’ve never done anything in America — so it's about time,” the Monaco native says.

What began as a traditional steakhouse concept two decades ago has rapidly evolved into a distinctive dining experience shaped by Giraudi. "I may not be a cook or chef, but I see myself as an artistic director," he shares. “Beefbar was born because I needed a place to showcase the beef I would import, and then eventually decided, why not let the restaurant be the showcase?” In 2015, he expanded the concept by inviting chefs from various corners of the globe to reimagine the upscale steakhouse, incorporating elements of street food. This transformation is what has shaped Beefbar into its current form, providing a contrast and stepping away from the traditional realm of steakhouses.

The opening of Beefbar New York has been planned for some time, as Giraudi first planned to open the restaurant in 2019 in Rockefeller Center. “We began the work, and everything was going fantastic, and then Covid happened. Then we were tasked with deciding 'will we pull out, do we keep going,' and I decided to take the loss on the work thus far instead of putting more money into it, not knowing where things were going," he says. The American venture for Beefbar was rekindled when the Tribeca Hospitality Group, a new player in the hospitality industry, expressed interest in revitalizing the project.  "They reached out to me and said they really liked the brand and the product and would love to launch us in New York. They helped restore and bring back my American vision for Beefbar with full support. They’re actually the ones who offered this stunning location and I was absolutely in awe and knew it was the right move as soon as I saw it.” 


In New York, Beefbar will adopt an identity of its own while remaining faithful to the brand's core DNA. Successfully establishing a venue that resonates globally across diverse cultures involves a nuanced approach, as highlighted by the founder. Drawing parallels to the evolution of fashion houses like CHANEL, Louis Vuitton, and Prada, where the shift from uniform window displays to now city-specific collections has become the norm, the key lies in “specialization and localization,” says Giraudi. Applying this philosophy to Beefbar's expansion, the focus remains on authenticity while tailoring the experience to the unique preferences of the local clientele. In the case of the upcoming New York location, the commitment to the brand's DNA remains unwavering. Still, there is a deliberate emphasis on catering to the distinct tastes and preferences of the New York diner.

"In our upcoming Beefbar in New York, we're embracing the vibrant bar culture of the city, featuring a substantial bar space – unlike our other locations,” he adds. “We recognize the significance of the bar scene in New York and aim to fully immerse our patrons in this lively experience. To add an element of surprise, we're introducing secret bar items, inviting our guests to discover unique and exclusive items. We're also returning to the essence of simplicity, taking a back-to-basics approach. Our menu will showcase an uncomplicated burger, celebrating the beauty of straightforward, quality ingredients. At the same time, we're innovating by both adding and subtracting items. Notably, there won't be any sliders featured on our New York menu. The city already boasts an abundance of sliders; there's no need for us to introduce yet another rendition.”

Beefbar organizes its menu into three distinctive sections, each catering to a unique culinary experience—Leaf, Reef, and Beef. Founder Giraudi shares his perspective, stating, "I've always found the idea of offering vegan steaks at a beef bar to be cool and unexpected, don't you?" He emphasizes that this approach has proven particularly successful in cities like London and New York, where there is a greater inclination towards plant-based options. Giraudi clarifies that when they mention "plant-based," it involves incorporating more vegetables rather than relying on meat substitutes. Additionally, 40% of the menu will showcase innovative street food recipes, providing patrons with an exciting dining experience.


The founder underscores the significance of considering factors such as price point and positioning. He cites the example of their Hong Kong location, where a premium and non-trend-driven approach was adopted to cater to a corporate clientele, while in London, a more casual and local hangout vibe was curated through a Petit Beefbar concept. This adaptability ensures that each Beefbar location becomes a dynamic and integral part of its local community.

Launching a flagship in New York naturally comes with its own set of anxieties. However, Giraudi reflects on the challenges he faced during the opening of the Paris location, stating, "The toughest opening for me was in Paris at 5 Rue Marbeuf. Imagine a guy that cannot cook, from Monaco, with a restaurant name like Beefbar, opens a restaurant that serves kebabs and tacos in the 8th arrondisement in the middle of the most Michelin-Starred avenue in Paris, I was so scared.” Recalling this experience, he continues, "Entering the New York market, of course, comes with a bit of anxiety as it's a new territory. However, I believe the Parisians have already prepared me for this kind of anxiety," he adds with a laugh.

Still, Giraudi has a formidable track record with over 30+ flourishing Beefbar locations and a portfolio of various other restaurants, several of them boasting MICHELIN Stars. 


Hero image: Courtesy of Riccardo Giraudi

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