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British Restaurant Group’s Huge Hudson Yards Project Sounds a Lot Like Another Bluebird

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Queensyard, from D&D London of critical dud Bluebird, will have four separate dining areas

Rendering of Kitchen in Queensyard
Rendering of Kitchen in Queensyard
D&D London

Big, buzzy British restaurant group D&D London will be throwing four different concepts into their Hudson Yards restaurant Queensyard — its second New York project following the consistently packed (albeit very poorly reviewed) brasserie Bluebird in the Time Warner Center.

The company, run by UK’s “restaurant king” and reportedly a cash generating machine, is filling 11,000-square-feet of space on the fourth floor of the Shops at Hudson Yards with the complex of all-day businesses modeled after “the entertaining rooms of an English country home,” according to a spokesperson. The format sounds a lot like the set-up of Bluebird, which similarly has separate spaces that act as a bar, cafe, and restaurant.

Rendering of Dining Room in Queensyard
Rendering of Dining Room in Queensyard
D&D London

Queensyard’s flagship will be Kitchen, where British classics like scotch eggs, savory pies, and fish-and-chips will be served all day. Again like Bluebird, brunch will be a big thing here.

Another restaurant in the space will be Dining Room, where British dishes will be “tweaked to appeal to New York tastes,” according to a statement, such as with a dry-aged beef filet with oxtail bone marrow and truffle toast. Afternoon tea will eventually be offered.

An all-day space called Cafe & Wine Bar will be a to-go spot for sandwiches, juice, coffee, and pastries during the day before transforming into a wine bar with small plates at night. (Bluebird also has a to-go spot for pastries and coffee that turns into a wine bar at night.) And finally, another section called Cocktail Bar will go hard on gin cocktails and host live music.

D&D is known in the UK for attracting chic crowds; Bluebird, which started in the London Chelsea neighborhood in 1997, is considered a staple of the city. The new location in Columbus Circle was the company’s first U.S. project and has similarly been packed since debuting last fall.

But Queensyard faces an uphill battle in New York as far as culinary reputation goes. The New York Bluebird’s food has been a dud, according to the city’s critics. Eater critic Ryan Sutton and Times critic Pete Wells both slapped zero star reviews on the restaurant in December, with Sutton naming it the worst new restaurant of 2018.

The hospitality group owns more than 30 restaurants in the UK, including the Michelin-starred seafood restaurant Angler, and Hudson Yards developer Related Companies has been promoting them pretty hard. Queensyard is in a plum location: The space is supposed to have a view of the public square in the middle of the far West Side development, including the park’s centerpiece artwork, Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel.

Queensyard joins a collection of 25 restaurants in the massive development, including ones from Thomas Keller, David Chang, and José Andrés. Everything is opening on March 15th.

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