Future of restaurant The Wolseley in Mayfair in London again in doubt after sudden closure of sister cafe
The future of The Wolseley restaurant in London’s Mayfair is once again in doubt after the sister cafe’s sudden closure.
The Wolseley counts writer Stephen Fry, model Kate Moss and former Bank of England governor Mark Carney among its many famous dinner parties.
It was run earlier this year during a bitter battle for control between Corbin & King co-founder Jeremy King and Thailand-based Minor International, the majority shareholder.
Style: Model Kate Moss is one of the celebrities who dine at The Wolseley in Piccadilly
Minor eventually won with a £60 million bid and Corbin & King was renamed The Wolseley Hospitality Group.
In addition to The Wolseley, it has seven other luxury restaurants in London, including The Delaunay, Colbert and Brasserie Zedel.
Another, Cafe Wolseley in Bicester, Oxfordshire, closed last week.
The Wolseley Hospitality Group said it was ‘forced’ to close the cafe after four years because the landlord, Value Retail, had ‘benefited from a tech detail in the lease’.
The Mail on Sunday understands that this is related to a ‘change of control’ clause that was triggered when Minor bought the company from administrators FRP Advisory. Crucially, the move means the landlord of The Wolseley in Piccadilly, STJ Investments, can also take back its lease at some point – and even install new management if it decides to keep the flagship open.
The news comes just days after The Wolseley’s new owners poached Albanian-born Baton Berisha from rival D&D London, formerly Conran Restaurants, to become the new chief executive with an order to expand in the UK and in the UK. abroad.
Critics say plans to franchise The Wolseley would put the brand at risk.
Jersey-based STJ Investments is run by Russian-born Belgian oligarch Vladimir Zemtsov. He was also recently embroiled in a public feud with King, this time over unpaid rent accrued during the pandemic.
The Wolseley Hospitality Group said the closing of Cafe Wolseley in Bicester was ‘very regrettable’.
It declined to say what the “technical side” in the lease was that caused the closure, but added that it was not related to the same situation at its other restaurants.
King, who is still an employee according to The Wolseley Hospitality Group, declined to comment. STJ has also been approached.
King and co-founder Chris Corbin are veterans of the London restaurant scene. They ran Langan’s Brasserie, Le Caprice and The Ivy before taking over The Wolseley in 2003.