Way forward for The Wolseley restaurant in London’s Mayfair again unsure following sudden closure of sister cafe
The long run of The Wolseley restaurant in London’s Mayfair is again unsure following the sudden closure of its sister cafe.
The Wolseley counts author Stephen Fry, model Kate Moss and former Bank of England governor Mark Carney amongst its many celebrity diners.
It was put into administration earlier this 12 months amid a bitter battle for control between Jeremy King, co-founder of Corbin & King, and Thailand-based Minor International, its majority shareholder.
Style: Model Kate Moss is one in all the celebrities who dines at The Wolseley in Piccadilly
Minor eventually won with a £60million bid and Corbin & King was rebranded The Wolseley Hospitality Group.
Along with The Wolseley, it has seven other upscale restaurants in London, including The Delaunay, Colbert and Brasserie Zedel.
One other, Cafe Wolseley at Bicester, Oxfordshire, closed last week.
The Wolseley Hospitality Group said it had been ‘forced’ to shut the cafe after 4 years because its landlord, Value Retail, had ‘taken advantage of a technicality within the lease’.
The Mail on Sunday understands this pertains to a ‘change of control’ clause that was triggered when Minor bought the business from administrators FRP Advisory. Crucially, the move signifies that the owner at The Wolseley in Piccadilly, STJ Investments, could also take back its lease at some stage – and even install recent management if it decides to maintain the flagship open.
The news comes just days after The Wolseley’s recent owners poached Albanian-born Baton Berisha from rival D&D London, formerly Conran Restaurants, to be its recent chief executive with a temporary to expand within the UK and overseas.
Critics say plans to franchise The Wolseley would compromise the brand.
Jersey-based STJ Investments is run by the Russian-born Belgian oligarch Vladimir Zemtsov. He was also recently embroiled in a public spat with King, this time over unpaid rent built up throughout the pandemic.
The Wolseley Hospitality Group said shutting Cafe Wolseley in Bicester was ‘highly regrettable’.
It declined to say what the ‘technicality’ within the lease was that triggered the closure but added that it didn’t face the identical situation at its other restaurants.
King, who The Wolseley Hospitality Group says continues to be an worker, declined to comment. STJ was also contacted.
King and co-founder Chris Corbin are veterans of the London restaurant scene, having run Langan’s Brasserie, Le Caprice and The Ivy before taking up The Wolseley in 2003.