The future of The Wolseley restaurant in London’s Mayfair is again in doubt
The future of The Wolseley restaurant in London’s Mayfair is once again in doubt after the sudden closure of sister cafe
The future of The Wolseley restaurant in London’s Mayfair is once again in doubt following the sudden closure of its sister cafe.
The Wolseley counts writer Stephen Fry, model Kate Moss and former Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney among its many celebrity guests.
It was put into administration earlier this year amid a bitter control battle between Jeremy King, co-founder of Corbin & King, and Thailand-based Minor International, its majority shareholder.
Style: Model Kate Moss is one of the celebrities dining at Wolseley in Piccadilly
Minor eventually won with a £60million bid and Corbin & King was renamed The Wolseley Hospitality Group.
As well as The Wolseley, it has seven other high-end 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 its owner, Value Retail, had ‘taken advantage of a technicality in the lease’.
The Mail on Sunday understands this relates to a ‘change of control’ clause which was triggered when Minor bought the business from the FRP Advisory directors. Crucially, the move means Wolseley’s owner in Piccadilly, STJ Investments, could also take over its lease at some point – and even install new management if it decides to keep the flagship open.
The news comes just days after new owners of The Wolseley poached Albanian-born Baton Berisha from rival D&D London, formerly Conran Restaurants, as their new managing director with a UK expansion mandate. United and abroad.
Critics say plans to franchise The Wolseley would undermine the brand.
Jersey-based STJ Investments is run by Russian-born Belgian oligarch Vladimir Zemtsov. He was also recently embroiled in a public spat with King, this time over unpaid rent accrued during the pandemic.
The Wolseley Hospitality Group said the closure of the Wolseley cafe in Bicester was “very regrettable”.
He declined to say what the ‘technicality’ of the lease was that triggered the closure, but added he did not face the same situation at his other restaurants.
King, who The Wolseley Hospitality Group says is still an employee, declined to comment. STJ was also contacted.
King and co-founder Chris Corbin are veterans of the London foodie scene, having run Langan’s Brasserie, Le Caprice and The Ivy before taking over The Wolseley in 2003.