Top US chef Charlie Trotter has scrapped plans to open a London restaurant in March next year.
Trotter decided not to go ahead with his London restaurant venture after two years in development. The restaurant opening was scheduled for March 2003 in the former St Paul's Hospital in Covent Garden, as part of a multi-million-pound development backed by Eurythmics star Dave Stewart.
Trotter was planning to spend a week of every month in the capital while he got the restaurant up and running, but things haven't gone according to plan.
He said: "We seem unable to get past the final two or three points of the contract, and the whole thing seems plagued with indecision and interminable delays. I feel it's pointless to go on."
Trotter has been employing eight extra staff for more than a year in anticipation of the project.
He said that the original plan for the London restaurant complex included film-editing suites, art galleries and various "music components", which are now no longer going ahead. "The entire concept of what they originally envisioned has changed," he declared. "It's a far cry from the mixed-use multimedia and arts centre originally pitched to us."
The collapse of this deal is not the first time that Trotter has backed away from plans to open a restaurant in the UK. Previous lengthy negotiations with contract caterer Aramark have also come to nothing.
But he has not been put off: "If another opportunity arises for Trotter's to foray into the great city of London we will certainly seize upon it," he said. "I truly think our style would fit in well there."
by Fiona Sims
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 21-27 November 2002