Fife Arms owners take on London site
Iwan and Manuela Wirth's hospitality company Artfarm has taken on the lease for the Audley pub in London's Mayfair with plans to transform the site and relaunch it in 2022.
Artfarm, behind Somerset's Roth Bar & Grill and the Fife Arms in Braemar, Aberdeenshire, signed the lease with Grosvenor Britain & Ireland for the venue, which was built in 1888 and designed by Thomas Verity, the man who designed the exterior of the pavilion at Lord's Cricket Ground.
Architect Luis Laplace, who designed and restored Roth Bar & Grill and Hauser & Wirth in Somerset, has been appointed to lead the interior architecture of the space.
The renovation of the Grade II-listed, five-storey building is provisionally set to be completed in autumn 2022, with the addition of a restaurant and rooms and the restoration of many of its original historic features lost due to bomb damage in WWII.
Artfarm was founded in 2014 by the Somerset-based gallerists and art collectors, Iwan and Manuela Wirth. That year, Artfarm opened its first restaurant, Roth Bar & Grill as part of the Hauser & Wirth art centre in Bruton. In 2018, it opened the Fife Arms. Other Artfarm properties include Manuela restaurant in Los Angeles and Durslade Farmhouse in Somerset.
Piers Townley, Mayfair director at Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, said: "Community-focused pubs are a vital asset for Mayfair's residents, workers and visitors. In Artfarm, we have a partner with clear sustainability and community values that match our own. We are delighted to welcome them to Mount Street to join us in restoring this historic building."
Jonathon Cornaby, chief financial officer at Artfarm, said: "We are delighted to be bringing this historic pub back to its former glory with Grosvenor and to make it the heart of the local community for years to come."