John Nugent, chief executive of caterer Searcy, has announced his resignation from the company and will leave early next year.
In an exclusive interview with Caterer, Nugent said that his departure was not connected to the potential sale of the company. The Alternative Hotel Group is rumoured to be buying Searcy (Caterer, 7 June, page 7).
Nugent will launch his own company and has taken on the lease of the restaurant, bar and function rooms of Kings Place, a new building overlooking Battlebridge Basin in London's King's Cross.
Kings Place will house Guardian Newspapers, an art gallery, sculpture gallery, working sculpture studio and concert hall and is expected to open in October 2008.
Nugent, who launched the catering contract at 30 St Mary Axe (the Gherkin), will be responsible for a bar-brasserie serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, an atrium coffee bar, a concert bar and private function rooms at Kings Place.
He said: "It's a very exciting opportunity. It's a big new venture which I'm taking on myself with one silent partner, who is not connected to the industry. The project is in an area that is seeing massive redevelopment - so I'm getting in early."
Nugent added that while he had enjoyed working with Searcy, he felt now was the time to risk going it alone.
"It's a very friendly exit," he added.
By Amanda Afiya
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