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Camden Brasserie chef strikes out alone

28 May 2008 by

The former head chef of the Camden Brasserie, which next month celebrates its 25th anniversary, has left the restaurant to set up his own venture, Caterersearch has learnt.

Illir Bequiri, who was at the helm in the kitchen at the north London restaurant for nine years, plans to launch a modern Mediterranean restaurant on north-west London's iconic Abbey Road - famous for its recording studios used by the Beatles.

Set to open on 1 August, Poem Bar and Grill will be housed in a new mixed development opposite the former Saatchi Gallery on the corner of Abbey Road and Boundary Road.

Bequiri and his wife, Melissa, will be running the restaurant as a family venture. It will have a 60-cover dining room with bar as well as an outside area and a private function room. It will offer a menu of Mediterranean food with a focus on fresh meat and seafood.

Bequiri told Caterersearch that after nearly a decade at Camden Brasserie, he was ready to launch his own restaurant.

"I had been looking to open my own restaurant for a while and am really excited but also nervous about the project," he said. "Abbey Road is a great location and there's a real need for a good-quality restaurant to cater to the many offices and residents in the area."

Property agent Davis Coffer Lyons handled the deal.

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By Kerstin Kühn

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