French brasserie group Côte is to open a flagship restaurant in London's West End this summer after acquiring a venue in St Christopher's Place.
The company has taken over the site formerly owned by Town Centre Restaurants, which traded as Auberge, bringing its portfolio to a total of 32 restaurants around the country.
Côte will pay annual rent of £218,000 on the 3,500sq ft over-ground floor and basement unit in the shopping and restaurant area just behind Oxford Circus. The restaurant, which will open at the beginning of June, will have 144 covers, of which 24 will be outside.
Nick Weir, director at Shelley Sandzer, which represented Town Centre Restaurants, said: "Côte has been looking for a prime West End venue for some time and was prepared to pay a substantial premium for Auberge in St Christopher's Place.
"It's a very busy spot and well known as a restaurant and retail quarter, with footfall almost guaranteed from tourists and shoppers alike."
Davis Coffer Lyons advised on the deal.
Harald Samuelsson, joint managing director at Côte, told Caterer and Hotelkeeper the group was on track with its expansion plans. It last month announced it is to open a new restaurant on Charlotte Street after taking over the lease of Indian restaurant Rasa.
"We are still on target to open a minimum of 10 restaurants a year and opened Côte number 30 on Parkway in Camden last week. Côte on Charlotte Street will open at the beginning of May," Samuelsson said.
By Kerstin Kühn
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