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East@West closes after 15 months

10 February 2005

Award-winning London restaurant East@West has shut after a surprise sale by owner Image Restaurants. The Covent Garden eaterie closed for business without warning at the end of last month.

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Head chef Manfield: sad to leave
Image Restaurants chief executive Chris Bodker said: "While it's always sad to part with a restaurant, especially one that served such fantastic food, it was clearly the right decision. The site's extended licence - which enabled East@West to stay open until 2am - meant that it was always going to pay to put greater emphasis on it being a bar and less on it being a restaurant, and that's exactly what has happened." Former head chef and Catey winner Christine Manfield said she was sad to leave, but working at the restaurant had been "a brilliant opportunity". She told Caterer: "The support shown to my vision and the accolades received during the 15 months of the restaurant being open was truly appreciated, and we leave knowing our time was cut short but better to have done it than not." Manfield has travelled back to her homeland of Australia. Bodker said the group's other London restaurants, which include the Circus and the Avenue in St James's, continue to thrive and he was actively seeking new sites. *Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 10 February 2005*
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