Former Conran partner Joel Kissin plans return to London restaurant scene

06 September 2012 by
Former Conran partner Joel Kissin plans return to London restaurant scene

Joel Kissin, Sir Terence Conran's former business partner, is set to return to the London dining scene with the launch of a new restaurant.

Kissin, who worked with Conran Restaurants for 15 years, plans to bring back former French restaurant Boulestin.

Kissin told Caterer and Hotelkeeper he was looking for a site in Mayfair or St James for the new restaurant.

"I have been working on this project for about 18 months but it has proven very difficult to find the right site," he said.

First opened by Frenchman Marcel Boulestin in 1927, the iconic restaurant in Covent Garden closed after 68 years in 1994 when it was taken over by Pizza Hut. It offered a menu not just of French classics but also dishes familiar to a British audience, inspiring writers including Elizabeth David.

"Boulestin was a restaurant with so much history," Kissin said. "I'm not trying to copy the original - that was of its time and time has changed. But its history presents a rich tapestry that will make it interesting both in terms of the design and the food."

He added that the new restaurant would be medium- to high-end, offering mostly French food, with a capacity of between 90 and 120 covers, and a 50-seat casual café attached to it.

Kissin was managing director of Conran Restaurants in the UK and helped to develop the group from its first restaurant, Bibendum, in 1987 up to the first Zinc Bar and Grill. He split with Sir Terence in 2001, after a move to New York, where he set up Guastavino's.

Kissin to quit Conran empire >>

Pizza Hut buys Boulestin site >>

By Kerstin Kühn

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