Italian restaurant Ilia in South Kensington has closed, with a new owner planning to reopen the site with a new concept later this year.
Formerly French restaurant Papillon, owners Soren Jessen and Giuliano Lotto relaunched the site as Ilia at the end of 2010, with chef Omar Agostini heading up the kitchen. Jessen had previously considered selling the restaurant after being refused planning permission to extend it.
While Ilia proved a hit among diners, due to increasing rent and rates his company Jessen & Co Restaurants decided to sell the premises and plans to possibly reopen Ilia in a new location later this year.
The new owners are part of international chain Obika and plan to enlarge the trading space and open with a new concept in approximately three months' time.
Jessen & Co Restaurants continue to run 1 Lombard Street, which will relaunch following a refurbishment in May.
By Kerstin Kühn
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