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 in the late summer.
Kissin, who worked with Conran Restaurants for 15 years, is to bring back erstwhile French restaurant Boulestin. He has taken over the former site of L'Oranger in St James's.
Boulestin will comprise a formal 60-seat bistro serving classic French food as well as the 30-seat Café Marcel at the front, offering a lighter, more casual menu. There will also be a 36-seat private dining room. Average spend in the restaurant will be around £55 at dinner, while in the café a meal will cost around £30.
Kissin told Caterer and Hotelkeeper the restaurant would be inspired by the philosophy and culinary ethos of Frenchman Marcel Boulestin, who first opened his iconic eponymous restaurant in Covent Garden in 1927.
"It's inspired so much by Boulestin; the man's books and ethos of food," he said. "We will serve classic French dishes that are a lot more bistro style than high end brasserie style. This will set us apart from so many other French brasseries that have recently opened in London."
Marcel Boulestin's cookery books and restaurant, which at one point was known as the most expensive in London, popularised French cuisine in the English-speaking world. It offered a menu not just of French classics but also dishes familiar to a British audience, inspiring writers including Elizabeth David. Boulestin restaurant closed after 68 years in 1994 when it was taken over by Pizza Hut.
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.
The London Fine Dining Group, formerly known as A-Z Restaurants, closed L'Oranger in January. It now includes Zafferano, Alloro, 11 Park Walk, Ken Lo's Memories of China, Memories of China and Edera in London, as well as Aubergine at the Compleat Angler in Marlow.