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Jonathan Downey targets three London sites to expand Robot bar brand

29 June 2010 by

Bar entrepreneur Jonathan Downey has made three offers on sites in London in a bid to expand his Robot bar/restaurant brand.

Downey has already converted his original Match bar in Clerkenwell, which he opened in 1997, into Giant Robot. The recently revamped venue has taken the shape of an Italian-American diner, and cocktail bar.

But he has now put offers in on sites in Dalston, Spitalfields and London Fields in an attempt to create more Robot restaurant venues.

"I want to open more Robot restaurants as soon as possible," he said. Downey's Harlem venue in Farringdon is also to be rebranded as Tiny Robot, with a private members' bar downstairs. The site is set to re-open under the new name in August.

The news comes after a turbulent time for Downey's £20m-annual-turnover business, which saw his flagship Sosho venue in Shoreditch burn down in March this year. The building also housed the East Room private members' club and Downey's head office.

A replacement East Room is set to open in Shoreditch by the start of September, although the future of the original Sosho/East Room site is unclear.

"It has been over three months and we don't know what the landlord wants to do with the site in terms of either razing it to the ground or building something new. We're still waiting on some kind of resolution with the insurance company so it is unlikely that we will be rebuilding on that site within the next year or two," Downey told Caterer.

Downey to relaunch the East Room in Clerkenwell >>

The East Room and Sosho to close for 18 months following dire says owner >>

The wine bar revisited - a chat with Jonathan Downey >>

By Neil Gerrard

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