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London Irish-themed Puzzle pub becomes Japanese bar-restaurant

23 June 2009 by
London Irish-themed Puzzle pub becomes Japanese bar-restaurant

The owners of the Japanese Sohojapan restaurant in London's Wells Street have snapped up the Puzzle pub in the capital's Gray's Inn Road.

A new 20-year lease was granted through Davis Coffer Lyons, which negotiated the surrender of the lease from the administrators of Jamie's Bars, whose owner the Food and Drink Group went into administration late last year.

It will offer a lunch of set meals like those served in sister venue Sohojapan and a dinner of Japanese tapas while the line-up of drinks will include Japanese draft beer Asahi, Sake, and original cocktails served by barmen trained in Japan.

The two sites are owned by Japanese husband and wife team Jun and Mei Takagi. Jun, a restaurateur and chef for the past 25 years, trained at ryo-tei, Japan's most exclusive dining house whose patrons included the late Emperor.

Jun has trained a generation of chefs who went on to work in high-profile Japanese restaurants such as Nobu in London and abroad. He has overseen many venues in London before setting up his own business in Soho in 2003.

The leasehold was sold on a nil premium, with annual rent set at £55,000.

By Angela Frewin

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