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Revamp and new name for Atlantic

19 January 2006
Revamp and new name for Atlantic

London's Atlantic Bar & Grill will reopen next month as the Astor Bar and Grill under the management of Channel 4 chairman Luke Johnson and restaurant consultant Simon Wright.

Oliver Peyton's restaurant on Glasshouse Street went into administration in September following a dispute with its landlord, the Regent Palace hotel, over unpaid rent.

Johnson, Wright and Gary Ashworth, founder of Abacus Recruitment and partner in Room Restaurants, will operate the new 200-seat restaurant, bar and private members' club under licence from administrators BDO Stoy Hayward until the end of this year.

After this time, the lease on the premises returns to master landlord the Crown Estate, which plans to redevelop the Regent Palace hotel as part of a wider revival of the area.

Johnson's team and Peyton are competing to operate the site from the end of this year and are both understood to be in discussion with the Crown Estate. The restaurant's former name is also believed to be a matter of dispute. "We're quietly confident we'll do well," said Johnson. "We wouldn't have used the site's former name even if it was available because it was already tainted and tired by the time the premises shut."

A spokeswoman for Peyton said contracts were already with lawyers. "The Atlantic will be back," she said.

Astor opens to the public on 3 February following a £200,000 refurbishment and will now include a private members' club with annual fees of £420.

Philip Cooper, formerly executive chef at Marco Pierre White's Mirabelle, will head up Astor's kitchen with menus inspired by American steakhouse restaurants.

By Jessica Gunn

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