Restaurateur Sam Harrison, of Sam's Brasserie and Bar in London's Chiswick and Harrison's in Balham, is to close both restaurants after selling them to Hawksmoor and Foxlow duo Will Beckett and Huw Gott.
Harrison first opened Sam's Brasserie 10 years ago, and Harrison's eight years ago, but has decided to "go out on a high", with a view to opening a new, as-yet-undecided venture in Oxfordshire.
The final service at both restaurants will be on Sunday 30 August.
Should all go well, Sam's Brasserie will be shut for around six to eight weeks pending refurbishment, while Harrison's will be shut for around 10-12 weeks.
Staff from both Harrison sites have been offered positions within the new companies, alongside potential opportunities to work with Harrison's other business partners, Padstow stalwart Rick Stein, and London restaurateur Rebecca Mascarenhas.
Commenting on his new move, Harrison told The Caterer he would take some time out first, but then look to open a new venture outside of London, hopefully by early next year. He said: "I'm working on some different ideas. It will be a brasserie-hotel concept for the country. I've fallen in love with West Oxfordshire."
"I've had a great time in London, but it's our tenth anniversary this year, and not many restaurants get to go out on a high. Not many people are presented with this opportunity, so I thought it made sense."
"I've known [Beckett and Gott] for ten years, and I firmly believe they have the same ethos to restaurants that I do: the way that we look after staff. We hope that we can run restaurants that we are proud of, which then become popular because customers buy into them for that reason. It's about hospitality ethos."
He added: "We want customers to be sad that we're closing, and wanting more, but also for us to go out on a high."
Commenting on the imminent closure, he said: "I'm still in a bit of shock myself; maybe it will hit me when my key doesn't work in the front door anymore. It's very emotional, but I know the timing is right for me personally, and I'm happy that my team will have the chance to work for a really great company."
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