The team behind iconic London restaurant St John has confirmed that it is to launch a hotel in the West End next year.
The move,first revealed by Caterer's blog Kitchen Rat in January, sees chef patron Fergus Henderson and business partner Trevor Gulliver take over the former Manzi's restaurant and hotel located off Leicester Square.
Owned by landlords Shaftesbury, the property comprises a restaurant, which stretches over the basement, ground and first floor, and a hotel on the upper floors.
The duo will completely refurbish the site and relaunch it as the St John Hotel next summer. It will include a St John restaurant and first floor bar as well as 16 bedrooms including a two-bedroom top floor suite.
Henderson will oversee kitchen and will appoint a head chef from within the St John ranks, while a general manager for the property is yet to be appointed.
The St John Hotel will be located near the new 194-bedroom W Hotel London, which is set to open next year on the former Swiss Centre building in Leicester Square.
Gulliver told Caterersearch St John Hotel forms part of a renaissance of the back street area of Chinatown.
"The hotel will be in the St John vernacular but the rooms will be designed differently and we're having a bit of fun with it," he said. "We never planned to launch another St John but when we heard that Manzi's, which is such a historic site, had closed we were intrigued and wanted to pick up the baton."
The St John restaurant, which gained a Michelin-star this year, first opened in Smithfield in 1994 and has developed into one of London's most recognised establishments, with Henderson's nose-to-tail British fare proving a major hit with foodies.
A sister restaurant, the more casual St John Bread and Wine, followed in Spitalfields in 2003 quickly emulating the original's success.
By Kerstin Kuhn
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