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News > Business

Chicago Rib Shack sells Knightsbridge restaurant to Buddha Bar

By Emma Eversham , 17-May-2012
Last updated on 17-May-2012 at 14:28 GMT

CRS Leisure, owner of the Chicago Rib Shack brand, has sold its Knightsbridge restaurant to the global bar and restaurant brand Buddha Bar. 

Confirming the move today, CRS Leisure director Christian Arden said the company had received a 'fabulous' offer that it couldn't refuse for the restaurant it has operated for the past four years. 

"Sad though it is to leave this site, we received a fabulous offer, and will now focus on a new central London premises, as well as the continued roll-out of our food court format with locations identified in West London and Leeds," said Arden before thanking customers for their 'loyal support' over the years.

Although CRS Leisure has operated the site at 145 Knightsbridge as a Chicago Rib Shack for the last four years, the brand, founded by Bob Payton, has existed in Knightsbridge since 1991. 

Shopping centre locations

Arden told BigHospitality the company was still committed to the Chicago Rib Shack brand, which would be continued through its Baby Rib Shack site it opened at the Cafe Court at Westfield Stratford City last September  and the planned openings of a further three sites this year. 

Two more shopping centres - the Trinity development in Leeds and Westfield London are both desired locations for the Baby Rib Shack concept while Arden said he was also searching for a smaller restaurant space in central London. 

He said: "We've signed a deal to be at Trinity in Leeds and we are hoping to go into Westfield London, but there are no available units currently, so we're on the shortlist. We have a central production kitchen set up so we're ready to go ahead in this area. 

"We'd also love to have one smallish restaurant with a low cost base, somewhere people can have the full service. We're looking at Covent Garden. We haven't found the right unit yet, but we're hoping to have one opened by the end of the year."

Re-entering London

Buddha Bar's purchase of the Knightsbridge site will see the bar and restaurant group, owned by George V Eatertainment, make a return to the capital. It first opened under franchise in the UK at Victoria Embankment in 2008, but went into administration two years later blaming the recession for its demise. 

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