The founders of the Project London nightclub have announced they are to make the move into the restaurant industry when they open B-SOHO, a pizza restaurant and cocktail bar, in the capital next month.
B-SOHO will launch in a 100-cover split-level site on Poland Street in a joint venture between the team behind the Wells Street nightclub and Alula Leisure. The latter, a health and fitness company, originally launched the 52° North Bar & Kitchen in the 4,000 sq.ft. venue at the beginning of the year before it recently closed its doors.
Antonello Dato, one of the Project London directors, revealed to BigHospitality that the team were first approached about working on the restaurant and bar just two months ago after hearing Alula Leisure was looking for a partner for a new business on the site. The team then had only a couple of days to pitch the business plan.
"We always do it very quickly because when you shut down a venue there are costs involved so obviously it is better to open as soon as possible because you start making a contribution to those costs," he said.
Dato argued that although the team as a whole were new to the hospitality industry, those involved had various skills in finance, fashion, art and other industries to help them operate the business.
"Even in Italy it is hard to find a good pizza," he claimed. Speaking about the concept behind the restaurant, Dato said: "It has been tried many times but as an Italian I can tell you the results are, in 99.9 per cent of the cases, un-satisfactory or poor."
The restaurateur explained a team of chefs trained by a Naples-born pizza expert, a traditional brick oven and dough that is left to rise for 24-48 hours would all help B-SOHO deliver an authentic pizza in just 40 seconds.
"Rossopomodoro makes a pretty good product compared to a lot of other places however they rise their dough for six hours which means they have to use a lot of yeast so the actual dough is harder to digest," Dato said.
With a price point of around £10 for mains and £5 for a glass of wine, B-SOHO will feature a 50-60 cover restaurant in the basement and a lounge bar featuring signature cocktails on the ground floor. The latter will offer a small evening menu including 1-metre pizzas to share and will also be open in the morning and during the day.
Although the venue will feature live music and entertainment at the weekend, Dato said this, and any future projects, would be restaurants and bars as opposed to nightclubs.
"This is our first restaurant venture but now we have started we have other plans for once we have finished this. I think it is going to go more into daytime. We don't want to do many more late night projects!"