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Vingt-Quatre becomes VQ with hopes to expand in London and every major UK city

By Luke Nicholls , 15-Aug-2012
Last updated on 15-Aug-2012 at 16:33 GMT2012-08-15T16:33:31Z

Vingt-Quatre, the 24-hour café and diner on London’s Fulham Road, has re-opened as ‘VQ’ following an extensive refurbishment and the business is now set to expand in the capital and other major cities.

The brand, which turns 17 years old in November, demerged from 333 Holdings Group late last year to become an independent company owned by a group of private investors.

The revamp includes a new VQ logo, a more contemporary interior design of the venue and changes to the food menu. The original Fulham Road site remains the only restaurant in London with a 24-hour alcohol licence.

“The refurbishment was really needed,” VQ’s managing director Simon Prideaux told BigHospitality. It was ticking along nicely but we needed to develop the brand and the concept and begin moving forward.

"The business was part of a group that was perhaps been distracted by other styles of operation, be it pubs or other restaurants, and there was no real focus on VQ.

“We were a bit lost before, just sitting back and doing well but not focusing on moving forward. But now we can roll it out.

“Business has been really good (since the re-opening on 17 July). A lot of restaurants have been moaning about the effects of the Olympics, but trade for us has actually been up on previous years which is great - the feedback on the look and the new design and the food is extremely positive.”

UK expansion plans

Prideaux, who has been involved with the business on-and-off since its launch back in 1995, went on to reveal that the private investors backing VQ are eager for the brand to begin expanding.

“The private investors want to see VQ grow and we fully believe that there’s a market for it. We’re looking at a few sites; we did recently go for one just off Tottenham Court Road and we’re looking in Camden.

"With any new site we'll require a late night refreshment license, which allows you to serve food from 11pm to 5am. I don’t think we’ll get 24-hour alcohol licence immediately, though.

“I do think there's the opportunity for VQ to be in Brighton, Manchester and Bristol, as a 60-80 cover café dining concept, trading 24 hours a day, offering a service to a wide variety of people - there’s certainly the opportunity to have a VQ in every major city.”

Prideaux, a former operations director of 333 Holdings (which owns the Admiral Codrington, Devonshire Terrace and a number of country pubs), launched the Melito pizza restaurant  n Fitzrovia in September of last year.