Former Canteen executive chef Cass Titcombe is to open a neighbourhood bistro and wine bar in West London next spring, BigHospitality can reveal.
Titcombe, who left the growing restaurant group last month to concentrate on his first solo venture, expects to complete a deal on the as yet undisclosed location within the next few weeks.
The 3,000sqft site is not currently trading as a restaurant and as such a thorough refurbishment of the property will take place, pushing the grand opening back until spring 2012.
Once open, the 80-cover restaurant and bar will serve a modern European menu for lunch and dinner using predominantly but not exclusively British ingredients – a world apart from the modern British cuisine Titcombe has made a name for himself for at Canteen.
“It’s time for a change,” he told BigHospitality. “I had great fun at Canteen - I was there six years. It was a brilliant thing to have done but I just want to do something else now.”
Titcombe had originally intended to move out of London for his first solo venture, but personal circumstances reversed his decision.
“I had this desire to move out of London and a unique property came up in Wiltshire. But I decided it wasn’t the right time for me personally right now. It is something I’ll look to do in the future though. Ideally I’d want to be within reach of London, open a restaurant with rooms and be able to produce a lot of stuff on site. But that’s now going to be a few years down the line.”
The restaurant’s interiors will be drawn up by Titcombe’s partner and interior designer Louise Chidgey. It will be funded by unnamed investors and Titcombe also expects to bring in a business partner.
Titcombe left the four-strong Canteen group last month, bringing in the Swan Collection’s Richard Edney as executive head chef and former Claridge’s chef Mark Sargeant as consultant.