Edwin's French Wine Bar & Restaurant will open on the site of a former pizza restaurant on Phipp Street in Shoreditch on 1 October with 22-year-old French chef Yoan Mebkhout, who has experience at Leon de Lyon and Paul Bocuse's Brasserie Agensson, appointed head chef.
The 16-cover bar will list French wines and will serve snacks such as charcuterie and cheese while its adjoining 40-cover restaurant will serve classic Lyonnais and regional French dishes such as Salade Lyonnaise, saucisson brioche, cassoulet, quenelle de brochet, andouillette, ile flottante and tarte aux pralines.
The 3,000-strong wine list from 70 producers will be sourced by Edwin’s Lyon and privately imported. Wines will be offered on a rotation basis to keep the list fresh with no more than 15 on sale in the bar at any one time. Bottles will range from £20 to £35 with grand vins from £48 to £65.
Chan, a former vice president at the advertising agency J.Walter-Thompson in Hong, moved to London 10 years ago and was keen to open a French wine bar in the capital, but wanted to further his knowledge of the product before going ahead here.
"I had always wanted to own a wine bar, but I thought without any experience in this trade it would not be wise to launch in London first," he told BigHospitality, "so I went to Lyon to improve my French and to learn everything I could about French wine. The bar there is different from the one in London, it is not a restaurant, but it does very well."
Chan has spent the last year trying to find the right site for his London restaurant and bar. Completely self-funded, with shares still in the advertising agency he helped set up, he said he had been happy to wait until he found the perfect site.
"I didn't want something smack in the centre of Hoxton Square, I wanted it to be a stand-alone site that could almost just be a shop on a street corner. I'm not a restaurateur by trade so this is just a hobby. I have the capital to do it behind me fortunately, I don't need the bank to finance me. It's just something that grew out of my interest in French wine and good food."
Despite having no major ambitions for his hospitality business, Chan said he would consider taking his French wine bar and restaurant concept elsewhere in the future.
He said: "I come from Hong Kong and I know the US very well so I could well open the next Edwin's in New York or Shanghai, but it's not in the immediate plan. I didn't have a business plan for my two so far, so let's just see where my interest carries me next."