Alan Yau to launch Chinese gastropub in Soho

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Alan yau, Wagamama

Alan Yau recently voiced his intention to leave the hospitality industry. Photograph: Samantha Sin
Alan Yau recently voiced his intention to leave the hospitality industry. Photograph: Samantha Sin
Wagamama and Hakkasan founder Alan Yau is planning to open a new Chinese gastropub concept in Soho, having acquired The Endurance Pub on Berwick Street.

The 4,500 sq.ft pub, which has become eminently popular in the area, will close and undergo a complete overhaul, re-opening in early 2014 as Yau’s new pub.

“Alan Yau is highly successful in the restaurant industry, but few details have yet been released about this, his first foray into Soho pubs,” said Josh Leon, associate director at Davis Coffer Lyons, which managed the sale.

“Exactly what he is going to do remains to be seen, but I am sure it will be new and interesting with his trademark attention to detail and high standards. “

Yau launched Wagamama in 1992 and has opened a number of other well-known restaurants including Hakkasan and Yauatcha.

Last year he launched Naamyaa,​a sister restaurant brand to Busaba Eathai with a more approachable, all-day focused Thai dining style.

Alan Yau: Timeline

  • 1962 - ​Born in Sha Tau Kok, Hong Kong
  • 1974 - ​Moves with parents to King's Lynn, Norfolk, where they open a Chinese restaurant
  • 1990 - ​Trains with McDonald's and is offered a franchise site in Hong Kong, which he turns down
  • 1992 - ​The innaugral Wagamama opens in Bloomsbury, London
  • 1996 - ​A second Wagamama opens in Soho
  • 1997 - ​Loses control of Wagamama to the venture capitalists who funded the expansion of the business
  • 1999 - ​Opens the innaugral branch of Thai restaurant Busaba Eathai in Soho
  • 2001 - ​Hakkasan opens in Hanway Place, Bloomsbury
  • 2004 - ​Yauatcha, based on Taipei teahouse, opens on Soho's Broadwick Street
  • 2006 - ​Awarded an OBE for services to the restaurant industry
  • 2007 - ​Opens Japanese restaurant Sake No Hana on London's St James Street. Hakkasan branches open in Istanbul and Miami
  • 2008 - ​Helps develop Cha Cha Moon - a take on Hong Kong's no-frills street noodle stands - which opens off London's Carnaby Street. Hakkasan and Yauatcha are sold to Tasameem for £31m. Busaba Eathai is sold to private-equity firm Phoenix Capital Partners for £21.5m. Yau opens Princi on Soho's Wardour Street
  • 2009 - ​Steps back a little from the restaurant industry and moves to Hong Kong
  • 2010 - ​Launches Bettys Kitschen (now named St Betty) in Hong Kong. Yau is ordained as a Buddhist monk at Wat Dhammakaya, Thailand
  • 2012 - ​Former Pied à Terre chef Shane Osborne takes over the kitchen at St Betty. Princi in Soho launches a pizza offering. ​Naamyaa, a sister restaurant brand to Busaba Eathai with a more approachable, all-day focused Thai dining style, opens in Islington
  • 2013 - ​Yau buys The Endurance pub in Soho, which is set to re-open next year as a Chinese gastropub

The above timeline was taken from the August 2012 issue of Restaurant magazine​ - in which Yau announced his intention to quit the hospitality business following the launch of several restaurant projects here.

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