The three-strong Spanish restaurant group, led by the now-three-Michelin-starred chef Nacho Manzano, is understood to be working on a deal for the Redhook restaurant site in Turnmill Street, which it hopes to open in April 2014.
It is also planning to make offers for sites in Manchester’s Corn Exchange and Spinningfields areas, which it hopes to open before its earmarked unit at the Zig Zag Building in London’s Victoria in 2015.
“We weren’t planning to open another restaurant in London, but the opportunity was too good to turn down,” Ibérica’s director Marcos Fernández Pardo told BigHospitality. “The Farringdon site is very well positioned in a more traditional restaurant street.”
If the deal completes it is unlikely that Redhook, which is part of the Rushmore Group – Jonathan Downey’s member’s clubs, bars and restaurant operator – would re-open elsewhere, with Downey confirming to BigHospitality that he has ‘a couple of other projects’ already lined up.
Ibérica plans to spend over £1m developing the 3,455 sq.ft site into a 70-cover restaurant and a more casual, 25-cover bar which will take inspiration from the group’s al fresco dining concept, La Terraza.
The group, which opened its debut UK site in Great Portland Street in 2007, is now actively looking to expand outside of London, with a particular focus on Manchester.
“I love Manchester,” added Pardo. “It’s changed dramatically over the past few years, it’s a beautiful city. Living Ventures have done an amazing job changing the restaurant scene there and it’s somewhere that we’re looking at - hopefully we can find a site there.
“We’re making an offer for a large terrace and a restaurant in the Corn Exchange and Spinningfields areas. I would love to be open next year because the Victoria opening in 2015 will require a lot of our concentration.”
As reported by BigHospitality in October, Ibérica have taken a 5,340 sq.ft dining space spread over the ground and first floor of the Zig Zag Building in Victoria, which opens in May 2015. Liverpool, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow also cited as other target locations.
Meanwhile, Ibérica’s executive chef Manzano was recently awarded a Michelin Star for La Salgar in Gijón - the sister restaurant of Casa Marcial in Asturias, for which he already has two stars.