Previous head chef Yu Sugimoto - who previously worked under Yannick Alléno at Le Meurice in Paris and was tipped by Abela as a big talent - has had to return to Japan for family reasons.
Marlon Abela Restaurant Corporation (MARC) purchased the iconic Mayfair restaurant from chef Philip Howard - who held two Michelin stars there for nearly two decades - and restaurateur Nigel Platts-Martin in March 2016 with plans to revamp the site, with the aim of re-establishing the venue as an “unparalleled, sophisticated dining experience for discerning clientele.”
The restaurant has been re-designed by London based agency Virgile + Partners, which has worked with MARC on a number of other design projects including The Greenhouse and Morton’s Club. The design is described as minimalist, drawing influence from the area’s art galleries.
The main dining area will be perfectly square with dark parquet flooring and the art gallery feel will be reinforced by the use of square glass blocks which are used in the external windows as well as creating internal walls which allow for natural light to penetrate the space.
Carlos Virgile, director of Virgile + Partners, describes the design as aiming to “challenge the predictable imagery that used to define classic fine dining”, instead boasting a “more urban, unconventional and creative feel that brings together art and food within a seamless integration.”
The restaurant will be divided into two areas – a 60-cover main dining area with a 10-cover eat-in bar area and a 20-cover private dining room. Classic, contemporary furniture will be juxtaposed with vintage lighting.
“We cannot wait for our loyal, local clientele to experience the new The Square” says general manager Charles Peto. “The minimal, architectural approach to the environment will set the tone of the rarefied experience, in keeping with the style and sophistication found in the menu, food execution and presentation.”
MARC operates some of the capital’s best known restaurants including The Greenhouse and Umu, also in Mayfair, which both hold two Michelin stars. The company also runs a number of restaurants in the US.
Abela is expected to release more details about The Square’s relaunch later this month.