The restaurant group behind iconic London locations including The Wolseley, Brasserie Zédel and The Delaunay, had planned to open the restaurant at the end of May but had its plans scuppered by the Coronavirus pandemic. However, the company says it is now aiming for an autumn launch.
Writing in the latest Corbin & King newsletter, co-founder Jeremy Corbin said: “I am also asked a great deal about when Manzi’s will be opening and the answer is, barring the unforeseen, hopefully October. We need approx 3 months to complete and is frustrating to not to have been able to finish as yet but I am massively excited by the prospect – something really different for us.”
Manzi’s, which pays homage to the now closed iconic seafood restaurant that used to sit just off Leicester Square, looks set to become the group’s most adventurous restaurant to date with a whimsical decor featuring mosaic floor patterns of fish and seafood as well as some mermaids and mermen will be found in the toilets.
In response to the Government’s lifting of lockdown for hospitality businesses, King said that five of the group’ restaurants - The Wolseley, Colbert, Brasserie Zédel, Fischer’s and Café Wolseley at Bicester – would reopen for dinner on 4 July, although he admitted that it was still too early to determine exactly on what basis.
“Many in the business think we are over optimistic to open so many and a large number of restaurateurs are actually going to ‘wait and see’ - with some feeling it’s really not worth opening until September,” said King.
“I understand that approach completely but also feel strongly that our restaurants are very much part of the fabric & community of both Central London and the neighbourhoods – but I also feel that if people are willing to go to restaurants then we should be open for them to be able to.
The Delaunay, which is based in Covent Garden, and Soutine in St John’s Wood, will remain closed for the time being, the former because it relies on office workers as well as theatre and Covent Garden visitors, whose numbers will still be reduced dramatically come 4 July.
“It would be so, so costly to close again if the demand not there yet to support the operation,” said King.
While the restaurants will be opening, King said more clarity was needed from the Government on how restaurants can operate under its new guidelines for hospitality businesses, which were published yesterday (23 June).
“The guidelines stretch to 40 pages just on restaurants and it is difficult to know whether we can fully comply or not,” he said. “Is it for me ascertain whether a group of four or six customers is constituted from the correct households? Do I have to take the full details of every guest that comes through the door or just the host (so much for no queuing and GDPR).
“Anyway we are determined to open but we need to ‘get our skates on’ a what I do know is that we are only ten days from opening - and that is the absolute minimum we need to bring staff off furlough, train them and prepare the restaurants for operation – it doesn’t happen overnight.”