Co-founder Barry Hilton has instead secured part of the former Royal China Club site on Queensway in Bayswater for a 60 to 70 cover restaurant that is expected to open towards the end of the summer.
“It was sadly a perfect storm of a landlord that was on a different planet to us and COVID-19. They actually tried to put up the rent by 50% as the pandemic hit," says Hilton, who prior to launching Ceru was operations director at Yalla Yalla, which was also focused on Eastern Mediterranean cuisine.
"Given the situation we’ve decided to move onto pastures new. Queensway is one of those areas of London that’s ripe for gentrification. It’s very close to the centre of town plus there’s residential and tourists. It has all the elements we’re looking for.”
Ceru’s Soho site launched in 2018 on D'Arblay Street following the success of the Eastern Mediterranean brand’s inaugural site in South Kensington, which launched in 2016 (pictured).
Ceru is led by Hilton, his wife Patricia and Carluccio’s co-founder Stephen Gee.
More London sites are anticipated and the group is also looking to explore international opportunities.