The Wolseley, a nascent upmarket cafÃ© on London’s Piccadilly from the founders of celebrity haunt The Ivy, is to open in November with interiors designed by David Collins.
Wolseley founders Christopher Corbin and Jeremy King have also poached Conran Restaurants managing director David Loewi to partner them in the venture. He is leaving the restaurant group in the next few weeks, says a spokeswoman, who describes the move as ‘unexpected’. Loewi will not be directly replaced, she says.
The cafÃ© is located on the site of the former China House restaurant, previously a bank and originally the Wolseley Car Showroom, and built in 1919.
According to Collins, the eaterie will be ‘the antithesis of Starbucks’ and look to the interiors of grand European cafÃ©s and Austrian patisseries for its inspiration.
The cafÃ©’s interiors will make the most of the building’s listed Art Deco interior, which features late 1920s Chinese lacquer, says Collins.
‘We plan to take our inspiration from the design and architecture of the period. The whole thing will be extremely decadent,’ he adds.
‘We need to establish what areas [of the listed building] are sacrosanct and which areas need a touch of lateral thinking.’
The Wolseley plans to open early, with a focus on breakfasts, and stay open late.
Corbin and King owned Le Caprice and J Sheekey along with The Ivy, and sold all three five years ago to restaurateur Luke Johnson, head of Signature Restaurants.