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Ilia, Bennett Oyster Bar and Brasserie, Senkai, Assemblage (pictured)… 2012 has seen high-profile closures of short-lived ventures.
‘Competition has never been more intense, and even relatively high-quality establishments have experienced challenging trading of late,’ explains industry consultant Jeffrey Young, founder of Allegra Strategies.
‘From location, to interior design, to service and pricing, everything must be perfectly executed or consumers will take their business elsewhere.’
In such a climate, the restaurants most likely to succeed will be of blue-chip pedigree. Step forward newcomer Brasserie Zédel (from Wolseley duo Corbin & King), SushiSamba (opening this summer and part of a US super-group), plus Balthazar, from hot-shot restaurateur Keith McNally, which is scheduled for early 2013.
This article was published in the summer 2012 issue of Square Meal Lifestyle.