Hakkasan founder to create ‘Chinese gastropub’

Alan YauA well-known pub in Soho in London is to be transformed into a “Chinese gastropub” concept by Alan Yau (pictured), the founder of Wagamama and Hakkasan.

His company, Duck & Rice, is to carry out a complete refurbishment of the now-closed pub, The Endurance, which was put on the market by pub operator Hope & Glory through leisure property specialist Davis Coffer Lyons.

The Endurance, formerly called The King of Corsica, failed in a long-running dispute to reverse a council ban on customers drinking outside after 6pm because of complaints about noise.

The 4,500 sq ft outlet is due to re-open as a Chinese gastropub in early 2014. Its licence application has been lodged in the name of Duck & Rice.

The area, home to Berwick Street market, is due to undergo a series of major improvement works as part of a multimillion-pound regeneration scheme led by PMB Holdings.

Alan Yau launched Wagamama in 1992 and built it up into a leading restaurant group before selling out five years later to a private equity company. In 2001, he opened Hakkasan and then Yauatchan before selling them to an Abu Dhabi investment fund. His most recent ventures include restaurant group Busaba Eathai.

Josh Leon, associate director at Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “Alan Yau is highly successful in the restaurant industry, but few details have yet been released about this, his first foray into Soho pubs.

“Exactly what he is going to do remains to be see, but I am sure it will be new and interesting with his trademark attention to detail and high standards.”

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