Casual Dining Group has begun to look at expanding the 23-year-old Belgo bar-restaurant brand as it launches a new site in the heart of London’s West End.
The 3,500 sq ft site, which spans two floors and comprises 150 covers, opens today in Old Compton Street in Soho in the former premises of long-established Italian restaurant Amalfi.
It is the fifth location for Belgo, which specialises in mussels, frites, rotisserie chicken, fresh lobster and Belgian craft beers. Currently only in London, it still operates its original sites that opened in Camden in 1992, Covent Garden in 1994 and Holborn in 1996 plus a Belgo that opened in the Intu shopping centre in Bromley in 2010.
James Spragg, managing director of Belgo and Café Rouge at Casual Dining Group, said: “The Old Compton Street site is an opportunistic first addition for many years to the collection of Belgo restaurants which as a brand are performing strongly and we expect this one to be a big hit too.
“We are keeping a look-out for more sites for a brand that after 20 years could not be more on trend with today’s customers.”
The new restaurant in Soho includes four individually-designed caves in the basement that celebrate the history of the Belgo story, which are available for pre-booking, and an open kitchen on the ground floor. In addition the site has two bars stocking over 60 Belgian beers.
The Casual Dining Group is one of the largest casual dining restaurant operators in the UK with 250 sites, mostly operating at Bella Italia, Café Rouge, Las Iguanas and Belgo.
Belgo’s site in Clapham, south London, was sold last year to Mint Group which launched it last month as Japanese and Latin American fusion restaurant and bar Mommi.