The Knightsbridge hotel’s main restaurant, The Rib Room, had previously operated under management of the hotel and received a decidedly lukewarm reception as a result. Kerridge, chef-owner of the two Michelin star The Hand and Flowers and the one Michelin star Coach, both located in Marlow, had been slated to operate the restaurant as his first venture in the capital. Not only that, but Kerridge’s restaurant would have been independent of the hotel, a crucial detail that may go some way to explaining the events of yesterday (9 October.)
In a surprising press release, it was announced that “Kerridge was due to manage a renovated Rib Room Bar and Restaurant and operate it as a stand-alone site in 2017. However, Dubai Holdings (owner of Jumeirah), appears to have changed their intentions for the Rib Room and the renovation, which was to accompany the relaunch under Tom Kerridge this year, has not, in the end, taken place.” Kerridge’s response to the news is tellingly bewildered:
We are all hugely disappointed that this project is not working out as we wanted since we had exciting plans to create a dining experience that would have celebrated the heritage of the building. However, Jumeirah have made a decision to re-open The Rib Room this week without any notification and without the restaurant transferring management. The fact that there has been no sign of the planned refurbishment has left us in a very difficult position.
Intriguingly, a look at the Jumeirah Carlton’s website sees The Rib Room featured on its foreign language sites, but tellingly absent from the UK version. Check back for more on this story as it develops.