D&D London — one of London’s biggest independent restaurant groups — has today announced today that it will pull out of operating its four drinking and dining spaces at the Royal Exchange, adjacent to Bank, in the City. The company said it had decided it “would not be exercising its option to renew its leases and therefore will cease operating the retail and dining spaces at The Royal Exchange later this summer.” It is said that the decision follows an agreement between D&D London and the landlord, Oxford Properties. The four business — Sauterelle, The Gallery, Threadneedle Bar and Grand Café — will continue to operate as usual until the end of August.
Although no specific reason has been given for the decision, a statement released on behalf of the group said that “The City remains a key focus for D&D, with its restaurants situated in the Square Mile including Coq D’Argent, Madison, Paternoster Chophouse, Old Bengal Warehouse as well as Michelin starred Angler, and South Place Chophouse at South Place Hotel.”
Des Gunewardena, chairman and CEO of D&D added:
“We have thoroughly enjoyed being part of The Royal Exchange for some 15 years and in that time The Grand Café and Sauterelle restaurant have become firm City favourites. But we and Oxford Properties agreed that it was time for a change and we wish them well with their future plans for the building. We do however remain committed to the City and plan to announce a new and very exciting restaurant project in the Square Mile shortly.”
Gunewardena also confirmed that “The Royal Exchange is a successful and profitable business for D&D,” that “it was a strategic long term decision to not renew the lease” and, finally, that “satisfactory terms were agreed with Oxford Properties.”
The Piccadilly high-end ‘grocer’ and department store, Fortnum & Mason, has been confirmed to take over the space. It will open its second major retail hall in London, as well as a new restaurant and bar.