Jackson Boxer, of Vauxhall’s Brunswick House and Notting Hill’s Orasay, is no longer involved with critically acclaimed Shoreditch restaurant St Leonards. Boxer co-founded St Leonards with former Brunswick House partner Andrew Clarke in 2018, but the restaurant, owned and financed by The Old Blue Last Ltd — which is in turn 75 percent owned by Vice Europe Holdings Ltd — will now operate with Clarke at the helm. Eater understands that discussions about the future of the restaurant, and its ownership, are ongoing.
Boxer told Eater that he and his team connected to Brunswick House and Orasay severed ties with the restaurant two weeks ago, over what he described as “a difference of opinion on operational practices.” Boxer said that he and his team had given their “total sense of ownership to Andrew,” with the restaurant previously having been synonymous with Boxer and Clarke’s distinct styles of cooking, reflected in the restaurant’s “fire and ice” theme. Boxer also clarified that Clarke is no longer connected to Brunswick House, and that Orasay, the newest restaurant in his portfolio and originally billed as being opened by the duo, would be taken under the Brunswick House umbrella.
An official statement supplied by Boxer, from himself, Clarke, and Vice Media, says:
Jackson Boxer and the Brunswick House Cafe Ltd are moving on from the critically acclaimed and celebrated St Leonards thats they launched last year with Andrew Clarke and The Old Blue Last, sadly they won’t be involved in the operation or day-to-day management going forward.
Jackson Boxer, said: “Frank and I are enormously proud of the team we built, and all that team’s hard work that saw St Leonards establish itself as one of London’s most important and creative restaurants. We look forward with warm anticipation to see what the future holds, as St Leonards no doubt goes from strength to strength, under the leadership of Andrew Clarke and The Old Blue Last Limited”
Award-winning chef Andrew Clarke, who was also part of the creative team who built St Leonard’s, is now, together with The Old Blue Last Ltd, overseeing the management and operation of the restaurant, following the successful partnership with Jackson Boxer and Brunswick House Café Ltd.
Andrew Clarke, said: “It has been great to work with Frank and Jackson and we are grateful for their creative input in building and establishing St Leonards as one of Londons top restaurants. We are excited about the times ahead and wish them all the best for the future.”
St Leonards opened in spring 2018, after being inspired by Boxer and Clarke’s “very drunken lunch” three summers ago at Boxer’s mother’s farm in Sussex. It earned critical acclaim from Jay Rayner — “A funfair ride” — and Marina O’Loughlin — “a classic in the making” — while Tim Hayward praised the cooking but was not alone in wondering if the chefs’ two distinct styles led to discord, rather than harmony.
When asked about the current ownership and leadership of the restaurant, managing director of The Old Blue Last Limited, Martin Thomas, told Eater: “Andrew [Clarke] does indeed have sole control of kitchen operations, menu development and pricing. As managing director of The Old Blue Last Limited, I work with Andrew and his team on finance, facilities and other site operations.” Thomas owns the remaining 25 percent stake in The Old Blue Last Limited, under the company name 1103 Ltd. Thomas also told Eater that there are currently no plans for the restaurant to be sold, nor for it to close,
Eater has contacted Clarke for more information on the future of St Leonards.