Update at 10:18 a.m. on 21 July 2021: This piece has been updated with the opening date.
A company called Colonial Property run by a Dubai restaurateur will open a New England seafood restaurant called Maine at Hanover Square in Mayfair this October. It overlooks a new space called Medici Courtyard — a covered colonnade set to be lined with “boutique coffee shops,” that will connect the square with New Bond Street.
The 9,250 square foot restaurant will have three levels, and 350 covers, as well as an additional 1,100 square foot outdoor terrace, as reported by investment research group Morning Star. Colonial Property has signed a 20-year lease at an eye-watering £600,000 per year rent, with a two-year rent-free period. In a separate report from Bdaily Business News, an unnamed “founder of Colonial” said, “this Georgian property at the heart of the new Hanover Square development is the perfect location for our concept — rich with British heritage, style and elegance.” Rich, it certainly is.
That unnamed founder is Joe Ghazal, a Canadian restaurateur who operates a trio of New England-inspired seafood restaurants in Dubai and describes himself as both a “gastropreneur” and the “Maine Man.”
The most expa/ensive of the three is the Maine Land Brasserie, which features the likes of a dozen Galway oysters for £112 — imports, they’re costly; a “Poseidon platter” centred around Maine lobster; and plenty of wagyu and truffle; prime cuts and grilled poultry. The raw fish / cooked meat / big money formula that lines the pockets of so many restaurants in the area.
The interior of the restaurant, located at Zaha Hadid’s Magnum Opus in Dubai’s Business Bay, is described as “capturing the clubby spirit of a handsomely timeworn brasserie this MAINE resembles an old world steakhouse with a strong undertow of sensuality.” In the restaurant’s words, its menu “cascades from shellfish to snails and fresh fish to bespoke steak cuts that are aged to perfection for insatiable carnivores to enjoy.”
With the opening set, the insatiable carnivores of Hanover Square have their “destination restaurant” locked in, and Mayfair’s marina vibe grows more fishy.