A Soho seafood palace will open in May 2023, after four years of planning — and without its original architects. Manzi’s is the first restaurant from the Wolseley Hospitality Group, née Corbin and King, which now operates its portfolio of low-key luxury London restaurants without its founding names.
The restaurant, which runs the length of Bateman’s Buildings in Soho, was planned as a 240-cover affair with a sizeable terrace, and billed as a “high quality and good value fish restaurant,” in keeping with the high-and-good template that served King and Corbin so well at the Wolseley, Colbert, Fischer’s, Bellanger, the Delaunay, Brasserie Zédel, and Soutine.
None of that has changed under its new owner, Minor International, which wrested control from King after a protracted power struggle in early 2022. The interior is set to be evocatively nautical, with a plainly spoken seafood menu of shellfish platters, simply cooked white fish, and pots of mussels.
While much of the disagreements between King and then-minority shareholder Minor were over expansion plans, Manzi’s was one of the few restaurants on which the two were — mostly — aligned. In November 2021, King said that the timelines on the group’s three upcoming restaurants had been pushed back over a disagreement on the state of London’s restaurant recovery. They comprised Manzi’s; a kind of Wolseley 2.0 in nature if not name in the City; and a new brasserie in Notting Hill.