Gordon Ramsay’s Boxwood Cafe at the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge is to close in April. The Maybourne Group hotel confirmed today that the lease would not be extended.
The Ramsay group tells us that is is close to signing “exciting” new premises in central London where the Boxwood brand will continue. It would have been odd to abandon it – it was only earlier this month that the Ramsay group launched its first spin-off Boxwood-branded operation, in Los Angeles.
The decision to end the association between Gordon Ramsay and the Berkeley has apparently been reached even though the building works once contemplated at the hotel – which would have required closure of the restaurant – are not to proceed during 2010.
The writing for Ramsay’s involvement with the hotel has been on the wall since September last year, when he used an interview in the Times to launch a no-holds-barrred assault on Maybourne (which included describing them as “shits”).
The immediate cause of last year’s diatribe was the departure of Angela Hartnett’s Ramsay-group restaurant from another Maybourne property, the Connaught, in 2007. Subsequently, Maybourne decided it could also do without the Ramsay group’s Pétrus restaurant, the former site of which now trades as Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley. With the impending closure of the Boxwood Café, Ramsay’s involvement with the Knightsbridge hotel is to come to a total end.
That leaves just one ongoing Maybourne-Ramsay lease, and we understand that the tenure of Gordon Ramsay at Claridges comes up for renewal – or not – in the latter part of next year.
Curiously, the end of that relationship – if such it should turn out to be – would more or less coincide with the opening of a new Gordon Ramsay restaurant at the Savoy (the re-opening of which hotel has now been delayed until some time in 2010). Gordon Ramsay at the Savoy? It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
PS (18 January) The last speculation was wrong. The Savoy Grill is to re-open as the Grill (more traditional than ever, we’re told), and the River Restaurant is being operated by the hotel itself, under an as yet unnamed new chef.