The Wolseley becomes a brand name under new owner

Corbin & King restaurants have been rebranded by their new owners as the Wolseley Hospitality Group, after the renowned Piccadilly restaurant that is the jewel in the company crown.

The move is a logical step following the departure of founders Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, who were ousted in April following a bitter struggle with investor-turned-aggressor Minor International which ended with a take-over by the Thailand-based hospitality giant and its American-born boss William Heinecke.

Announcing the rebrand, Minor reaffirmed its commitment to the company’s expansion plans within London, with a second branch of the Wolseley in the City and a new seafood specialist, Manzi’s, in Soho as the immediate priorities.

But Heinecke also confirmed suspicions that his longer-term aim is to spin out a chain of Wolseley in major cities around the globe, trading on its high international reputation, saying: “We now look forward to expanding the restaurants not only in the UK, but globally with the support of Minor’s international footprint and team.

Within the company, the speed of the rebrand appeared to catch some by surprise. As recently as Wednesday, a representative of “Corbin & King” sent out emails announcing a competition to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Brasserie ZĂ©del, the company’s glamorous and good-value Parisian-style basement venue just off Piccadilly Circus.

Founded in 2003, Corbin & King owned nine London restaurants including the Delaunay, Soutine, Colbert and Bellanger.

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