Last week we reported that The Square in Mayfair (long-time baby of Phil Howard and Nigel Platts-Martin) had been sold to the Marc Group (Marlon Abela Restaurant Corporation). Since then there has been quite a bit of speculation on the restaurant’s future, if indeed, it had one.
Well we now know The Square will definitely stay, and it will retain its moniker (one it has had since it opened 25 years ago). The Marc Group has also contradicted rumours that Mayfair’s Greenhouse would move into the Bruton Street site.
Some changes are still to be expected, with plans to align The Square with the Greenhouse’s “classic meets avant garde” approach, lighter food, and a focus on British produce – according to a Marc Group spokeswoman.
With its “polished” style, “well-spaced tables” and “one of the Capital’s finest wine lists”, The Square has long been a favourite Mayfair dining destination (particularly for expense-accounters, thanks to the “exorbitant” prices). However Harden’s noted that criticism of the veteran restaurant was stronger over the past couple of years in our annual survey.
Phil Howard, who had been at the helm of The Square for 25 years, announced he would leave last week after the restaurant’s sale to the Marc Group, which comprises nine other sites in London, as well as venues in America.
Howard owned the Square alongside astute restaurant investor Nigel Platts-Martin. The pair also co-own The Ledbury, Chez Bruce and La Trompette – a very triumphant trio. They are both pleased that the Square will be in the hands of “a passionate restaurateur”.
Originally opened in 1991 in St James’s, the Square first appeared in Harden’s London Restaurants 1993 – our second ever publication. It was universally praised by our reporters back then for its “beautiful” and “imaginative” food. Two years later the restaurant relocated to Mayfair.