DCL’s Development Leasing Team Helps Bring Covent Garden into Fine Dining League

June 8, 2012

As reported by the Evening Standard yesterday, Covent Garden has been declared “the new Soho” by restaurant experts after a slew of fashionable openings in a district once notorious for its rip-off tourist traps, all of which have been secured through Davis Coffer Lyons’ Development Leasing team.

Restaurateurs told London’s Evening Standard that they were reclaiming for Londoners an area that was shunned for decades following the closure of the fruit and vegetable market. Raymond Blanc of Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons is the latest big name chef to launch in or around the piazza with his Brasserie Blanc in the Opera Terrace.

Raymond Blanc follows the Wolseley duo, Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, whose Delaunay “grand café” opened in Aldwych in January. Another new arrival is Russell Norman who launched his Jewish deli Mishkins in November.

Tracey Mills, Director of the team at Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “Covent Garden has undergone a huge foodie transformation in recent months, with some inordinately fashionable names and new concepts taking on property in the area.

“In a matter of months, we have managed to secure Jamie Oliver’s Union Jacks restaurant at the Piazza, MEATmarket at Jubilee Hall, and the long-awaited New York-based French-style brasserie, Balthazar along with its Balthazar Bakery next door. These will sit alongside nearby Russell Norman’s Mishkins, the enormously popular Opera Tavern, not to mention the host of exciting new restaurants at Shaftesbury’s St Martin’s Courtyard development. Most recently, School of Wok has made a very welcome addition to this stunning foodie line-up.”

Richard Harden, co-founder of Harden’s restaurant guides, also praised the district’s dominant landlords, property companies Capco and Shaftesbury, for making “a real effort to bring in a better class of shop and restaurant”.Davis Coffer Lyons advises these landlords on their leisure offers throughout Covent Garden.

Mr Norman, who previously worked at Joe Allen’s, told the Evening Standard: “People like me have been looking for sites for expansion in Soho for years but we had to start spreading our tentacles.”

Simon Mullins, director of Salt Yard Group, owner of the Opera Tavern tapas restaurant in Catherine Street, told the Evening Standard: “We had a sense that Covent Garden was changing and we like to get into emerging areas. Soho has gone crazy and Covent Garden was almost like this fringe area with lots of potential. There was this sense that if one jumps the rest will follow.”

DCL has been responsible for effecting the first deals for both Simon Mullins’ Salt Yard on Goodge Street, and subsequently Dehesa in Carnaby; as well as Russel Norman’s first site, Polpo on Beak Street, at the very start of this new collection of restaurants.

To compliment these new restaurant sites in Covent Garden, a number of small niche food outlets have also sprung up, such as French Bubbles, Champagne + Fromage on Covent Garden’s Wellington Street. This is part of the strategy by Shaftesbury to strengthen the Opera Quarter as a foodie quarter, advised by DCL.

St Martin’s Courtyard has also proven a hugely popular new dining destination and this spring welcomeed new wine store Dalla Terra to its line up.