New Restaurant Deal with Altamarea Group Marks Next Step in St James’s Bid to Become a Dining Sensation

May 28, 2013

The Crown Estate has this week announced that it has finalised a deal with US based Altamarea Group to bring a new restaurant concept, Chop Shop, to St James’s at Haymarket.

The deal will see the restaurant group take a 10 year lease on the entire ground floor and basement of 66-68 Haymarket (2,350 sq ft) in its first ever venture outside of the US.

Over the last few years, The Crown Estate has set out its plans deliver a £500 million investment programme to transform St James’s, creating a premier central London shopping and dining destination. This process has thus far seen it bring forward high profile restaurant lettings, including to San Carlo Group last year for its new central London flagship restaurant, Cicchetti.

Altamarea Group, founded by Ahmass Fakahany and world renowned chef Michael White currently operate a number of successful restaurants in the US, including Marea and Ai Fiori in New York City. In total, restaurants owned and managed by the Group have gained several Michelin stars and Relais & Chateaux recognition. The Group has brought Will Guess, formerly of Rowleys, his family business, on board to assist in developing a vibrant, accessible concept, Chop Shop, with a view to opening late summer.

Anthea Harries for The Crown Estate said: “Altamarea Group has achieved great success in the US and we believe their imaginative approach will fit perfectly with our ambition to create a new destination for dining in St James’s. It is great to be able to announce this deal, which represents another major step forward in our transformation of St James’s.”

Ahmass Fakahany for Altamarea Group said: “Having seen The Crown Estate’s ambitious plans for St James’s, we are convinced that this part of London will soon be one of the country’s most exciting restaurant quarters. With our talented team, we look forward to bringing a unique concept restaurant to this fantastic part of the West End.”

Davis Coffer Lyons advised The Crown Estate.