Posh ‘all-day café-restaurant in the grand tradition’ The Wolseley might have to stop living in the manner to which it has become accustomed after the Financial Times revealed that it is facing a whopping £1 million bill from its landlords for unpaid rent over the last 18 months.
However, the owners of the Piccadilly restaurant, Corbin & King, have said that they will not be paying the rent for the months that the restaurant was forced to shut its doors under Covid restrictions. The FT reports that the Wolseley’s landlords, SJ Investments, are now seeking to evict the business and seek the unpaid rent through the courts.
Obviously it’s not good to hear of any hospitality businesses in debt because of Covid, but The Wolseley is a very big name to be in trouble. Beloved by red-faced and -trousered types for its menu of ‘oh-nanny-please’ nursery favourites like devilled kidneys and kedgeree, it’s such an institution that the late AA Gill even wrote a whole book about the breakfast there. It’s called ‘Breakfast at the Wolseley’.
Corbin & King, who also own Brasserie Zédel, the Delaunay, Bellanger, Colbert and Fischers have been vocal in their criticism of the government restrictions and the impact landlords have had on struggling businesses during the pandemic. They pooh-poohed any attempt to oust them from the premises, so the Wolseley looks set to stay put for the foreseeable. And with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon there clocking in at a wallet-flaying £17.50, perhaps these things are all relative.
The Wolseley, 160 Piccadilly, W1J 9EB.
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