CHEF Mark Greenaway is to close his Edinburgh restaurant - but plans to open a new “more theatrical” venture in Edinburgh city centre by early next year.
However, he revealed that he is set to sign a lease on new premises in an existing restaurant building in the city centre, which he said would be “significantly” bigger than his existing premises - and could ultimately be rolled out into multiple sites.
Mr Greenaway said: “It’s time for a new challenge, and so we are in the process of developing a completely new concept. Though we will be using the same team and suppliers that have contributed so much to the success of Restaurant Mark Greenaway, the new venture will feel completely different. Our intention is to boldly challenge the concept of fine dining in the heart of Edinburgh.”
He added: “For it to come off, it has taken a building of a certain size and a lot of money. The new concept is so different: it won’t have tablecloths or waiters in waistcoats and ties. It will still be fine dining, but with a much more relaxed atmosphere and the restaurant will have much more theatre with it. We wanted something exciting and the plans for this new place are exciting.”
Mr Greenaway insisted that Restaurant Mark Greenaway had not been hit by the influx of new high-end chain restaurants into the city in recent years, which other restaurateurs have recently warned has impacted business for independent operators.
However, his main restaurants holding company, MGNJ Ltd, went into liquidation last year following a period of trading loss, according to documents filed with Companies House - which Mr Greenaway said was due to a restructure of the business.
Mr Greenaway put out a call for investors for his new venture on Twitter earlier this summer - and is understood to have now secured the necessary funding. It is believed that the new concept will be on the site of an existing Edinburgh restaurant, which is due to cease trading in the coming months.
The original Restaurant Mark Greenaway, which the chef owns with his partner, Nicola Jack, opened five years ago. Mr Greenaway, whose cookbook was last year named the best in the world at the Gourmand Awards in China, previously opened a second restaurant, Bistro Moderne in Stockbridge, in 2013 - but closed it two years later. He added: “When we celebrated our fifth birthday in January, it set us thinking about the future and what we really wanted to achieve. Winding up this chapter is our first step towards those ambitions. Naturally we are sad to be closing the North Castle Street site, but at the same time Nicola, myself and the rest of the team are all very much looking forward to the future.”
All existing staff at Restaurant Mark Greenaway are to transfer to the new venture, with around 40 per cent more workers due to be recruited for the new site.