Aqua Restaurant Group, which operates Aqua Shard, has taken on the former Villandry site in London’s Great Portland Street with plans to relaunch it as a multi-concept venue.
Westminster City Council has granted Aqua planning permission to transform the ground floor and basement of 120 Great Portland Street into an 80-cover Japanese restaurant, a 72-cover café, a 14-cover Spanish deli and a 68-cover dim sum library.
A statement from the group said: “Aqua Restaurant Group has plans to expand in London and has exciting concepts that it wants to bring to the city. The group is always looking at new sites and has looked at several locations on Great Portland Street. At this point nothing is confirmed. We look forward to announcing plans as soon as they are finalised.”
Villandry’s two grand cafés in central London were closed last year after the company called in administrators. It was reported that the chain, run by former Le Pain Quotidien director Philippe Le Roux, was searching for a buyer following the doubling of rent at its Great Portland Street site.
Aqua Restaurant Group has 25 sites, with concepts in London including Aqua Shard and Hutong within the Shard, and Aqua Kyoto, Aqua Nueva and Aqua Spirit at 240 Regent Street. The group operates its Dim Sum Library concept in Hong Kong.