Anthony Demetre, former chef-proprietor of the one-Michelin-starred Putney Bridge restaurant in London, is to open a new business in Soho.
Demetre has bought the former site of Bistro Bruno on Frith Street where he worked with Bruno Loubet before the pair launched L'Odéon in 1995.
Demetre and his business partner, William Smith, also from Putney Bridge, will open a 65-seat bistro and bar called Arbutus at the beginning of May. The restaurant derives its name from the tree species Arbutus unedo, otherwise known as a strawberry tree, which once grew in Soho Square.
Arbutus will be informal in style with no tablecloths or sommelier. "We're aiming for a New York-style of casualness," Demetre said.
Food will be predominantly French with lunch costing around £15-£20 without drinks and dinner £25-£30. The restaurant will have a 100-strong wine list with many available by the glass.
Demetre said that, should the deal go ahead, the restaurant and kitchen would be gutted, and new interiors created by Linda Turner at Inature.
The venture is a three-way partnership, between Demetre, Smith and a sleeping partner.
By Jessica Gunn
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