Bob Bob Ricard owner to open £15m St James's restaurant

08 January 2014 by
Bob Bob Ricard owner to open £15m St James's restaurant

Leonid Shutov, the owner of London's Bob Bob Ricard restaurant is to create what is thought to be London's largest luxury restaurant.

Shutov has reached an agreement to acquire the lease of 12 St James's Street. A total of £15m will be invested in the site of what was Just St James, leading to the creation of a 250 cover, 20,000 sq ft restaurant, with additional private dining rooms for a further 75 guests and a Champagne bar.

The new restaurant, provisionally called "Biblioteka", will be one of the largest licensed premises in central London and is being billed as an "evolution" of Bob Bob Ricard's formula. It is due to open in 2015.

Shutov said: "The aim with Biblioteka, nestled in the heart of Mayfair, is to create London's most celebrated restaurant interior inspired by some of the greatest libraries of the world - an iconic space built around the function of storing and displaying our vast collection of fine wine and champagne.

Originally designed to be one of London's finest banking halls, Biblioteka will offer a selection of fine wine, vintage champagne and rare spirits, dating back to the 1800s and presented in chronological order.

Among them will be a collection of over 100 vintages of Chateau d'Yquem going back to 1887. Ten of the vintages from the last 30 years will be available by the glass.

In what is thought to be another first, every house wine and champagne shall be available in bottles, magnums, double magnums and jeroboams. By-the-glass wines will include 1980s vintages of Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Vega Sicilia.

Wines and spirits that have already been secured for Biblioteka include:

•A library of Krug Champagne going back to 1915 and including the rare Krug Clos du Mesnil and Krug Clos d'Ambonnay
•Libraries of top Burgundy (Domaine de la Romanee-Conti) and Bordeaux (Chateau Haut-Brion, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Cheval Blanc and others) extending back to 1937 and in formats all the way up to a Balthazar.
•A library of Baron De Lustrac Armagnac going back to 1888
•A library of The Macallan whisky going back to 1926

Biblioteka will offer a menu of English classics as well as Russian delicacies such as pelmeni and vareniki (traditional dumplings), stroganina (the sashimi of the Russian far north), shashlik (grilled skewered meat in Georgian spices), Kamchatka King crab, and the largest choice of caviar in London. Flights of rare and vintage vodka will be offered, paired with particular menu items for a perfect match.

"There will be Michelin-star ambition. Not necessarily in the complexity of food - there is great beauty in simplicity - but in the precise execution and honed presentation," Shutov said.

The 12 St James leasehold was acquired from Legal & General, while the Crown Estate holds the freehold.

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