Two former managers of Maxwell's restaurant in Covent Garden have struck out on their own to develop a chain of neighbourhood pub-eateries.
Charlie Latham and Ryder Butler have set up a new company, Majol, with the aid of a single investor. They have already bought two London properties - the Bollo pub in Chiswick and the Abbey Bar and Dining Room on Abbey Road.
While the Bollo will continue as it is, Latham said the Abbey Road pub and restaurant would revert to its original name, the Salthouse, within a month. Its English-Italian offer would become more anglicised and all the food, including bread and pasta, would be made on the premises.
Latham plans to expand to 10 sites over the next five years and expects to add another venue before Christmas. While the next two or three properties would be London-based, he said Majol would then start scouting for countryside locations.
Latham, whose 16 years in the restaurant business has included stints at Planet Hollywood and Montana, was group development manager at Maxwell's, where Butler worked as purchasing manager.