The team behind Yosma in London's Baker Street and Frescobaldi restaurants, is to open an Aegean bar and restaurant in Soho called Hovarda.
Good Food Society, founded by Levent Büyükuğur and Sanjay Nandi, will launch Hovarda in November at 36-40 Rupert Street, in what was the Sports Bar and Grill.
The venue will have a 74-cover cocktail bar on the first floor and a 70-cover restaurant on the ground floor. The term Hovarda is used in Turkish and Greek and references a generous host with a free spirit. The menu will focus on dishes from the area surrounding the Aegean Sea, with an emphasis on seafood sourced from the British Isles.
The restaurant will also feature a large open kitchen and counter dining overlooking open fire grills. The upstairs bar will feature a list of cocktails, spirits and wine and will host live DJs in the evenings.
Interiors are designed by Lázaro Rosa‐Violan.
Good Food Society acquired the site in 2016 in a deal brokered by Restaurant Property. Rent on the restaurant is around £375,000 per year, and the premium being sought by the seller at the time it was on the market was in excess of £500,000, for a 15-year fully repairing and insuring lease, due to expire on 28 September 2025.
Büyükuğur founded Istanbul Doors, a corporate restaurant group in Istanbul. He launched Da Mario in Istanbul in 1993, Vogue restaurant in 1997, and then Istanbul nightclub Anjelique. In 2007, he entered into a joint venture with Azumi Group to open Zuma Istanbul. The company has over 18 brands and 40 restaurants, as well as the Ajia hotel in Instanbul.
Nandi is operating partner with private equity firm Trilantic Europe and is currently chief operating officer of entertainment brand Grupo Pacha. He has also been a member of the board of directors of Istanbul Doors and London-based Tom Aikens Group.
In 2013, Büyükuğur and Nandi teamed up to launch Good Food Society to help develop new hospitality concepts in international markets.
Videos from The Caterer archives