M Restaurants scales down plans post-Brexit

London-based M Restaurants has postponed plans to open a third large-scale venue in Soho following Brexit, with its founder instead revealing plans to open four smaller restaurants under the name M Social.

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Martin Williams, founder of M Restaurants

M Restaurants currently has two venues in central London; one in the City’s Threadneedle Street, and a second in Victoria on Victoria Street.

Its founder, Martin Williams, had planned to next open a third site of a similar size and scale in Soho. However following the impact of Brexit, he has instead decided to take advantage of smaller markets within the London suburbs, launching a number of restaurants under the brand ‘M Social’.

“Prior to the referendum I was already of the view that weekend dining outside the centre of London was a market I was keen to capitalise on”, said Williams.

“I am now convinced that in the current environment, M Social is the perfect vehicle to grow the M brand.”

M Social will offer a “micro-version” of the original M concept with décor and price scaled back to appeal to a different audience.

The aim, says Williams, is to create “more intimate” outer London locations that offer a “genuine home from home” diners.

Williams’ choice of name for his new venture could ruffle the feathers of British chef Jason Atherton, who has already built an empire of Michelin-starred restaurants based around his “social” brand, which also includes a range of tableware. His venues include Social Eating House, Pollen Street Social, Social Wine and Tapas, City Social and Little Social.

Williams plans to open between two and four 100-cover M Social venues during 2017, with the team already eyeing up potential sites in Notting Hill, Angel, Clapham, Richmond and Twickenham.

While plans for a larger site in Soho have been put on ice, Williams did confirm that after M Social has been established, M will be opening a third larger venue in “an iconic building in Canary Wharf”.

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