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Rick Stein to open London restaurant

After years of stating that he would never open a restaurant in London, TV chef Rick Stein has confirmed that he is to open a residence in Barnes, at the former Depot brasserie.

rick-stein-web-site-385x300The chef, who is from Cornwall and has buikt up a culinary empire out of the fishing village of Padstow, said he couldn’t resist an opportunity to acquire the Depot brasserie, which over looks the River Thames.

The existing owners, who have run the Depot since 1986, are retiring and so have decided to sell their company, Tideway Restaurants Ltd, to Stein.

Its current staff of 40 will be retained, with the restaurant set to remain open until December, after which it will undergo a massive refurbishment and reopen in the new year in a new guise.

“I’ve often been asked if I’ll ever have a restaurant in London, and to be honest, I’ve always said I wouldn’t”, said Stein, speaking to the Evening Standard. “But when I went to have a look at The Depot it struck me how perfect a place it was: overlooking the Thames, being wonderfully close to central London but far enough out to feel like you’re in your own community, a little village almost.

“I watched people popping in on their way home from work, escaping the hustle and bustle of city life to sit back, have some food and a good bottle of wine and relax. It’s such an exciting opportunity and one that we wanted to accept with pleasure.”

The Depot is located in a renovated Victorian cobbled courtyard and has a conservatory running the length of the dining room with river views.

Stein’s portfolio now includes 10 restaurants, a hotel, four shops, a pub and a cookery school. Stein runs the company with his ex-wife Jill and their three sons.

In a statement, the former owners of the Depot said that it was with “mixed emotions” that they would be handing over the reins to Rick.

“The Depot team remains and you are sure to see familiar faces, so fear not, a warm welcome awaits, as ever, and we know that you will be in safe and experienced hands”, it said.

“It really has been a pleasure to have run The Depot for all this time, with so many memories; particularly of special events, from retirement parties to weddings, christenings, birthdays and the inevitable funeral receptions. Your feedback over the years has been generous and much appreciated, and reflects so well on our loyal and hard-working team, to whom we are very grateful.”

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