Gordon Ramsay to close Maze after group’s £3.8m loss

The Gordon Ramsay Restaurant Group will close its high-profile Maze restaurant in London’s Mayfair next year, opening a new “concept restaurant” in its place, after its holding company, Kavalake, reported a £3.8 million loss.

Kavalake, the holding company for the group – which includes London restaurants such as Petrus, Savoy Grill, Maze and Bread Street Kitchen – reported a pre-tax loss of £3.8m in the year to the end of August 2017.

The business was also hit by a £1.75m legal bill for costs relating to a long-running legal dispute with Rowan Seibel, Ramsay’s former business partner in the Los Angeles-based Fat Cow, which closed in 2014.

A five-month closure of Plane Food, Ramsay’s restaurant at Heathrow’s terminal 5 also hit the group’s UK business, which saw revenues fall from £48.3m to £45.9m.

International revenues for the group increased by 52% to £5.4m, with overall revenues reaching £51.4m.

The group has confirmed that it will close Maze in Mayfair, inside the London Marriott hotel in Grosvenor Square, when its lease runs out in January 2019, after 14 years in business.

It will, however, be replaced with a new concept restaurant launching next year under a new 10-year lease, as stated by Kavalake’s report, filed to Companies House on May 15.

A further five new venues will be opened overseas. These include a Bread Street Kitchen in Sanya, China, and four other restaurants in North America, including a new concept in Las Vegas called Hell’s Kitchen, which opened in January.

“A number of new international contracts are being actively negotiated, however, contracts have yet to be signed,” the group said. “The global spread of our restaurants means the business is not reliant upon one location and is therefore well placed to adapt and adjust to softer trading conditions.”

These losses follow another costly wrangle between Ramsay and his father-in-law Christopher Hutcheson, over rent payments on a pub in London that cost him £1.6m.

Ramsay signed a 25-year lease on the exclusive York & Albany pub near Regent’s Park in 2007 putting his father-in-law, Christopher Hutcheson, at the helm, as reported by Sky News. 

However the chef accused Mr Hutcheson of using a “ghost writer machine” to forge his signature on a document making him the personal guarantor for the property’s £640,000 annual rent.

In 2015, Mr Justice Morgan of the High Court ruled that the signature was binding, despite Ramsay’s claims it was forged.

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