£15m restaurant planned for London’s West End

The owner of one of London’s top celebrity haunts is reportedly set to spend £15m creating a giant luxury restaurant that will open in the capital next year.

In a move that is inevitably set to involve a major kitchen project, Russian Leonid Shutov — founder of Bob Bob Ricard in Soho — will launch a restaurant called Biblioteka after signing a lease on a former Lloyds Bank flagship branch in St James’s Street.

The English-Russian restaurant will serve 250 covers and feature a private dining room for up to 75 guests, as well as a vintage champagne bar.

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The Evening Standard reported yesterday that the building spans 200,000 square feet, making it one of the largest restaurant spaces in the country.

More than £9m will be spent fitting out the restaurant. The rest of the investment is for securing the 25-year lease. Shutov said the restaurant would have “Michelin star ambition”.

He told the paper: “It will be on the proper grand imperial scale that visitors to London have in their head when they come. What they actually find is lots of fairly small, pokey restaurants. London has some of the best restaurants in the world but not many British restaurants that feel authentic.”

Shutov said he had been inspired by some of the world’s great libraries —hence the name of the restaurant — and would use the walls of the venue to display its huge wine collection like books. It will offer vintage champagnes that are more than 100 years old.

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