London wine bar Noble Rot to open second site in Soho

Acclaimed London wine bar and restaurant Noble Rot is to open a second outpost in the capital having taken over the site of Soho institution Gay Hussar after the restaurant closed last year.

In a statement, Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew MW, the co-founders of Noble Rot magazine and its eponymous restaurant, said that they had signed the papers yesterday (13 November) to take over Gay Hussar.

Noble Rot’s second outpost, to be called Noble Rot Soho, will open in spring 2020.

A Greek Street landmark for over 60 years, Gay Hussar, a former Hungarian restaurant, was opened in 1953 by the half-Swiss, half-Welsh Victor Sassie. Favoured by politicians and publishers, it is rumoured that there were once hidden cameras beaming footage directly to Downing Street, while other reports state that the venue was where Tony Blair was first persuaded to run as an MP in 1982, auspiciously seated at table 10.

Regulars included the likes of T.S Elliot, Michael Foot, Gordon Brown, Mortimer Wheeler, Aneurin Bevan, Barbara Castle and Ian Mikardo.

The restaurant officially shut up shop on 21 June 2018. 

The statement continued: “The menu, from chef Paul Weaver with, as before, The Sportsman’s Stephen Harris, will include subtle references to The Gay Hussar’s glory days.

“We’ll be creating a buzzing and atmospheric new restaurant that’s at the forefront of London’s culinary scene without losing sight of its rackety and sometimes scandalous past. And the wine list will be the stuff of dreams.”

Keeling and Andrew opened their Noble Rot original in 2015 on Lambs Conduit Street in Bloomsbury. The magazine launched in 2013 and is published every four months.

Keeling previous worked in the music industry as the former managing director of Island Records and head of A&R at Parlophone Records. There, he was responsible for signing artists including Coldplay, Bombay Bicycle Club and Lily Allen.

Andrew is a Master of Wine and was formerly the head buyer at Roberson.

The pair also launched a wine import company called Keeling Andrew & Co in 2017, aimed at supplying UK bars, restaurants and independent wine merchants with small production wines.

This year the restaurant placed 24th in Wine List Confidential‘s guide to the best restaurants in London for wine. Click here to read the full review.

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