‘The first person I ran into at Richard Corrigan’s new restaurant was’ Richard Corrigan. As I arrived outside, about to walk in, he walked out, escorting another gentleman with him. Pointing across the street, he showed off the squatters that had moved into the £6.5m townhouse directly opposite. At 18 Upper Grosvenor Street, a black flag hung from the first floor, a neon turquoise light shone inside and members of the Da! Collective chilled on the balcony.
The chef-patron seemed less than delighted, but maybe that was because these illegal occupants had attracted more media attention than the relatively quiet opening of his new flagship restaurant the previous night. Can you blame the man? With his name literally above the door (and on the cutlery), he clearly means business here. In fact he is so serious about Corrigan’s that he opened it the same day he announced the closure of his Michelin-starred Lindsay House – in May 2009 the Soho townhouse’s lease is up and it is not being renewed. Thus, he has moved both himself and Lindsay’s head chef, Chris McGowan, to his new residence in lavish Mayfair, where he will surely be more comfortable: ‘the Soho neighbourhood proved tough. Many of my staff were attacked, the restaurant was broken into…’
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