What: Noble Rot Soho
In a nutshell: Noble Rot takes over the Gay Hussar
Summing it all up: A truly iconic Soho restaurant is revived by the team behind Noble Rot who are promising to be custodians of its history but bring the menu fully into the 21st century.
Yesterday, our interest was most definitely piqued by an Instagram post from The Sunday Times restaurant reviewer Marina O'Loughlin.
"Exciting news ahead. VERY exciting. I'm VERY EXCITED..." she wrote, posting a picture of the Gay Hussar in Soho. Now, given that Marina has - in her own words - "a minuscule investment" in the Noble Rot Bar & Restaurant, it wasn't too hard to put two and two together and realise that big news was on the way.
This morning, we had confirmation through from Noble Rot's co-founders Dan Keeling & Mark Andrew who said that they were taking over the iconic restaurant site for their second restaurant opening.
"We’re delighted to announce that yesterday we signed the papers allowing us to become the new custodians of the historic Gay Hussar in W1, which will re-open as Noble Rot Soho in spring 2020.
"Notorious in its day for being the lair of many a plotting politician, mostly devout Lefties (sometimes dubbed the 'Tokay Trots'), it was a Greek Street landmark for over 60 years. Rumour has it that at one point there were hidden cameras beaming footage direct to Downing St, and it was here that the Tory 'wets' plotted the downfall of Maggie Thatcher; it was a cause for great mourning when it finally shut its doors on 21st June 2018.
"At Noble Rot, we love the beautiful early 18th Century building that houses our original bar and restaurant in Lambs Conduit St. With the arrival in spring 2020 of Noble Rot Soho, we couldn't be more excited that we’ll be able to show the same love to one of London's most famous restaurants and meeting places."
Last year when the Gay Hussar closed its doors for good, there was much wringing of hands about use 'em or lose 'em - with fans of the restaurant saying folk should support the great classics. Personally, for us the food was never the draw at Gay Hussar - sometimes restaurants have reached the end of their natural life.
The Noble Rot team aren't reinstating the old Hungarian menu, but the chefs will allude to it. "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…"
Honestly, we can't wait.
More about Noble Rot Soho
Where is it? 2 Greek St, Soho, London W1D 4NB
When does it open? May/June 2020
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