Opened four years ago, the Giaconda Dining room quickly gained plaudits for Paul Merrony's cooking and front of house service from his wife Tracey. It's one of Jay Rayner's favourite London restaurants (and with a history before that as Giaconda Cafe where Bowie and the Stones hung out in the seventies). It's also a fave of ours too, so we were intrigued to find out it was getting an overhaul and caught up with Tracey Merrony to find out more.
As it's a listed building, Paul and Tracey have been in negotiations for the last 18 months to develop a large space at the back of the restaurant (formerly an old recording studio). Now that the go-ahead's been given, work will start on July 16 with a planned reopening in mid September.
The revamp will have a dramatic impact on the restaurant, immediately doubling the space so that it will now seat 70 (as opposed to the previous 32). The front of the restaurant will retain its current look while the back room will be aiming for an airy approach. There's an opportunity to allow more light into the restaurant with a much higher ceiling and they will also add a brand new kitchen area. Another new touch will be a "beautiful" new bathroom, something Tracey's wanted to changet for a while.
The ethos behind the Giaconda Dining Room is to stay the same, as a family style affair. However, the new kitchen will also allow Paul Merrony to take on more help and after reopening the restaurant will be open seven days a week (from its current 4-5 days) while Paul will still be in the kitchen. This will also give an opportunity for the menu to grow and they'll definitely be adding more drinks, like an aperitif of the day and fresh juices.
Giaconda Dining Room reopens on October 29 at 9 Denmark Street.