Aldo Zilli's not a happy bloke. Announcing the closure of his two remaining London restaurants, Zilli Fish and Zilli Cafe, he tells the Evening Standard today that rising rents are turning Soho into Dubai.
“Soho is not the same Soho it used to be," he says. "There’s lots of big chains coming in who are willing to pay the charges...it’s changing the character of Soho, it’s becoming like Dubai. The landlords are responsible for me getting out of Brewer Street, they became the greediest people in the world."
Hot Dinners understands (courtesy of blogger Restaurant Gossip) that there are strong rumours that Richard Caring has taken over Zilli's lease on Brewer Street with an eye to opening another Bill's Cafe to add to the ones already in Covent Garden and Islington.
As for Zilli's gripes - well, a look at some of the openings in Soho over the past year show there are still plenty of independents willing to enter the Soho fray - there's the highly rated 10 Greek Street for one, and Ceviche and Duck Soup too, not to mention Mele E Pere and Copita too.