Last month saw a huge buzz around The Ivy, as it unveiled its glamorous new refurbishment, after temporarily closing for the first time in 25 years.
What started off as a small café became one of the most famous restaurants in the world. Its proximity to London’s best theatres made it a regular rendezvous for the theatre community, with notable diners including Madonna, Meryl Streep, and even the Queen and Princess Diana.
In 2005 Richard Caring took over the Caprice Holdings Group, and with this became the owner of The Ivy. Keeping the restaurant as popular as ever, yearly sales grew to over £53 million in 2013. In this time he has also expanded the brand; adding to its roster The Club at The Ivy, The Ivy Chelsea Garden, The Ivy in Dubai, and The Ivy Market Grill.
The quintessentially London restaurant in the West End closed and completely renewed all of its fixtures and fittings (and auctioned them off, gaining over £1 million in aid of Child Bereavement UK) in anticipation for its 100th birthday in 2017. The renowned stained glass windows have remained, however. Caring was keen to prepare the restaurant for the future, but wants to ensure the facelift didn’t take away The Ivy’s je ne sais quoi.
The menu has also been given a makeover, Gary Lee remains as head chef and was smart to ensure Ivy staples such as the Shepherd’s Pie remained alongside the new more worldly dishes, which give a particular nod to southern Europe and Asia.
With its centenary just around the corner, the refurb stands to breathe new life into The Ivy and help to regain some of its acclaim, as Director Fernando Peire comments: “To survive as long as it has, the restaurant has always had to remain relevant in order to appeal to the next generation…We are, I hope, the restaurant for Everyman!”.
Having been given the opportunity to support The Ivy in delivering unparalleled excellence in its service for over 10 years, Food Alert is especially excited to see what the next chapter brings.