Chorion buys more bars with late licences

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: West end, Tiger tiger, Soho, West end of london

Chorion has snapped up more top late-night bars as it continues its fight against a council clampdown on late licences.It has bought two of the...

Chorion has snapped up more top late-night bars as it continues its fight against a council clampdown on late licences.

It has bought two of the newest venues in London's West End, Sugar Reef and Red Cube, from owners Mark Fuller and Jimmy Lehoud for £7.5m.

Sugar Reef in Great Windmill Street, which has become a well-known celebrity hang-out after a launch 18 months ago, has a 1,000-capacity and is open to 3am.

The 600-capacity Red Cube in Leicester Place, which opened only eight months ago, trades until 3am.

Chorion, which owns the Tiger Tiger bar chain, has also bought the 300-capacity Chocolate Bar in Berkeley Square, which has a 3am licence. The venue, which closed last year, will be revamped into one of Chorion's trading formats.

The deals follow the £1.75m acquisition earlier this month of another high-profile bar, 10 Covent Garden, which only opened in February. It has a 3am licence granted by Camden council, which covers the north parts of the West End.

The operator is currently fighting in the high court against a policy by Westminster council, which covers the rest of the West End, to clamp down on late licences.

It means that Chorion now owns 14 bars in central London with a total trading capacity of 10,000, including its flagship Tiger Tiger in Haymarket. The Tiger Tiger brand is being rolled out nationally, with new sites already open in Birmingham, Portsmouth and Manchester.

Chief executive Nick Tamblyn said: "The acquisition of Sugar Reef and Red Cube today is a great boost for our West End presence. The opportunity to develop a business in Berkeley Square is exciting as Chorion is not currently represented in this affluent and vibrant area.

"Our management are experienced and particularly skilled in the large and demanding West End marketplace. I am confident that over the course of 2001 they will develop these new acquisitions to their full potential."

Related stories:

High-profile bar sold to Chorion (June 11, 2001)

Chorion celebrates licensing victory (June 7, 2001)

Related topics: Other operators

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