Residency launches in London

The Residency founders

Residency, an initiative to pair vacant restaurant venues with emerging chefs, restaurateurs and food and drink concepts is launching in London this month, a partnership from restaurant property consultancy Distrkt and restaurant experts Montana Fogg.

The new enterprise will offer a solution to London’s surge in empty restaurant units and the restrictions posed by high rents and business rates, which makes opening new ventures a widespread challenge. Residency will give budding operators the chance to bring their hospitality concepts to life, and to trial them in ready-made, bricks-and-mortar restaurant sites. At the same time, landlords will benefit from additional revenue, vibrancy and increased footfall, as they await a permanent resident.

Camilla Topham and Michael Webb, founders of Distrkt, have teamed up with Sebastian Fogg, Laura Montana and Ed Wyand of Montana Fogg, to draw on their shared knowledge of restaurant real estate and the capital’s dining culture. Collectively they will seek out untapped culinary trailblazers with the offer to showcase their concepts in temporary sites, as well as accepting incoming applicants. The Residency team will manage each project from start to finish.

Collaborating in 2019, the consultancies acted for The Crown Estate in placing both David Carter’s Manteca and Shaun Presland’s Pacific, both of which carried out successful residencies at 10 Heddon Street. They will bring a third hospitality concept to the site in the spring.

Camilla Topham, of Distrkt, commented:

“I’ve been working in the London restaurant property world for more than 13 years now, and I’ve always found it frustrating to see how the permanence and inflexibility of leases and high costs have limited creative Landlords and restaurateurs. Changing market conditions have not helped this. Residency will make the dream of creating a restaurant accessible and fun yet without the risk that comes with it. We believe this is the future of London’s restaurant landscape, and we’re so proud to be shaping it.

Seb Fogg, of Montana Fogg added:

It’s clear that the demand is greater than ever for original pop-up restaurants in diverse locations, and there so many chefs who just want a place to cook for the public. Start-up restaurant projects are particularly risk adverse, as demonstrated by several closures from even the most capable of operators in recent months, and therefore people are becoming increasingly hesitant to commit to longer leases. Residency will provide a solution to all of the above.’

(From left to right: Sebastian Fogg, Camilla Topham, Michael Webb, Laura Montana & Ed Wyand)

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