The team behind the upcoming Nobu Hotel in Shoreditch hope to capitalise on Britain’s tumbling pound by luring wealthy foreign visitors.
The five-storey, 150-room hotel on Willow Street in Hackney – originally slated to launch in 2014 but delayed by “construction issues” – will finally open its doors in spring 2017, just in time for Theresa May to trigger Article 50.
But a group of Nobu executives downplayed any economic fears in an interview with City A.M., saying turbulence in the domestic market will be matched by greater interest from international customers.
A Nobu spokesman said: “It’s swings and roundabouts – the domestic market might deplete but a lot of Americans will be shopping here, so I think it will all balance out... I think it will be packed.
“With the two restaurants in London and the Nobu restaurants around the world, international visitors make up a good portion of our clientele.”
Andrew Milne, general manager at Nobu London, added: “From a London perspective there is of course a lot of concern from businesses over what’s going on, but we will just continue to do what we do.”
The Nobu Hotel Shoreditch will be the first stand-alone hotel operated by the company, and will be centred around a triple-height Nobu restaurant, the third in London. It follows two “hotel within a hotel” concepts – in Las Vegas and Manilla, with a third coming in Miami – and a string of successful dining venues across the world.
The Nobu empire, founded by chef Nobu Matsuhisa and actor Robert De Niro, was valued at $500m after an investment by Australian entertainment group Crown Resorts last year.
When asked by City A.M.’s luxury magazine Bespoke whether he was losing sleep over Brexit, Nobu-san was upbeat: “England is a very good country... I sleep so well.”