GOODMANS RAISES THE STEAKS IN MAYFAIR

CONTINUING the theme of the boom in the City’s resurgent restaurant scene, as reported yesterday, The Capitalist hears steakhouse Goodmans is plotting not one but two launches for November.

One is a traditional Goodmans restaurant on the South Quay at Canary Wharf to complement the City and Mayfair venues. The other marks a new direction for the independent restaurant group majority-owned by Russian entrepreneur Mikhail Zelman: Goodman Restaurants has paid a “substantial premium” for a leasehold on the former pub The Field at 29 Clarges Street.

“In a completely off-market deal, Goodmans moved quickly to secure this site ahead of other operators,” said Nathan Wogman at agents Shelley Sandzer. “The fact a substantial premium was paid underlines the strength of the Central London restaurant market.”

“We are going to surprise Mayfair in a good way,” added George Bukhov-Weinstein, director of Goodman Restaurants UK, as he starts recruiting staff for the “lively venue” – to be called Burger and Lobster – that will have just two things on its menu.

No prizes for guessing what those two dishes are – although the tank of live lobsters in the basement might be a giveaway; the “restaurant with a big bar” also plans to serve the cheapest champagne in Mayfair. Although it’s all relative in W1…

DESIGNER BAG LADY
THE DESIGNER bag world has already brought us the Kelly and the Birkin; next on every City executive’s wish-list will be “the Middleton”, as Pippa Middleton follows Grace Kelly and Jane Birkin to become the latest designer bag lady.

Middleton (right) was sent a tan design by Charlotte Lamb, an associate at a Magic Circle law firm who combines finance law with running her new handbag business, launched in April after Lamb struggled to find “stylish quality handbags at affordable prices”.

Lamb sent a bag to Middleton, a “friend of a friend” of the designer, and the marketing coup was complete when the fashion influencer was spotted on the streets of London clutching her free gift. For the record, Middleton did write to say thank you.

KNIGHT’S RIDER
A NEW BLOG from Angela Knight, the chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association, who has started posting daily updates on the issues facing the banking industry in the run-up to the Independent Commission on Banking report.

The blog is a “brief series of entries” on each of the 11 working days leading up to the report’s publication on 12 September – and, just three days in, Knight is off to a racing start.

Day one: an overview of the objectives of the banking reform programme. Day two: an exposition of why the banking industry remains “concerned”. And this morning: an argument about “the potentially serious adverse consequences” of a retail ring fence.

Stirring stuff – well, Knight does warn readers the discussion on banking remains “very emotional”.

LAW AND ORDER
IT HAS been an eventful month for the City, but one of the few upsides is “a revitalised sense of community”, said Eximius CEO Nick Stevens, who is mobilising donations for the support services who risked their lives to control the civil unrest. See www.justgiving.com/eximiusgroup to add to the £2,150 raised so far.