There is no shortage of those prepared to take a punt on Londoners' seasoned palates. As long as there are megalomaniac celebrity chefs, bored artists and financiers with dreams of a dining room away from home, the capital's gastronomes will continue to be spoiled for choice. It's a costly gamble, however. "It's a lot more expensive than people think," says one industry veteran, noting investors can easily spend more than pounds 1m before a sweetbread had been sauteed.
Starters Acquiring 100-cover site (perhaps a converted bank), pounds 200,000; fitting-out kitchen, pounds 200,000; refurbishment and interior design (wenge wood chairs), pounds 350,000; legal bills pounds 75,000; tableware (including covetable ashtrays) and linens, pounds 3,000; kitchen staff and waiters (attitude comes free), pounds 190,000; designer uniforms for dining-room staff (sponsored by the label if you're sharp enough), pounds 8,000; design and printing of menus, pounds 25,000; contract with florist to supply flowers for a year, pounds 15,000
Mains Food for launch week, which delights with novel twists on current trends - think char-grilled quail on mizuna leaves dressed with shiso, and rhubarb crumble with custard, pounds 3,000
Drinks Starting a cellar: list of 90 "running" wines, pounds 25,000; a case of 1982 Chateau Latour, pounds 3,500 and a case of 1961 Mouton Rothschild, pounds 6,500; champagnes, pounds 5,000. Bar, pounds 10,000.
Specials Top chef (with a household name and a Michelin star) pounds 60,000; talking-point artwork by Saatchi collection bad boy/girl, pounds 30,000 plus half-a-dozen carefully culled graduate-show pieces, pounds 8,000; six-month PR campaign, pounds 30,000; launch party (free champagne - manufacturers are happy to sponsor high-profile events), pounds 10,000
Total: pounds 1,257,000
Sources: GBH Communications/Bibendum winesReuse content