Bunhill: Dining rooms adjust to tighter belts

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The Independent Online
Recession bites: Corney & Barrow, wine merchant and patron of some of the City's favourite watering holes, is selling its restaurants and will concentrate instead on wine bars.

People simply don't do lunch like they once did. 'You've only got to look around the City to see that,' a mournful Malcolm Kimmins, the managing director of the group, told me. 'Times have changed and the expense account is a difficult thing to justify at the moment.' A sandwich and a tipple is more in keeping with these belt- tightening days, it seems. Corney's two wine bars have been doing well - the one in the Lloyd's insurance building is particularly remunerative.

Corney is seeking offers of upwards of a million pounds for all four up- market restaurants. They are not exactly generating profits, but Bunhill is assured all are in 'break-even situations'. A recovery buy, perhaps?

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