Nicola Horlick Abandons Chiswick for Clapham
Investors reported to be annoyed at change of location for new venture
City 'superwoman' Nicola Horlick has abandoned plans to set up a restaurant called Times Place Brasserie in Chiswick and will invest in a Clapham oyster bar instead.
According to the Daily Telegraph this has cause annoyance with some of the 170 investors who helped her raise £150,000 through crowd funding for the project. An investment included the perk of a life-time 20% discount at the restaurant and it is understood some of the backers were unhappy that the venture will no longer be local.
An alteration of the original business plan for a crowd funded venture is called pivoting. Ms Horlick was trying to secure a site in the Chiswick area up until last September with a view to opening at Christmas. She told us a deal was all but complete but last minute legal complications meant that she was unable to take over the premises. She was unwilling to say which site she was negotiating to take over.
Now investors are being told that they are part owners of an oyster bar in Clapham named the Walrus Club. The theme is reportedly based on the poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter” by Lewis Carroll’s from his novel Through the Looking Glass.
She told the Telegraph, “There were no alternative sites in Chiswick that were suitable. I told investors that if I didn’t secure a new site I would return the money. I stand firm behind my decision. I hope the small number of investors who were unhappy will change their mind once the venue opens next month.”
The former restaurant in Barnes
She announced her plan to open in Chiswick following the closure of her restaurant Georgina's in Barnes last year. It was closed, she said because of high business rates and a lack of night trade.
Video promoting the new restaurant to investors
The former hedge-fund manager's new plan involved a takeover of an existing profitable restaurant site in the area which would be acquired for £110,000 plus £40,000 for equipment and furniture.
In November 2013 she turned to crowdfunding site Seedrs to raise the sum of £150,000 for a French-style brasserie at the mystery location in Chiswick. Investors put up sums starting from as little as £10.
The Times Place Brasserie web site still states: "The restaurant has a brunch trade at weekends, but we believe that this can be developed further. There is a garden at the back of the restaurant, which is not currently used and we will be investigating the potential to make use of this during the summer months."
February 14, 2015