Belgo

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Belgo
Belgo logo.svg
Belgo-centraal.jpg
Restaurant information
Established1992
Closed2020
Owner(s)Casual Dining Group
Food typeBelgian
Street address1 King's Cross Road
CityLondon
StateUK
Postal/ZIP CodeWC1X 9HX
Websitewww.belgo.com

Belgo is a small chain of London restaurants specializing in simple Belgian cooking and Belgian beer.

There were four Belgo restaurants: Belgo Centraal (Covent Garden), Belgo Holborn, Belgo Kings Cross and Belgo Nottingham;[1] following closures announced in July 2020, only Belgo Kings Cross remains in business.

The chain was noted for its 1990s design and architecture, including kitchens viewable by customers entering the Centraal restaurant, and waiters and waitresses who dressed as monks.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Belgo was founded in 1992 by French-Canadian Denis Blais and Anglo-Belgian Andre Plisnier.[2] For a time the brand was expanded to a chain of bar-diners known as Bierodrome in Clapham, Kingsway, and Islington, and at Belgo Zuid in Ladbroke Grove – all now closed) but it later reverted to the Belgo format.

Belgo was bought in 1998 by ex-fund manager, newspaper columnist and ex-Chairman of Channel 4 Luke Johnson—known for his financial stewardship, with colleague Hugh Osmond, of the Pizza Express chain of pizza restaurants in the 1990s. However, attempts to extend the Belgo franchise organically beyond London in the late 1990s were not successful: the franchise in Jersey lasted barely 12 months before closing in 2000. The Belgo flotation was used as a vehicle to acquire a number of celebrated chic London restaurants, such as The Ivy, The Caprice, Daphne's The Collection and J. Sheekey, creating the 'Signature Restaurants' division, and a business with a market capital that peaked at more than £90,000,000.

Johnson sold his interest in Belgo in 2005 to Tragus Group, now Casual Dining Group, which also owns the French-styled Café Rouge chain and the Bella Italia chain of Italian restaurants.

In July 2020 on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Causal Dining Group went into administration and it announced that Belgo would permanently close three of its four sites.[3]

Charity[edit]

In 2013, Belgo was an official partner of Comic Relief, the British charity founded in 1985 that aims to "bring about positive and lasting change in the lives of poor and disadvantaged people".

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Belgo Locations - Covent Garden, Holborn, Kings Cross, Nottingham". Belgo. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  2. ^ Putting the mussel in to Belgian beer Archived 17 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine by Nigel Huddleston, Beers of the World, 26 August 2005
  3. ^ Wood, Zoe (2 July 2020). "Bella Italia owner falls into administration, with loss of 1,900 jobs". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 July 2020.

External links[edit]