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'Greatest wine list in London' for Bob Bob Ricard owner's new restaurant

Published:  08 January, 2014

Leonid Shutov, the Russian owner of Soho's Bob Bob Ricard restaurant, has paid £15 million to acquire 12 St James's Street and transform it into London's largest luxury restaurant.

Leonid Shutov, the Russian restaurateur behind Bob Bob Ricard and the new £15m BibliotekaLeonid ShutovLeonid Shutov, the Russian restaurateur behind Bob Bob Ricard and the new £15m Biblioteka

Shutov aims to offer London's greatest wine list, with over 100 different vintages of Yquem; every house wine available by bottle, magnum, double magnum and jeroboam; as well as over 80 vintages of Chateau Mouton Rothschild available by the glass. The restaurateur also promises to sell the wines at "a fraction of the cost" of other London restaurants.

The vast 20,000 sq ft site, said to be twice the size of Quaglino's and provisionally called Biblioteka, will host 250 diners, with private rooms for a further 75 guests and a vintage Champagne bar. It is set to open in 2015.

The £15 million investment is thought to be the biggest ever for a restaurant in the capital and the site will become one of the largest licensed premises in central London.

Shutov said: "The aim with Biblioteka, nestled in the heart of Mayfair, is to create London's most celebrated restaurant interior inspired by some of the greatest libraries of the world - an iconic space built around the function of storing and displaying our vast collection of fine wine and Champagne.

"We will have the finest wine cellar in London - offered to our customers at a fraction of the price of any other restaurant in London."

Originally designed to be one of London's finest banking halls, Biblioteka will offer wines and spirits dating back to the 1800s and presented in chronological order. This will include over 100 vintages of Chateau d'Yquem going back to 1887. Ten of the vintages from the last 30 years will be available by the glass.

The restaurant has already secured a library of Krug Champagne going back to 1915 and including Krug Clos du Mesnil and Krug Clos d'Ambonnay as well  as top Burgundy (Domaine de la Romanee-Conti) and Bordeaux (Chateau Haut-Brion, Chateau Margaux and Chateau Cheval Blanc) extending back to 1937 and in formats all the way up to a Balthazar. It will also offer Baron De Lustrac Armagnac going back to 1888 and The Macallan whisky as far back as 1926.

The menu will include English classics alongside Russian delicacies such as pelmeni and vareniki (traditional dumplings), and the largest choice of caviar in London. Flights of rare vodka will be on offer, complete with food pairings.  

The 12 St James leasehold was acquired from Legal & General, and the Crown Estate holds the freehold.