TREVOR Gulliver, managing director of Classic Diners of America, is to open a 120-seat restaurant in London, in partnership with Fergus Henderson and Jon Spiteri, head chefand front of house manager respectively at the French House in Soho.
The restaurant and pub-style bar will open near London's Smithfield market in early September under the name St John.
The trio are spending around £250,000 on renovating a Georgian listed building with a former smokehouse at the rear.
Mr Gulliver opened the Fire Station near London's Waterloo station last August and sold it in February this year.
He said the restaurant had proved successful despite warnings about its location, while the new establishment would open in an area which was gaining a critical mass of good restaurants.
"The Eagle, Quality Chop House and Stephen Bull Bistro are all nearby, and St John will contribute to an area that's beginning to come alive again," he told Caterer.
Meanwhile, Mr Gulliver said negotiations were continuing with other restaurant operators over expanding his Fatboy's diner brand.
Negotiations are believed to be taking place with City Centre Restaurants, but Mr Gulliver declined to make any comment.
lCity Centre Restaurants is to open its eighth airport-based Garfunkel's outlet in early September.
The outlet will be situated on the airside of Heathrow airport's terminal one, where the company already has a Garfunkel's on the landside.
Two outlets opened last month at Gatwick's north terminal and Glasgow airport. The latter is now serving 6,000 customers a week, according to Andrew Guy, managing director of Garfunkel's.