Cocktail bar chain Be At One is set to open a new venue on Gresham Street in London after it bought the site of Bar Battu, which closed earlier this month.
Be At One put in an offer to buy the site to restaurateur Simon Binder, who had been running it as Bar Battu, a wine bar and bistro, since August 2010.
Steve Locke, a director and co-founder of Be At One, said: "We have been focused on Gresham Street for a few years but have not managed to secure the perfect site. We love the strength of the restaurant offering nearby but felt there was a genuine opportunity for a really great cocktail offering and Be At One's unpretentious service.
"When we visited Bar Battu we were struck with how much the site had the same feel as our first bar in Battersea which we opened in 1998. It is a fantastic old building with loads of character. When we open a bar our goal is for that site to become an institution, we're pretty confident that within the next few months there will be quite a few of our guests who will tell you that Be At One Gresham Street is their favourite bar."
The new bar is set to open in October this year.
In a statement on its website earlier this month, Bar Battu said: "Yesterday, Friday 19 July, was Bar Battu's last day. Ironically, it was the end of a busy week. So what led to this decision?
"We opened in October 2010 wanting to serve simple, well-cooked food with mostly natural wines. Mainly, we were warmly welcomed but never quite as popular in the City as we had hoped to be. Financially, we were not unsuccessful but never really quite successful enough. We developed a strong, loyal following who loved what we did but then, as sometimes happens in business, there was an unsolicited approach to sell.
"The very nice guys from B@1 loved our premises and location and really believed they could bring a bit of their cocktail bar magic to the City. We agreed a price, shook hands and they'll be open very soon."
Binder, who is based in Wiltshire, still owns Luc's Brasserie in London's Leadenhall Market.
By Neil Gerrard
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