D&D London is a group of luxury restaurants, bars and hotels based principally in London , but also with venues in Leeds, Manchester, Paris, New York and Tokyo. It was founded by Des Gunewardena and David Loewi (the eponymous D and D) in 2006, following a buyout of Conran Restaurants, which itself was established back in 1991. The company was already central to London’s restaurant scene, owning some of the capital’s most celebrated restaurants, such as Quaglino’s, Le Pont de la Tour, Chelsea’s famous Bluebird and City favourite Coq d’Argent. The group also created and owned The Great Eastern Hotel (sold to Hyatt Hotels in 2006 and now rebranded as Andaz) Alcazar in Paris and Guastavino’s in New York, among others.
Since 2006 the collection has continued to grow, with the acquisition of Image Restaurants in 2007 (Avenue, Kensington Place and Launceston Place), and launches including Skylon, Old Bengal Warehouse (Fish Market, New Street Grill, New Street Wine Shop and Old Bengal Bar), South Place Hotel (with its two restaurants, 3 South Place and the Michelin-Starred Angler) and the jointly-owned Modern Pantry restaurants in Clerkenwell and the City.
Outside London the company opened Crafthouse and Angelica in Leeds, and international venues Bacino, Ebisu and Custom House Bar & Grill in Copenhagen (sold to a consortium in 2012), as well as Tokyo’s Botanica and Iconic restaurants (operated under licence by Hiramatsu Inc).
In 2013, LDC, a leading UK private equity investor, became D&D’s new financial partner, with Des Gunewardena, David Loewi and the management team retained their existing investments.
This partnership has led to a period of further rapid expansion through new launches and refurbishment of existing restaurants, including Avenue and Quaglino’s in 2014, Le Pont de la Tour and Sartoria in 2015 ,and the creation of 100 Wardour St (formerly Carom and Floridita) in 2016.
100 Wardour St, London
New ventures include German Gymnasium in Kings Cross which opened in 2015, two restaurants planned to open in Land Securities’ Nova development in Victoria, a second restaurant and bar venue in Leeds, two restaurants set to open in Glasgow and a number of other projects both in the UK and overseas under active consideration..
German Gymnasium, London
In addition to the restaurants, D&D in 2015 unveiled a new outside event-creation business named Alexander & Björck in collaboration with Lena Björck.
Today D&D London owns and operates 35 restaurants, one with a Michelin Star, and an award-winning hotel. It has also been recognised as a leading business in caring for the environment and is currently the SRA’s Sustainable Large Restaurant Group of the Year. D&D has aggregate revenues of over £100m p.a. and employs over 2,000 staff.