King will run the restaurant, which is part of the Savoy Buildings and first opened as a chess club and coffee house back in 1828, in partnership with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, owner of both Simpson's and the The Savoy hotel.
“Reopening Simpson’s in the Strand will be a truly momentous occasion for The Savoy and we couldn’t be more delighted to be in partnership with Jeremy King,” says Franck Arnold, managing director of The Savoy.
“We know he will successfully breathe new life and vigour into this almost 200-year old prized London institution and we can’t wait to welcome guests back through its storied doors.”
The relaunch is the third project announced by King in recent months under his new business group called Jeremy King Restaurants.
He is also currently working on plans to relaunch the old Le Caprice site in London’s Mayfair early next year under the new name Arlington; and will open The Park within the new Park Modern building near London’s Kensington Palace Gardens next spring.
King says he plans to restore Simpson’s, which has remained closed since the onset of the first Covid-19 lockdown back in March 2020 and recently auctioned many of its assets including furniture and crockery, to its former glory.
In its heyday, the restaurant was famous for its roast dinners that were wheeled around on silver platters and carved tableside, and played host to the likes of prime ministers Winston Churchill, Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone, as well as Charles Dickens.
“Simpson’s is the last of the ‘Grande Dame’ restaurants that still retains its original décor and features, and the prospect of restoring it to its former glory is the apotheosis of my career,” says King.
“The history of this magnificent institution will be cherished as we bring it fully into the 21st Century.”
It is understood the restaurant will feature both a downstairs and upstairs dining room, alongside a basement bar and a private dining room.
King previously led the Corbin & King restaurant group alongside his business partner Chris Corbin, but lost control of the business last year following a prolonged and very public battle for ownership with its major shareholder, Minor International.
Minor now leads the group, whose estate includes The Wolseley, Brasserie Zédel, The Delaunay, Colbert and the recently-launched Manzi's, under the new moniker of The Wolseley Hospitality Group.
*Story updated following original publication (6 November) with additional comment from both Jeremy King and Franck Arnold.