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Sun 30th Jun 2013 - Breaking News - Imbiba's Camm & Hopper secures iconic site
Imbiba’s Camm & Hopper secures iconic new London site: Camm & Hopper, the bar and restaurant company that is looking to ‘revolutionise the events sector’ in London and which is backed by original Drake and Morgan investors Imbiba, is understood to have secured a second site. The company, headed by former hotelier Claire Lawson, has bought Greens Restaurant and Oyster Bar on London’s Cornhill, which closes tomorrow (Monday). The Runner Bar at Greens in Cornhill can accommodate gala dinners for up to 200 guests or canapé receptions for 350 people – and the entire venue can be hired for events for up to 450 people. In May, Camm & Hooper opened Tanner and Co in Bermondsey in the large warehouse site formerly occupied by Delfina’s, which had a turnover of £1.5m at the site. The first Camm & Hopper opening has a school gym theme. “The school gymnasium is one of those places that create a strong feeling of nostalgia,” Lawson told The London Evening Standard. “It’s just a quirky bit of fun.” It has a room at the back capable of hosting 250 people. Camm & Hopper has been described as an attempt to revolutionise events space in iconic London buildings. It plans to open six sites across London in its first three years. Imbiba, which secured a return of 5.7 times cash invested for investors in Drake and Morgan when it was sold to private equity firm Bowmark Capital in April for circa £20m, is also investing in Darwin & Wallace, which seeks to apply Drake & Morgan-style eclecticism on a smaller scale. It re-opened the former Ebury on Pimlico Road with a total investment after refurbishment of £1.5m. At the start of June, Imbiba principal Mark Brumby, of Langton Capital, stepped down as director of Darwin & Wallace and Camm & Hopper but will continue to work closely with both companies where he is able to add value in areas such as fund-raising.  He is to invest a further £300,000 in the ventures, taking his total investment to £385,000. Fellow Imbiba principals John Connell and Simon Wheeler will also be investing £300,000 between them, a move that will see the total Imbiba commitment rise to £830,000 compared with the £250,000 indicated in earlier EIS documentation. Imbiba is also investing in Hawthorn & Hill, which runs traditional-style pubs, focused on lunchtime and afternoon trade. It owns the Yorkshire Grey in Clerkenwell. The Imbiba London Bar and Restaurant EIS plans to invest a total of £10m across its various new businesses. Among Imbiba’s previous businesses are six-strong gastro operator Lewis & Clarke which was sold to Balls Brothers for £13.8m in 2006 and Thomas & Carter which was sold to Massive Pub Company for £6.2m in 2002.

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