A Michelin-starred chef has pledged not to drive out drinkers when he re-opens a historic Wimbledon Village boozer.
Claude Bosi, who has taken over the Fox and Grapes, said: “It’s not going to a gastropub - I hate the word.”
Mr Bosi, who runs the award-winning Hibiscus restaurant in Mayfair, will re-open the Camp Road pub at the start of February.
He has been awarded two Michelin stars, and picked up the chef’s chef of the year prize at the National Restaurant Awards in central London last month.
But he promised his latest venture, which is currently undergoing a re-fit before the re-opening, will keep its name and not be transformed from a pub to a restaurant. He said: “We will serve good home cooking.”
Local historian and pub expert Clive Whichelow welcomed the pledge. He said: “It’s good news - when it shut down a month ago it was all quite sad.”
The pub earned a place in football history when it hosted a drinking session by the players of Wimbledon FC the night before their 1988 FA Cup final win over Liverpool, and was also the site of a performance by jazz legend George Melly.
The re-launched Fox and Grapes will be overseen by Mr Bosi but the general manager will be the Frenchman’s brother, Cedrick Bosi.
Claude Bosi moved to Britain in 1997 after training in restaurants in Paris and Lyon. He later launched Hibiscus in the Shropshire town of Ludlow, but transferred it to London seven years later.