Arepa & Co, the Venezuelan café bar concept, is to double its presence in the capital with an opening in Bethnal Green.

The concept, which is the brainchild of David Dalmau and Maria Rojas, has secured the former Paradise Garage site in Paradise Row.

The business, which was launched in 2012, started out with a stall at Camden Market at weekends before opening its first standalone site in De Beauvoir Crescent, Haggerston.

It is working with RSA Property to secure further sites in the capital.

Robin Gill closed Paradise Garage late last year ahead of plans to launch his first city centre venture this year.

The chef and his wife Sarah opened the restaurant in a refurbished railway arch in Bethnal Green in 2015 to critical acclaim, and it won a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2016.

But Gill has now closed the site, admitting extended building work on a hotel opposite and muted growth in the local area began to impact trading. The team are now focusing their energy on a new project outside their Clapham heartland.

“We have a new opening that the intention is to open in July 2018,” said Gill. “We decided the location was really important, [so] this is our move in to central London. I’m dying to tell you what it is but I can’t.”

Dublin-born Gill arrived in London in the late-1990’s to work at Marco Pierre White’s The Oak Room, and has cooked at Noma and Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

He opened The Dairy in 2013 followed by The Manor in 2014 and Counter Culture in 2016.