Plans by Hotel Chocolat, the premium chocolate retailer and café operator, to enter the restaurant sector with the opening of a flagship site in London have reportedly hit delays.

The group, which is led by Angus Thirlwell, had been searching for a central London location for the restaurant which will be branded Boucan London and source products from its plantation and its stores. The opening will be based on the group’s restaurant based on its plantation in St Lucia, which opened last year.

Thirlwell said the company would assess the success of the first UK restaurant before taking the decision to roll out the format to further city locations.

However, according to the Times, the opening that was planned for next month in the basement of its Kensington outlet has now been pushed back. The newspaper quotes a source close to Thirlwell saying that the site is “no longer viable”, and while he has secured a “bigger and better-located site” an opening is now expected in the New Year.

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