Des Gunewardena To Launch £10m Olympia Restaurant

By Ellie Smith

3 weeks ago

A big culinary opening is on the horizon


Renowned restaurateur Des Gunewardena spent three decades at the helm of D&D London, running city favourites like Quaglino’s and Coq d’Argent. He left in 2022 – but now he’s turning his attention to a brand-new venture: a huge restaurant and bar in west London’s exhibition centre and event space, Olympia.

Olympia’s New Restaurant: What To Expect

Set to open in 2025, the venue will launch inside the 30,000 sq ft Pillar Hall, a Grade II listed building which dates back to 1885. Interiors will come courtesy of design company Robert Angell Design International – who Gunewardena worked with previously for the launch of city restaurant 14 Hills. The aim is to uphold the character and history of the space while giving it a fresh new spin.

This is part of a wider redevelopment of Olympia, which is seeing the landmark site being transformed into a culture hub by Yoo Capital and Deutsche Finance. The project will include a main restaurant, a less formal cafe, a bar, a basement speakeasy and an outdoor dining area – plus a 370-seated music and events space.

The Olympia venue will be the third eatery from Gunewardena’s hospitality company, D3 Collective, which is also opening a Japanese-Korean restaurant at the Royal Exchange this week. A new Canary Wharf restaurant is also primed to open in November.

‘Olympia is a much loved British institution, but many people might not have been there for a while,’ says Gunewardena. ‘With these plans, that’s going to change big time. The new Olympia is going to become a globally recognised entertainment and leisure destination bang in the middle of West London, and we are excited to be a part of it.’

Lloyd Lee, Managing Partner at Yoo Capital, added: ‘We are delighted to welcome Des whose restaurants have thrilled Londoners and visitors for over a generation and a half. Partnering with an industry heavyweight such as Des, further cements Yoo Capital’s commitment of creating a world class destination that showcases the best of major brands, innovation, culture and food.