The Japanese concept was a 'learning curve' for the firm, according to managing partners Evgeny Kuzin
High menu prices and a large venue were two of the reasons behind the closure of Japanese restaurant Novikov Restaurant & Lounge in Dubai, according to the managing partner of Bulldozer Group, the hospitality firm which brought the London concept to the emirate.
Speaking to Arabian Business, Evgeny Kuzin said the restaurant’s massive space made it difficult to fill with customers on a regular basis.
“There were a few elements that we missed in beginning, when we had our learning curve. The restaurant was too big for the location it was in, and one of the mistakes we did - which we paid for – was that the prices were a little bit too high for the concept, and not enough people came. It was too big,” he said.
Novikov Restaurant & Lounge opened in Dubai in 2015 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road only to close four years later in 2018. The 280-seater was spread across two floors and four areas comprising the Bar & Lounge, Sushi Counter, Main Dining Room, and Mezzanine Private Dining Room. The concept belongs to Russian billionaire Arkady Novikov, who has over 50 dining outlets across Moscow.
Kuzin said in August last year that the group will expand Novikov to Saudi Arabia “very soon, in a couple of months.”
As for the Dubai brand, the plans have currently been put on hold, he added.
“We have no plans to reopen Novikov in Dubai yet. Let’s see what happens,” he said.
The Bulldozer Group is known for bringing global concepts including Italian restaurant Cipriani to Dubai. The firm also opened its own concept Greek restaurant Gaia in DIFC in 2018. It is headed by Chef Izu Ani, who is famous for launching successes La Petite Maison and La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie.
The firm is also expected to open London concept China Tang in DIFC this year. The restaurant in Dorchester Hotel serves Cantonese cuisine in rooms designed in Art Deco, aimed at evoking 1930s Shanghai.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
If the issue was high menu price and large venue as portrayed by the owner, just reducing the menu price would have solved both the issues. So why close it.