Owners of Holland Park Institution to retire after 53 years

Timothy and Cathy Herring, the owners of Julie’s Restaurant and Champagne Bar in Holland Park have announced their retirement after 53 years in business, appointing Savills to find a buyer for the celebrated restaurant. The restaurant closed after a lively New Year’s Eve service and will remain so until a new owner is found.

2019 marked 50 years since Julie’s first opened its doors in Holland Park with its indulgent but homely interior hidden away in the back streets of W11 and its unrivalled al-fresco dining terrace. It fast became a firm favourite and must-go-to destination.

Since its door’s opened, Julie’s has attracted a globally coveted crowd and became a cultural melting pot of local neighbourhood regulars and the international jet set, hosting some of the world’s most famous film stars, fashion icons, rock stars, aristocracy, media moguls and royalty which it continued to do for the next 50 years.

Hidden away in Clarendon Cross, the story began in 1967 when the eponymous Julie Hodges, a trendy and celebrated interior designer, approached Tim and Cathy Herring who had recently purchased Numbers 135 and 137 Portland Road expressing an interest in opening a restaurant at the site with her husband David Green.

Julie’s opened its doors in November 1969, first to neighbours and friends, but quickly followed by the great and the good of ‘swinging sixties’ London.

Julie’s distinctive decadent style has charmed many, transcended time and it has become a stalwart of the London dining scene. Not only has the restaurant been repeatedly used in film and television as a cultural landmark but it has also hosted an array of colourful celebrations.

The global elite also flocked to the much-loved venue following the returning patronage of A-List stars including: The Beatles, Madonna, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Carly Simon, Tom Cruise, Kate Moss and Tina Turner time and time again as well as the late Sean Connery and Princess Diana.

Savills has been appointed to sell the freehold of the restaurant and separate large maisonette above. Josh Leon Director of Restaurant Sales at Savills noted, “Julie’s is one of those places that’s earned a permanent place in London’s restaurant pantheon.

'It hasn’t often been in the headlines which is part of its attraction, but this discreet address has been for many years a place where those most in the public gaze could come and let their hair down.

'I think there’s a decent chance that someone will want to carry on the torch and buy into that rich history, continuing as Julie’s in some form. However, even as something completely new, I think the site itself will retain some of the magic.”

Timothy Herring commented, “They came to Julie’s I hope because it was a genuinely good restaurant in every sense, but also because they must have felt it was somewhere they belonged and could relax. We didn’t set out with that in mind, but we obviously did something right.

'After 53 years the time has now come for us to retire and hopefully pass on the baton to new owners to cherish and take pride in Julie’s as we have done for so many years.”