Conquest of China: Russian Prosecutor General's son to co-invest in Ginza restaurant

Conquest of China: Russian Prosecutor General's son to co-invest in Ginza restaurant
Igor Chaika

The restaurant holding Ginza Project plans to open the first restaurant in China in 2018. The partner of the group can become Russian Export company founder Igor Chaika.

The restaurant holding Ginza Project plans to open the first restaurant in China in 2018. A source familiar with the plans of the holding told RBC about this, and it was confirmed by PR-director of Ginza Project Ilya Bukhtuev.

According to him, before the end of 2018 Ginza intends to open a restaurant of Russian cuisine Mari Vanna in Shanghai and is considering the possibility of attracting both Chinese and Russian co-investors. In particular, we are talking about the possibility of Igor Chaika, the owner of the Russian Export company, participating in the project.

The total investment in the opening of Mari Vanna in Shanghai will be $2-2.5 million, said Bukhtuev, refusing to discuss the details of the possible participation of partners in the project. Currently, there are several possible options for the location of the restaurant.

Igor Chaika confirmed to RBC receiving an offer to co-invest in the restaurant Mari Vanna in Shanghai. The distribution of financing, he said, is planned as follows: 30% of the required amount is provided by the Ginza Project itself, 20% by the local Chinese partner, the remaining 50% by Igor Chaika as a potential investor. The financial model presupposes the project's return on payback in three years. One of the possible locations of the future restaurant is the embankment near the building of the Consulate General of Russia. The final resolution to participate in the project, Igor Chaika intends to take, in his words, in December.

Export Mari Vanna

Restaurants Mari Vanna are decorated in the style of the Soviet apartment. In New York, the restaurant has been operating since 2009, in London - since 2012. The menu of restaurants consists of dishes of Russian cuisine and CIS countries. In 2017 the French gastronomic guide Gault&Millau (competitor of Michelin, published since 1965) recognized the network of Mari Vanna as the best in the nomination "International Strategy".

"The participation in the project is due not only to the overall concept of my Chinese business and commercial benefits, but also to the opportunity to promote Russian culture through such segments of everyday life that are very understandable to every person, like gastronomy," says Chaika.

The choice of China for the opening of another Mari Vanna is quite unexpected, but there are some prospects - Russian cuisine in China is in demand, there are many Russians in Shanghai, executive director of Restcon Andrey Petrakov notes.

Expert in the restaurant business, president of the Moscow Gastronomic Festival Igor Gubernsky notes that the presence of the local Russian diaspora is important, but in the existing restaurants of Mari Vanna 70% of visitors are not Russian guests, but local Americans or Englishmen.

"For them, this is an interesting leisure, new tastes. As to the restaurant be successful, the management team should be local, in this case - the Chinese, knowing and able to establish business processes and services at a high level," says Gubernsky. He adds that the request for traditional Russian cuisine is in every country - "it is not stunning, but stable."

In Shanghai, there are several Russian restaurants, but the initiators of their opening were local, and not Russian investors - they are interested in the development of tourism and Russian restaurants in this topic fit well, Gubernsky adds.

Mari Vanna is the only international project of the Ginza Project. Other projects of the group abroad - restaurants of Mexican cuisine Los Dados, cafe Double 7, bar MPD - were closed several years ago.

One of Ginza's partnership projects on the international market ended with a lawsuit against the Russian restaurant holding in the New York Supreme Court. As RBC wrote in November 2017, co-owner of the Moscow Bublik Alexey Miller demanded that Ginza return investments in American projects (Ginza 3 was established for their management) - the Jelsomino karaoke club and the Mediterranean restaurant Courgette. They were opened in April 2012 in the building of the Dream Hotel and closed in July 2013. The plaintiff accused the Ginza Project that the executives of the holding withdrew funds from the company and transferred them to their own American projects. Ginza refuted the claims, in turn accusing the former partner of default on obligations.

Another Ginza projects

The international restaurant holding Ginza Project was established in St. Petersburg in 2003 by Dmitry Sergeev and Vadim Lapin. Currently, the holding owns and manages more than 150 restaurants in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Baku, as well as New York and London. Among the flagship projects there are restaurants Mari Vanna, Butler, Sixty, Uilliam's, Christian, Carlson, Terrassa, Mansarda, etc., also the holding gets the Danilovsky market in Moscow. Ginza Project participates in projects not as an investor, but as a management company.

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