We are a restaurant concept and hospitality business based in the UK and we aim to build quality brands. We invest in people as well as concepts and look to improve the business every year – one year at a time both in terms of our people, turnover and profit across the group.
Laurel Canyon is a zip code with its own playlist. The unforgettable sounds of the 60’s from Sonny & Cher, the Doors, Joni Mitchell and Carole King: and many others were cultivated in the Canyon. It’s a dreamy oasis where the soundtracks of our lives were created. Its where we take our inspiration for LCV of creation, innovation and dreams of doing great things through our restaurant business.
CEO / Executive Chairman
Leader, founder, business driver
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From manager in its heyday of Langan’s Brasserie in late 1979 to Odette’s restaurant and then opening his own brasserie in Camden Town in 1984 at the age of 26. Russel went on to start the Cafe Flo chain in 1987 and also owned the legendary Rosslyn Deli in Hampstead with his wife Juliette. The business was sold in 1994 when it had 9 sites and after living abroad for 4 years with their family, Russel and Juliette started the giraffe chain in 1998 in Hampstead. Giraffe grew to above 65 restaurants, including a franchise business with TRG in 8 airport locations before being sold to Tesco in 2014. Russel also created various other concepts like Wondertree in Heathrow T2 with TRG and developed giraffe’s international business with Emirates Leisure Retail in the UAE.
Holds brand focus, property, design & build of sites
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Born into the family business and working in hospitality from an early age, Gideon successfully managed several of the giraffe restaurants back in the day. He left giraffe to start Monkeynuts – an ‘all day’ breakfast, burger & steakhouse concept situated in North London. With constant menu development, a strong eye for detail, design and development of people, he has achieved high growth over the past decade, creating a timeless institution in Crouch End. Gideon and Russel then launched Chez Bob in 2010 in the affluent Belsize Park area, offering a very popular French American style concept to the neighbourhood. Chooks was then born in Muswell Hill in 2012 – a chicken restaurant designed to work in high streets, malls, new developments and high footfall locations. Gideon has shown the ability to create diverse brands and aims to grow his successful business over the next few years!
Runs the everyday part of the business, the people, the marketing
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Sam began his hospitality career with giraffe in 2002 and was a part of the original management team that took giraffe from 3 to 65 restaurants. Working in all areas of the business, speci cally operations, marketing and franchise and nally leaving giraffe in 2015 as franchise & marketing director for the group, following its sale to Tescos. Sam has strong experience and knowledge in brand creation & development, franchise growth nationally & internationally and people & training. Receiving a FAB award for one of the franchised restaurants in Heathrow T5, as well as building the Wondertree brand and the giraffe STOP Brand (QSR) which are among the most successful businesses located in travel hubs in the industry. Alongside the giraffe career, Sam advised and supported Gideon and the business over the years to help with operational excellence and improve the day to day process.