Trevor Shelley - 2008
Very sadly, I heard last night from restaurateur Marlon Abela that Treveor Shelley, London’s ace restaurant agent, was found dead in his office on early Thursday morning by his colleagues. He was 53 and leaves a wife and four children.
For the past 20 years Shelley was the man restaurateurs across the UK turned to when they were looking for new sites; numerous American restaurateurs keen to open in London sought his advice; and so too did many developers keen to find the most appropriate operators for their new sites.
I wrote about Shelley for the FT on July 19th 2008 over lunch in Quo Vadis, one of the many restaurants he had arranged the sale for, in this instance to Sam and Eddie Hart. He was dressed impeccably in a light suit and well-ironed white shirt. He smiled and joked throughout the meal as he talked passionately about the restaurant business he continued to find so engaging and fascinating. And he was, as ever, full of insights and information – most of which he would let me write down and reproduce – about how restaurants were bought, sold and came into being.
Most obviously, this is a huge loss for his family. But it is also a great loss to the British restaurant industry which is facing a very difficult trading period. All of us, restaurateurs, journalists and customers will miss his unprecedented experience, his ability to do a fair deal and, above all, his great sense of fun.