The Gentleman’s Journal Podcast

Embrace megalomania — Simon Woodroffe, founder of YO! Sushi

March 20, 2020

Our guest on today’s episode is Simon Woodroffe, the founder of YO! Sushi. Simon had never opened a restaurant before when he launched YO! Sushi in Soho in 1997 — and at first, it seemed like the robot waiters, smoke-extracting ashtrays and raw fish served off conveyor belts might be too much for Londoners to get their heads around.

But they soon fell in love with it, of course — and it was Simon’s gung-ho spirit and experimental ideas, in fact, that made the brand such a colossal hit. We recorded this episode on Simon’s beautiful house boat on Cheyne Walk on the Thames — and the conversation bobbed along nicely from Simon’s early days as a set designer for rock and roll acts, to the reasons why he decide to leave Dragons Den, and even his dream to bring private islands to the masses. Enjoy!