The coronavirus crisis is far from over and already it has claimed some high-profile restaurants, which will not be opening their doors again. They will be missed.
Some restauranteurs have decided that it is not practical to reopen their doors once the lockdown restrictions have been lifted. Restaurants, even the iconic ones, often operate on absurdly tight margins, and the shock to the system caused by the coronavirus pandemic has proved too much to overcome. Many of the owners and chefs will resurface in some form or another, but the restaurants and businesses they created over the years will be missed by staff and customers alike. Here are few restaurants lost to the lockdown.
The iconic two-Michelin-star restaurant by chef Brett Graham, has been called era-defining, with some of its alumni going on to establish important culinary outposts in their own right, such as Isaac McHale, of Michelin-starred The Clove Club, chef Sally Abé of The Harwood Arms and Tim Spedding of P. Franco and Coombeshead Farm.
“We can’t keep customers and staff safe,” Graham told Eater. “If there was an outbreak at the Ledbury, then it would be devastating. I just can’t think of any way to [reopen].”
“We can’t operate the restaurant with any form of social distancing — even if it was a one-metre. The economy is smashed; there are no customers in hotels, no international flights. The [existing] business model is not viable.”
The iconic London restaurant which has been a haunt of A-listers such as Mick Jagger, Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Diana, for 40 years will not reopen, and instead will appear in a different location.
A spokesperson for Caprice Holdings said: “Le Caprice has occupied the current site for 38 years and now the lease is coming to an end. The iconic restaurant within the London dining scene will be reborn at a new location currently under negotiation.
“We thank our clientele for their loyalty and support over the years and assure them that they will be as excited as us with the new plans for this historic brand.”
Nathan Outlaw's Siren at the Belgravia Hotel
Nathan Outlaw’s London Restaurant Siren at the Belgravia Hotel has closed permanently due to a planned scaling back of The Goring’s F&B department. The seafood restaurant opened only last summer but has now fallen victim to the effects of the pandemic on London’s hotel industry.
Indian Accent – Mayfair
Acclaimed chef Manish Mehrotra started with a small fine-dining space in New Delhi, and went on to establish successful branches in New York and London. Now Indian Accent in London’s Mayfair restaurant has been permanently shuttered.
A statement from the company that licensed the brand said: “This difficult decision was made as a last resort after carefully considering all the factors in play as a direct result of COVID-19. Social distancing would reduce the restaurant capacity to just 30 covers. This combined with the significant fixed costs as a result of operating on one of the most expensive streets in the world and the general economic uncertainty in the UK, means that the business is unviable at its current location.”
After 22 years much-loved Chicago restaurant The Blackbird will not reopen.
“While our hearts are broken to see Blackbird’s journey come to an end, we are humbled to have contributed in a small way to Chicago’s incredible restaurant community for over two decades, serving as a place of warmth and hospitality while all along the way, building lifelong friendships with our team, guests and partners,” a statement from One Off Hospitality says on their website.
Another casualty in London's Mayfair, the two-Michelin-star restaurant The Greenhouse has announced its permanent closure.
Rick Stein Restaurants
The Rick Stein Group has announced that two of its restaurants in Marlborough, Witlhshire, and Porthleven, Cornwall will not be reopening. However, it appears that chef Michael Caines has bought the Porthleven, harbourside restaurant and will be working to ensure the destination’s reputation for excellent seafood continues.
Seafood Pub Company
The award-winning Seafood Pub Company that operates 10 locations across the north west of England has announced that it is to go into administration after failure to secure bridge funding during lockdown.
"It goes without saying I am truly heartbroken to have lost my business, but even more so for my team and seafood family. We fought as hard as possible, every step of the way and I am just so sorry to all the team that we weren’t able to save the business,” said Joycelyn Neve, founder of the company.
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