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Interior shot at Cub restaurant in Hoxton
Andy Parsons

Leading sustainable restaurant Cub won’t be reopening after lockdown

Mr Lyan’s drink-led London restaurant has closed for good

Written by
Laura Richards

After leading conversations around sustainability and dining – and providing plenty of good times along the way – Hoxton restaurant Cub has announced that it won’t be reopening after lockdown.

The restaurant was launched in 2017 as part of the Mr Lyan group and under the expertise of world-leading mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan) and champion sustainable chef Doug McMaster. Its aim was not only to challenge ideas around supply chains and food waste but also blur the boundaries between food and drink – especially as it took over the site of Chetiyawardana’s award-winning London bar, White Lyan. 

The restaurant and its no-choice, plant-heavy menus (food and drink!) earned a prestigious five stars from Time Out after its launch, and was described as more of ‘an experience’ than a restaurant. It even had a ‘fermentation lab’ in the basement.  

Chetiyawardana announced the news on Instagram saying that, ‘Cub will live on where it can, we really believe in the values and systems it represented, and now more than ever, that seems to be a blueprint of how we want to change things.’

View this post on Instagram

Sad News 😿. Sadly Cub will not re-open post lockdown. I know there's so much more important hardship in the world to address, but this is tragic to us – mainly due to what Cub stood for; Cub was the baby of the group, and like all the others in the family, it was designed to challenge. But what Cub represented seemed precious and important. Hence the name! It was the first full food offering for us as a 'bar' group (sorta bar, kinda restaurant!) and we wanted to challenge that divide – not only by having bonafide superstars like @mcmasterchef @arielle_johnson @drjohnnydrain help us out – but by demonstrating the ridiculousness, and dangerousness of the divide. We managed a string of wonderful awards – plus hitting no 12 in the best restaurants in London (which is itself the most fascinating food city in the world) and being the first venue to grace the cover of Condé Nast – but what was more amazing was what the team created. Not just to challenge the balance of sustainability and luxury, but to make a stupidly, all-out fun venue. The number of comments that came back that it was someone's best night out ever is something we'll hold dear forever. But I'm mainly gutted as we didn't get to do a last goodbye, and we won't get to see what the team will produce – it felt like they were just getting into gear under Matt's stewardship. But Cub will live on where it can, we really believe in the values and systems it represented, and now more than ever, that seems to be a blueprint of how we want to change things. Empowerment, ownership of re-shaping value & luxury, human & ecological sustainability, and showing how food, drink, music and community are such wonderfully warm tools to bring real happiness to people. Not really had a chance to process everything and worse, I'm not sure there is time just now. But to those who have supported – and really there have been so many of you (and peeps with vouchers, we're sorting solutions for you) – thank you, and thank you to Imbibe for helping us discuss things. Click the link to read more. Much Lyan Love x

A post shared by Ryan Chetiyawardana 🦁 Mr Lyan (@mrlyan) on

‘Cub was named as the baby of the group – it was precious and important – and it is incredibly sad to see it go,’ added Chetiyawardana in a statement.  

The Mr Lyan team will keep the venue as its creative headquarters and say that Cub will live on in the future form of pop-up parties and events. Mr Lyan’s other London venue, Lyaness bar is yet to reopen after lockdown. 

See all of the London restaurants and bars that won’t be reopening after lockdown

Support London’s restaurants through the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. Here’s a handy map of participating venues.     

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