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The Ledbury
Photograph: Jake Eastham The Ledbury

The London restaurants and bars that won’t reopen after lockdown

Some of the capital’s best restaurants and bars won’t be returning after a testing few months of closure

By Laura Richards
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On Friday March 20, all bars, restaurants and hospitality venues were ordered to close their doors to the public. Three months on from that (we hate to use the word) ‘unprecedented’ announcement, many of London’s best-loved estbalishments still have their shutters down. And for some of them, it’s for good.

Although lots of London’s bars and restaurants have kept the kitchens going by supplying hot meals to the NHS or pivoting to takeaway and delivery, a handful of spots have already faced facts that they can’t make the transition when faced with social distancing on the other side. For many venues, it’s an impossible hurdle for their small kitchens and cosy restaurant floors, while for others, the future simply won’t be financially viable when running at such a limited capacity.

Here, we bid adieu to the London restaurants and bars that have so far confirmed they sadly won’t be reopening when hospitality make its comeback in the capital. 

London restaurant and bar closures: the full list

sardine
sardine
© Andy Parsons

Sardine

Restaurants French Hoxton

Alex Jackson and Stevie Parle’s dream of a Hoxton restaurant announced in June – just shy of the restaurant’s fourth birthday – that it won’t be returning. So it’s a sad goodbye to Provençal home-style dishes and Viognier on tap. ‘For our small space any kind of social distancing would be very difficult to implement and we do not have the resources to trade through the inevitably difficult times ahead,’ said the restaurant’s co-founders in a statement to customers.

T.NARAYAN

Indian Accent

Restaurants Indian Mayfair

Fancy Mayfair restaurant Indian Accent admits that the flossiness of its setting – one of the reasons it was such an exciting place to dine – is also part to blame for its closure. The business announced on its website in June that it will close permanently due to financial contraints, saying it was ‘deeply saddened’ by the move. ‘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.’

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Le Caprice

Restaurants Contemporary European St James’s

Another West End restaurant to fall victim to the current crisis, Le Caprice was the favoured hangout of Princess Diana and had been in the business of very fine dining for 38 years. It recently announced it would be closing its doors for good. However, the restaurant already has plans in the works for a new site under the same name. Hopefully it’ll be just as slebby.

Rivington Greenwich

Restaurants British Greenwich

Along with Le Caprice, the Greenwich branch of Richard Caring’s Rivington restaurants won’t be making a comeback either. The place was known for its modern bistro dishes, lengthy gin menu and an outdoor dining space fit for these times – which perhaps makes its decision to close all the more sad for Greenwich coming out the other side of lockdown.

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The Ledbury
The Ledbury
Photograph: Jake Eastham

The Ledbury

Restaurants French Notting Hill

Michelin-starred spot and Time Out favourite The Ledbury is one of many fine dining restaurants that’s struggled to find a way around social distancing. The Notting Hill haunt announced at the start of June that it has no plans to reopen with head cheff Brett Graham saying he didn’t want to put anybody at risk. The business is said to be keeping the lease on the site for now, but staff have entered a redundancy consultation period. In 2019 we said that ‘dishes from Aussie chef Brett Graham are as close to perfection on a plate as you’ll get in this town.’ So we’re definitely holding out for a future Ledbury of some form.

Wahlburgers
Wahlburgers
Photograph: Wahlburgers

Wahlburgers

Restaurants American Covent Garden

Celebrities are feeling the full force of the crisis, too. Mark Wahlberg won’t be reopening the one and only UK outpost of his family burger chain Wahlburgers, which only arrived on these shores in May 2019. There was speculation towards the end of last year that the Covent Garden branch was in trouble, despite original plans for a UK-wide rollout of the chain. And now, it’s been confirmed that the restaurant won’t be making a comeback. ‘Our franchisee had to make the difficult decision to close this location due to the financial impacts of the pandemic on the restaurant industry, as well as the uncertainty of consumer behavior post pandemic in a location such as this,’ said the group in a statement.

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Siren at Goring
Siren at Goring
David Cotsworth

Siren at The Goring

Restaurants Seafood Victoria

An old-school London hotel like The Goring won’t let a thing like a pandemic bring it down. But its modern restaurant, fronted by acclaimed seafood chef Nathan Outlaw, sadly hasn’t stood the test of time. It was the first new restaurant to open at the Goring in 109 years when it arrived in 2019, but the hotel confirmed there will be no more of its crab tarts and lobster fritters when The Goring gets back on its feet. ‘Due to the situation that all of us in UK hospitality find ourselves in, we are going to have to operate differently for a while in order to protect the business and its staff in the long term. For this reason, when we eventually reopen the Goring it will be with a smaller food and beverage department, and very sadly we will not be able to reopen Siren,’ said hotel owner Jeremy Goring.

Texture

Restaurants Haute cuisine Marylebone

Marylebone’s Michelin-starred and Scandi-influenced kitchen and champagne bar Texture bids adieu to London after 13 years – and plenty of accolades. It was one of the first restaurants to announce its permanent closure as a result of the crisis back in May. It’s chef-owner Agnar Sverrisson told Bloomberg’s Richard Vines that the restaurant would not be reopening after lockdown and that he had returned to his native Iceland.

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Tramshed
Tramshed
Alys Tomlinson / Time Out

Tramshed

Restaurants British Shoreditch

Back in April, Mark Hix’s restaurant empire went into administration. While other restaurants in the Hix group had already closed at the start of the year, the news means that Tramshed (famous for its whole roast chicken and Damien Hirst formaldehyde cow), Hixter Bankside and Hix Oyster and Chophouse won’t be returning after lockdown eases. ‘Apart from tough times and sad times for me, it is nothing compared to what so many of my team, and others that are reliant on our business, are going through,’ said Hix on Instagram.

The Frog Hoxton

Restaurants Contemporary European Spitalfields

Okay, so our Food Editor didn’t love The Frog when first visiting in 2016, but many Time Out readers left reviews on our website waxing lyrical about the first solo outing from ‘MasterChef: The Professionals’ finalist Adam Handling, with its experimental culinary twists and turns. It announced in March that it wouldn’t be reopening its Hoxton location, but the Covent Garden site should remain in business.

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