The Square is closing… same with Kopapa. What’s going on?
Many factors at play June, I suspect. Much like any business universe the overall effect ends up being cyclical.
Laudable ambition from young restauranteurs runs foul of overcompetition, or customers running out of money. Starry-eyed backers who expect their new toy to be packed with A-listers discover the real world. Etc, etc.
As for the more established places, I think that they’re just falling out of favour. Simply no longer the places to be seen. There are only so many “legends” a city, even of London’s size, can sustain, and those slots are taken by Le Gav. Langan’s, Sheekey’s, Ivy, Wilton’s, a few hotels etc.
I agree with you, Robin. The article also talks about rental prices, and we certainly know that’s a factor, same as in NYC.
We’re not the only ones struggling.
I agree. I would also add it’s nothing new restaurants have always worked through cycles of opening and closing. My regulars spots from the '80’s are long gone. Some superseded by new trends, some with restraunters who moved on, some sold at the peak of their fame to less talented owners.
I did think one part of the article was misleading, haven’t good restaurants always had strong roots in the suburbs? After all the great Harvey’s was in Wandsworth…!
I also wonder if the popular restaurants of today are as substantive as ones of the past. Social media hype is very transitory, the hip and hot cycle has sped up. All the Twitter and Instagram froth often hides the fact the food is pretty sub-par for the price and hassle of eating it. Without strong foundations of great cooking the restaurants have little longevity in the fickle world of food trends. I know that’s true here in Sydney with this years hot restaurants full of beautiful people, in highly styled/themed spaces eating generally average food.
The Square isn’t closing though, is it? It changed hands around the time that article was published, but didn’t actually close.
I think this is the real story.
The restaurant was sold, not closed. Phil Howard has left.
Thanks for sharing that article!
I feel so fortunate to live in a city that offers such a plethora of dining options, from pop ups to Michelin-starred and everything in between. As change is the only constant in life, I think it’s important to have a healthy circulation of new and old, established and trendy, ‘substantive’ and more elusive. I like all the diverse options. I especially envy and love what the ‘younger generation chefs’ are creating, cooking and presenting as their interpretations of what inspires them.
I think the costs of restaurants here in London are out of whack somtimes. I was in Tallinn last weekend and was pleasantly surprised at the quality and level of food there as well as the affordable price tag presented at the end of the meal, a fraction of something similar here in London. If you haven’t yet visited Tallinn, I can highly recommend it for the quality of food and price point.