Restaurant mavericks Chris Corbin and Jeremy King are to close their Alsace-inspired venue Bellanger in Islington, marking the first closure for the pair since 2009.
As reported by Hot Dinners, Corbin and King announced the news in an email, stating that Bellanger on Islington Green will close next month.
“It is with great sadness I must inform you that, after over three years trading, we have decided to cease trading Bellanger on Sunday 11 August.
“It is a great shame but, although we loved being in Islington, we just couldn’t make it the success we aspired to – unlike as has been in the case of Soutine,” the email said, referring to their new neighbourhood addition in St. John’s Wood.
“Much as it had been a great critical success this wasn’t matched financially. Although we continued to trade for much longer than less patient operators might have, there came a point where we had to be pragmatic and move on to concentrate on new projects,” it added.
Bellanger opened in December 2015 to positive reviews. The late AA Gill described the interiors as: “light, expansive, comfortably relaxed and guardedly opulent”, though conceded that “perhaps it lacks the eccentricity and élan of the Delaunay, Fischer’s or Colbert.”
Giles Coren was less confident of the success of the venue in its Islington setting, calling the north London borough: “purse-lipped, tight-arsed and funless”.
Describing itself as a both a “French brasserie and grand café”, Bellanger serves dishes inspired by the Alsace region, such as smoked haddock hash with fried duck egg; coq au Riesling; mushroom ragout; and choucroute à l’Alsacienne.
The demise of Bellanger marks the first closure for the dynamic duo since the closure of St Alban in 2009. Hot Dinners predicts that Richard Caring may swoop in and take over the site to turn it into another of his successful Ivy spin-offs.