Wine-focused London restaurant Gezellig to close

Gezellig, the wine-focused restaurant inside Holborn Town Hall founded by sommelier Wieteke Teppema, is to close on Friday just eight months after opening.

Gezellig was founded by Wieteke Teppema (centre), Graham Long (right) and James Comyn

Meaning “an atmosphere that allows good times to happen” in Dutch, Gezellig started life as a pop-up residency at Carousel in Marylebone.

Last May, Teppema opened a permanent site for the restaurant within the Grade II listed Holborn Town Hall along with head chef Graham Long and general manager James Comyn. Between them they have clocked up stints at a number of top London restaurants, including The Square, Elystan Street, Pied à Terre, Viajante and The Ledbury.

The trio teamed up with Rebecca Mascarenhas, co-owner with chef Phil Howard of Elystan Street, and Andrew Johnson of Wood Winters, to turn Gezellig from a pop-up into a permanent site.

Teppema revealed the news of the restaurant’s imminent closure in a text seen by WLC this week. “We have our last service on Friday. It’s been a heart-breaking decision and we only decided at the end of last week.

“The overheads were too high and we couldn’t reach the turnover we needed to make it viable. I’m gutted, but we will go out with a bang, so please do pop in if you are in the area this week,” she said.

At the restaurant as much importance was placed on the wine as the food. Fun was also at the forefront – its olive green walls were plastered with black-and-white posters of The Beatles shot by David Bailey, Davie Bowie and Grace Jones.

Set across two floors, Gezellig included a mezzanine level filled with wingback Chesterfields serving bar snacks like suckling pig bitterballen with sweet mustard, and veal sweetbread sliders with truffle slaw.

On the main menu were dishes like game faggots with Madeira consommé and mustard oil; salt-baked celeriac with malted wheat and black truffle; and ash-crusted venison with Jerusalem artichoke and purple sprouting broccoli.

Prior to Gezelleig, Teppema was head sommelier and wine buyer at Nuno Mendes’s Viajante and has also worked for Roberson Wines, The Square and The Ledbury. The restaurant became a wine trade favourite due to its zero corkage lunch offers. The 300-bin wine list was a selective collection from 20 trusted suppliers.

Among the wines by the glass on offer were Niepoort Dry White Port (£7); Delamotte Brut NV (£12); David & Nadia’s Aristargos white blend from the Swartland (£10); and Didier Fornerol Côte-de-Nuit Village Burgundy (£11.50).

Producers by the bottle included Gusbourne; Jacquesson; J.J. Prum; Didier Dagueneau; Coche-Dury; Trimbach; Lopez de Heredia; Kumeu River; Sandhi; Penfolds; Domaine de L’Arlot; Cos d’Estournel; Bruno Giacosa; Gaja: and Musar.

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