Three London restaurants close for good

Michel Roux Jr.’s Roux at Parliament Square as well as the Bleeding Heart and the Don restaurants have announced their permanent closure as Covid-19 takes its toll.

Roux at Parliament Square opened in 2010

Announcing the news on its website, Roux at Parliament Square said that it had “regrettably suffered during this incredibly difficult year”.

“That, combined with the ongoing uncertainty ahead, has resulted in the permanent closure of Roux at Parliament Square,” the statement continued. “We thank our guests for their patronage and support and extend a special thank you to Michel Roux Jr., head chef Steve Groves and every single member of the team for their endless dedication over the past decade.”

Groves, a former winner of the BBC’s MasterChef: The Professionals, had headed up the kitchen since 2013, having previously worked at Le Gavroche as well as The Ledbury and The Greenhouse.

Opened in 2010, Roux at Parliament Square is one of a group of sites overseen by Roux Jr, which include Roux at the Landau, The Wigmore at The Langham and two Michelin-starred Le Gavroche.

Meanwhile City restaurant the Don and Farringdon eatery The Bleeding heart have also permanently closed as part of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) involving the Bleeding Heart Restaurant Group.

The restructure, which was agreed to by 94% of the company’s creditors, has allowed two of the company’s sites to remain trading: The Bleeding Heart Tavern and Bleeding Heart Bistro.

The business was founded by Robyn and Robert Wilson, two former journalists, in 1983. The pair first converted a derelict, dirt-floored cellar beneath the historic Bleeding Heart Yard into a wine bar and bistro, before also opening the 60-cover Bistro and Bleeding Heart Tavern, which dates to 1746. The Don in St. Swithin’s Lane opened in 2000 on the former site of Sandeman Port and Sherry Company, the name a reference to Sandeman’s famed black-caped figure.

Lee Manning, partner at ReSolve, who handled the CVA, said: “While the pandemic has been catastrophic for the hospitality industry, there are still viable solutions available. However, those avenues will only be available to those operators that take action to assess their options sooner rather than later. We commend the Bleeding Heart Group for making the tough decisions in a timely manner instead of waiting until the very end. This made all the difference.”

Robyn Wilson told Big Hospitality that the Don had not reopened since the first lockdown, owing to low footfall in the area, while the events-led Bleeding Heart Restaurant “just wasn’t viable in the current climate”.

“It was painful, but in the end we just had to walk away,” she said. “You have to believe it’s going to be better next year, and we are going to hang in there.”

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