Eater London understands from sources that Veneta — Salt Yard Group’s northern Italian restaurant in the new St. James’s Market development in central London — is for sale. Though the site is not formally listed with any property agents, the operators are understood to have accepted that the location doesn’t work for the concept and are looking for a buyer to take over the lease.
Veneta was one of the first restaurants to open in St. James’s Market, near Piccadilly, a development owned by the landlord Crown Estate and which also includes some of the bigger restaurant openings of the year, including the celebrated west African Ikoyi and recently Michelin-starred Aquavit. Veneta was the Salt Yard Group’s fifth restaurant, adding to a portfolio which includes Soho’s Dehesa and Ember Yard, Salt Yard in Fitzrovia and Covent Garden’s Opera Tavern.
As many a gloomy industry report has made ominously clear, these are dark times for many restaurants and operators in London. Already, the city has bid farewell to some of its most storied and garlanded institutions; this is a list of some of the most significant. Sadly, it is expected that this list will be updated sooner rather than later.
What: Critically acclaimed Jason Atherton Japanese-fusion restaurant and bar in Farringdon
When: The site was put on sale in early August
Why: Atherton told Eater London that Sosharu was emphatically not closing, but rather moving to a part of town with a stronger lunch trade. Daytime traffic was simply not strong enough in its former location, given high rents.
What: High-end Indian (in the site formerly occupied by Rasoi) that received its first Michelin star just one week before closing
When: Last service was the 8th of October
Why: No explanation has been given to date
What: Michelin-starred, experimental tasting menu site from the Hakkasan group
When: Its closure was announced on October 10th
Why: Chef Tong Chee Hwee explained that the group’s priorities had shifted to (presumably more profitable) overseas markets like Indonesia and Saudi Arabia
What: The creative Hackney offshoot from Robin Gill’s Clapham mini-empire
When: Its closure was announced on October 11th
Why: Gill cited ongoing building works opposite the restaurant as a major drag on lunch trade
What: Century-old pie and mash shop on Islington’s Chapel Market
When: The site is expected to close by Christmas
Why: Owner Tim Nicholls cited a now-familiar combination of high business rates and rent hikes