Updated 19/12: reason for closure, plus further comments from Anna Hansen.
The Modern Pantry in Finsbury Square has closed. It was the second restaurant, by the same name, from chef/restaurateur Anna Hansen, who opened her first site in Clerkenwell in 2008; the follow-up opened in the City in September 2015 meaning it closes after just over two years of trading. The all-day restaurant has made its name with popular Antipodean and international small plates.
Journalist Richard Vines tweeted the news and though the restaurant’s website remains live, a pre-recorded phone message tells callers:
“The Modern Pantry team regret to inform you that our Finsbury Square location is no longer open.
“It is business as usual at Clerkenwell however, so if you’d like to book, please do so via our website or give them a call.
“Thank you very much for all of your support.”
In an email sent to the restaurant’s customers on Friday 15 December, Hansen said: “It is with much sadness that we announce that The Modern Pantry Finsbury Square is no longer open. We’ve had a blast in the city and would like to thank you all for dining with us over the last two years.”
Hansen added, via a spokesperson this week:
“The last two years have been a real learning curve for us. I can’t tell you how beautiful the Finsbury Square site is, but over the last year it’s become hard to compete with other city offerings. I would never want to change, or take away, from the originality of what we do, hence the decision to close and really focus on Clerkenwell as we come into our tenth year of operating. Watch out too for other exciting projects to come.”
The Modern Pantry is part-owned by Director Des Gunewardena, one half and founder of D&D London restaurant group — the company that owns The Bluebird, Le Pont de la Tour and Quaglino’s.
The specific reason for the closure is not known,
“The decision to close comes as they look to concentrate efforts on their original restaurant, [Clerkenwell], which will celebrate its 10th birthday next year, and focus on The Pantry and online retail side of the business, and other new opportunities,” a spokesperson for the restaurant said. The Modern Pantry Finsbury Square is one of a number of notable restaurant closures in the capital this year.