Stevie Parle — the chef and restaurateur behind recent opening Pastaio in Soho, as well as Palatino, Craft, Rotorino and partner in Sardine — has announced that his original restaurant Dock Kitchen in Ladbroke Grove, will close for good after lunch this coming Saturday — on 23 December. The restaurant opened in 2009 when Parle was 24 years old.
In an email to the restaurant’s newsletter subscribers, Parle wrote, “Our lease is coming to an end and unfortunately we have to move out. I’ve been holding off letting everyone know... because I wanted to announce a new location at the same time but I’m not in a position to do that just yet.”
The Dock Kitchen is part of the canal-side complex owned by the designer Tom Dixon whose studio is adjacent. Dixon is relocating to the Coal Drop’s Yard development north of King’s Cross Station, fuelling speculation that Dock Kitchen would also be moving in, too. Though a number of new restaurants are thought to be opening in that location over the coming twelve months, no confirmation has been given that a restaurant by Parle will be part of those plans.
Parle adds in his message: “We’re working on finding a new home for Dock Kitchen, or a version of it, in the spring of next year and in the meantime all of the team will be working at one of our other restaurants.” He also says that the collaboration with Dixon is one that he hopes “to continue for years into the future.”
The chef, who is an alumnus of The River Cafe, is among London’s most resourceful when it comes to acquiring sites with existing infrastructure and footfall. He said, “Dock Kitchen first opened eight years ago as a one week long pop-up using the old Virgin Canteen kitchen and the furniture in the Tom Dixon showroom. People seemed to love it, we got great reviews and so we just kept on cooking and I think we’ve had a rather good run!”
“Getting to run such a wonderful restaurant for the last eight years has been an incredible privilege,” he added. The restaurant, which specialises in Mediterranean, North African and Middle-Eastern-inspired sharing plates drew comparisons with Moro, on Exmouth Market — another culinary institution where Parle cut his teeth.
What will become of the site occupied by one of west London’s most-loved restaurants is not yet known. It is, though, another significant loss for the industry.