The celebrated Italian restaurant, the River Cafe, will not be be opening a second site, Ruth Rogers — one of the co-founders — confirmed this weekend, according to Hot Dinners. The original River Cafe this year turns 30.
News that Rogers was planning a second site for the iconic Hammersmith restaurant first surfaced in 2015. However last year, plans to open on the site of Grosvenor Hill in Mayfair, were abandoned after complaints by local residents.
Rogers was speaking at the Financial Times Weekend Festival at Kenwood House Gardens in north London on Sunday. Hot Dinners report that Rogers was asked by chef Rowley Leigh if she was [still] planning on opening a second River Cafe. "No,” she said, before adding that: “The River Cafe is very site-driven. About two years ago we found a very beautiful site that we were very excited about so we really worked to try and do this restaurant. Because we loved the area and where it was and we were also a little bit worried about the site we were in. But that didn't happen — the residents got a bit annoyed and so that was dropped."
The chef and restaurateur did not however completely rule out a second River Cafe, somewhere else, some time in the future, saying, "We don't have a plan to open another one, but we're always looking out. If something was very beautiful and was a beautiful opportunity then perhaps."
River Cafe head chef Sian Wyn Owen, who was sitting alongside Rogers on the panel, suggested one of the main appeals of the one-site destination restaurant when saying: ‘We always come back to the fact that this is such a great restaurant, just to have one place, which we can put all our attention into keeping it really good. We all feel quite proud of the fact that you just have to go to the River Cafe — you have to make that trip to Hammersmith to eat there."
- No plans to open a second River Cafe says Ruth Rogers [Hot Dinners]