Eater London has learnt that the British chop and steak restaurant Blacklock, which has sites in both Soho and the City, will open on the site formerly occupied by Caprice Holdings’ Rivington Bar & Grill, in Shoreditch this year.
Company filings from September last year show the property at 28–30 Rivington Street listed among the company’s interests, while works are currently being carried out onsite by the same firm who handled construction at Blacklock’s City venue.
Amid much restaurant flux and site closures, Blacklock is one of London’s independent restaurant success stories. Widely regarded as serving one of the city’s best roast dinners, the brand opened its second site in the City last year following rave reviews for the comparatively affordable, generously portioned meat dishes it debuted in Soho. Using meat from revered Cornish butchers, Warren’s, Blacklock’s concise, specialist offering has helped the brand carve itself a niche it has done well to exploit.
Though there was next to no press surrounding Caprice Holdings’ closure of their iconic Shoreditch site last year, a company spokesperson today confirmed that the restaurant closed in June 2017. They did not specify a reason for the closure.
The Rivington was opened in 2005 by chef Mark Hix, then executive chef for Caprice Holdings, who later bought the restaurant — Jay Rayner wrote of how, during the early days of operations, Hix would invite journalists to visit on condition of preserving his anonymity; his employer was, at the time, unaware of his moonlighting.
One of the first to set a new template for a British/American style hybrid ‘grill’ restaurant that became synonymous with a regenerated east London, The Rivington was loved for its honesty and accessibility. “If it’s part of the dish it’s there for a reason” wrote Rayner, “They don’t garnish. They don’t present. They plate.” The elegantly spartan aesthetic, twin cocktail bar and tableclothed dining room certainly gave rise to a new sort of restaurant.
The restaurant was also famous for serving (then, at least, when there were few competitors) the city’s best burger. The burger blogger, Burgerac, somewhat famously awarded it an unprecedented six stars out five, in 2011.