The modern Korean restaurant group Bibigo appears to have closed its two London sites — both in Soho and Islington. The brand which, on Twitter in October 2017, had stated its pride at having been included in the UK Michelin Guide for five consecutive years, opened its flagship Soho site in 2012, promising “authentic Korean cuisine.”
An OpenTable page lists the contemporary-styled Soho site as “permanently closed;” apparently the state of affairs since sometime in October last year. More recently, it appears that the second Bibigo site has joined its sibling — Eater London learnt this morning that the Islington site had removed its signage, while the brand’s website has also been reduced to a holding page that offers only the short message: “we hope to be back with you soon”.
Bibigo’s Angel venue opened in January 2015 on an ill-fated site that had previously been the home of serial restaurateur Alan Yau’s short-lived Thai restaurant Naamyaa Cafe. It was to be the second (and apparently last) London branch of a brand that had aspired to become the “McDonald’s or Starbucks of Korean food,” and had hoped to have 1,000 restaurants across Europe by 2015.
Companies House filings for CJ Food Europe Ltd show the brand has consistently made operating losses since 2012, while its parent company, CJ Foods, has also closed all of its south-east Asian branches of Bibigo in recent years, following similarly consistent loss-making operations in Indonesia and Singapore.
Eater London has contacted Bibigo for comment.