It was never supposed to be in situ for more than two years, but now — after seven — the original Meatliquor restaurant, the progenitor of London’s full-throttle obsession with gourmet junk food, will close.
The Evening Standard reported that it will close at the end of December but owner Scott Collins took to social media to point out the paper’s inaccuracy, confirming that the branch on Welbeck Street, between Oxford Street and Wigmore Street, will close next February making way for a new luxury hotel.
Meatliquor — an American-inspired burger brand began life as a street food vendor, out of the now retired Meatwagon. It shot to citywide fame and notoriety though, when in 2010, it launched a pop-up — the #Meateasy — in the upstairs of a pub in New Cross. Such was the novelty of a burger that tasted like a Big Mac but wasn’t a Big Mac, diners — including this writer — waited for up to three hours to try one. It was revelatory, for Brits.
Today, Meatliquor and its affiliate brands, is a national burger chain. As well as London, it has sites in Leeds and Brighton.
The original branch was only offered to Collins and Meatliquor’s (now-departed) co-founder Yianni Papoutsis for two years. Every year since then, they were offered it for another year. A rolling contract, as it were. It is understood to have been a major cash-cow for the brand, partly due to the unusually favourable rent agreement.
The brand is left with nine remaining sites across London, in Shoreditch, Covent Garden, Brixton, Queensway, Islington, King’s Cross, Dulwich, Croydon, and Battersea.