After taking on Covent Garden’s Opera Tavern in August, Urban Pubs and Bars has added the rest of the Salt Yard Group to its stable. The restaurant group, which is made up of three Spanish-Italian tapas bars — Dehesa and Ember Yard in Soho (which hosts the annual Croqueta Challenge), and Salt Yard in Fitzrovia — broke the news on Twitter, stressing that there would be “no changes at the restaurants”.
Urban Pubs also tweeted the news, saying it was “over the moon” to be welcoming the group “to the @urbanpubs family”. It’s responsible for 14 venues across London, including The Punch Tavern on Fleet Street and Kensal Green’s Paradise, but its only previous restaurant offering was Well Street Pizza in Hackney, which is poised to open a Peckham branch.
It’s been a turbulent 18 months for Salt Yard Group. Chef-director Ben Tish left in March 2017 after 11 years, and in November the group closed Veneta in St James’s Market just a year after the northern Italian restaurant had opened.
We're over the moon to welcome @SaltYardGroup to the @urbanpubs family! @DehesaSoho, @EmberYard & @SaltYardLdn are amazing additions to our growing portfolio of sites & the food-led side of the business— Urban Pubs & Bars (@urbanpubs) November 27, 2018
Menus/Book: https://t.co/10Fuo18mpu#bars #restaurants #london #food pic.twitter.com/3mZ9AzuOS6
Launched in 2005 by Sanja Moll and Simon Mullins, Salt Yard Group aimed to recreate the Spanish and Italian-influenced small-plates dining style that was then gaining momentum in New York, and is now ubiquitous in London. Jay Rayner called Salt Yard “one of the good ones” in 2006, while Andy Hayler called it “some of the best tapas in London” in 2007. Dehesa opened in 2008, with Ember Yard following in 2013. Salt Yard launched a new menu in October, following a refurbishment.