Harneet and Devina Baweja, the owners of a celebrated trio of south Asian restaurants in east London, have announced that they will close Gul & Sepoy today and Madame D at the end of July. It was first reported by Richard Vines on Twitter.
Harneet Baweja, the group’s co-founder, says the restaurants will close in order that the can “concentrate his energies on [his original restaurant] Gunpowder.” A second Gunpowder is due to open at One Tower Bridge in September, together with Custard bakery, a month later, at the same site.
“Gul & Sepoy will close from Monday, 23 July and Madame D from Monday, 30 July and will remain closed until a final decision has been made on their future,” a statement released to Eater says. A spokesperson later told Eater that there is “a very small chance” that the restaurants will reopen, but it is “incredibly up in the air” at the moment.
“Unfortunately, our new site at One Tower Bridge has suffered delays, Baweja added. “In a way, this has been a blessing, giving us more time to develop and perfect our new bakery concept but it’s also given me time to reflect on the existing restaurants and what we want to do in the future.”
Baweja points to the opening of two restaurants last year as responsible for stretching the resources of the small group, particularly in what is a challenging “current financial climate.”
“In retrospect, we opened Gul & Sepoy and Madame D in quick succession last year and it stretched our already small team to the limit,” he said. “Closing the restaurant has been a necessary move in the current financial climate with increasing staffing and other costs. While I am very sad to let the restaurants go, it will allow us to refocus on Gunpowder and making the second restaurant bigger and better. We hope to keep the staff on at One Tower Bridge.”
The celebrated original Gunpowder opened on White’s Row, Spitalfields in late 2015; Madame D, a Himalayan restaurant across the street, opened in the summer of 2017, while Gul and Sepoy, a two-story restaurant focusing on both rustic and royal Indian cuisine, launched in September last year. The group was understood to be planning an expansion drive last autumn.
The second Gunpowder will open on the first floor at 4 Duchess Walk, near Tower Bridge in south London in September; Custard bakery will open on the ground floor of the same premises in October.