Trawler Trash on Upper Street has closed. The sustainable seafood restaurant in Islington opened in April 2017: a tipster told Eater London that the restaurant had “mysteriously closed.” A web listing lists the restaurant as “permanently closed”; social media accounts have been inactive for five months; the phone line rings interminably.
There has been an unusual spate of restaurant closures on Islington’s main drag, in a climate of general market downturn. James Cochran N1, Cabana, Jamon Jamon, and 15-year-old The Elk in the Woods have all closed, along with Italian stalwart Porchetta, embattled Italian chain Carluccio’s, teppanyaki restaurant Sen Nin, and the constantly battling Chinese Laundry, which will be the site of James Cochran’s new restaurant, 1251.
Trawler Trash aimed to serve fish that was less popular and thus more sustainable: putting kippers, coley and trout front and centre. While the ambition was laudable, these underrated fish were not front and centre on the menu: ambiguous “Trash Pie”, “Fish Cake” and “Trash Scampi” kept things opaque while the more familiar cod, halibut, cuttlefish and king prawns got the name drops. Uncoupled from a clear ethos, that menu becomes little more than a decent seafood restaurant, and with Westerns Laundry, Primeur, and Prawn on the Lawn in attendance, competition will have been fierce.
In 2013, The Evening Standard nicknamed the Islington thoroughfare ‘Supper Street’ after its glut of restaurants. This slew of closures looks to be a microcosm of the wider market correction in London: too many restaurants are open, so some of them are going to have to close.
Eater has contacted Trawler Trash for comment: more soon.