Updated: 15.40, 11.09.2018 with reason for the closure
Wine-focused restaurant chain Vinoteca has closed its site on Beak Street in Soho.
A message posted to its window, spotted by Code Hospitality’s Adam Hyman, is replicated on its website:
Vinoteca Soho is now closed and will relocate to a new site in the near future. Our sincerest thanks and gratitude to our passionate staff & loyal customers. Your closest Vinoteca is Marylebone near Marble Arch station, 2 stops away on the Central Line from Oxford Circus.
The group has existing sites in the Bloomberg Arcade, in the City, at King’s Cross, the original restaurant on St John Street in Farringdon, Marylebone, and Chiswick. The Soho site, the group’s third, opened in 2012.
Though the reason for the closure is not known, Soho rents have sky-rocketed in recent years, making it unsustainable for many operators.
Although it’s true that the rent has increased in line with the market, we decided to close Vinoteca Soho because of restrictions to the licence. We were no longer able to serve drinks to customers without them having a full meal, and this doesn’t fit with our brand and what customers are used to at the other Vinoteca branches.
It was a tough decision as Vinoteca Soho has been a cracking site for us, but we are now looking for another location with no licensing restrictions.
Hyman told Eater that he felt the specific economics of the area were also to blame for closures across the neighbourhood. “Soho is starting to be a victim its own success. The early adopters who helped landlords ‘placemake’ now get penalised for doing just that,” he said.
It is also thought that a number of operators were on five-year rent reviews on Beak Street (which would have seen Vinoteca’s rise take place last year). Fernandez and Wells, the coffee shop and lunch spot closed its site a few doors down from Vinoteca last year, having been open for 10 years. Together with Flat White, on Berwick Street, it was one of the first speciality coffee shops to open in London. Its wild popularity was apparently not enough to keep it going.