Updated Monday 9 December, 15:05, with comment from Wahlburgers
A household name can’t stop six months of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Mark Wahlberg and family want to sell their first London restaurant, Wahlburgers, after six months of declining trade, according to Mark Wingett of Propel. The Covent Garden burger slinger opened to less than favourable — but not exactly Pete Wells-on-Guy-Fieri terminal — reviews, with the Guardian’s Grace Dent describing Wahlburgers as “puzzling” and leaving more dismayed by how could it good have been, than how bad it actually was.
No: the tragedy of Wahlburgers appears to be that it is deeply “meh,” possessing a brilliant product or a god-tier celebrity presence, unable to sustain its hype machine beyond a heady first few weeks. Neither the burgers nor the brand are compelling, Londoners know what Shake Shack is now, and the location reportedly comes in at £1.2 million rent per year. Wahlburgers has refuted Wingett’s report, claiming that renovations to the property are in fact part of a brand refresh:
Wahlburgers UK has no intention of closing our Covent Garden location, and continue to see it as our flagship restaurant in the region as we look at expanding throughout the UK and Europe. We are committed to this location, our British suppliers, staff and investors, and are currently in the midst of a menu relaunch and interior refurbishment, which we will make clear in the coming days. The person who reported our closing has no access to this type of information, and made this claim falsely and carelessly.
And in other news...
- With three days to go, here’s where to eat in London’s marginal seats.
- Like his back catalogue, the food at Ed Sheeran’s Notting Hill restaurant ranges from ‘Come Dine With Me’ to “demented.”
- The next fruit to be co-opted by the wellness industry could be the red kiwi. Smoothie bowls at the ready! [Metro]
- Tory candidate for Broxstowe, Nottinghamshire Darren Henry says food bank users “struggle to manage their budget.” Alexa, open the bin. [Mirror]
- Mexican burrito specialist Chilango will enter into a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to avoid administration for its 12 restaurants in London in Manchester. The company has raised over £5 million in crowdfunding, but has never made a profit, and is expected to close restaurants. [Big Hospitality]
- Good tweet: