The Clove Club’s sister restaurant Two Lights, helmed by chef Chase Lovecky, will close permanently, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has announced on Instagram. The post said: “Like so many of our peers from the first lock down in March we have had huge obstacles to try and over come and unfortunately the recent curfew, tier restrictions and this second lock down have finally made the continuation of the restaurant untenable.”
The restaurant, which sold itself as one of London’s first “modern American” venues, opened in autumn 2018, with Lovecky in charge of a progressive menu that combined influences from his New England roots, a background that included working at Momofoku Ko with David Chang, and time spent in the kitchen under chef Isaac McHale at the Michelin-starred Clove Club. Its opening menu was a direct reflection of that polyglot sensibility, combining a grouse sausage dish that owed its roots to McHale with a crab and beef fat chip snack that deservedly proved a star in its opening weeks.
Despite high hopes and some glowing initial reviews, the restaurant never quite took off; further reports detailed a sense of parsimony at odds with the often bright, big-flavoured cooking that the restaurant promised. It attempted a modest reinvention with a makeover and slightly adjusted menu late last year, but had little time to resettle before the crisis that engulfed the industry in 2020. The novel coronavirus pandemic has spared few restaurants in the city, least of all those whose sites, like Two Lights, are small and reliant on seating as many diners as possible at close quarters.
Post lockdown, when Two Lights reopened in September, Lovecky said:
“Nothing makes me happier than to reopen Two Lights. During lockdown I realised I really wanted to go back to my roots so you’re going to find quite a different menu here at Two Lights: the American classics of New England like Seafood Boils, Lobster Rolls and Oysters. And of course, Fried Chicken.”
The delivery offering of the lockdown months was described as “a runaway success.”
“It is with great sadness that we announce the closure of the restaurant,” the Instagram post this afternoon read. “Like so many of our peers from the first lock down in March we have had huge obstacles to try and over come and unfortunately the recent curfew, tier restrictions and this second lock down have finally made the continuation of the restaurant untenable.
“Foremost we’d like to thank @c.lovecks, our partner and Head Chef for all his hard work over the last two years, to our current team and to the rest of the Two Lights family who played a part however large or small thank you. And finally a huge thanks to everyone who came to eat and drink and loved the restaurant as much as we did. We hope you are safe and well and encourage you to try and support your favourite restaurants as much as you can during this tough time.”
The Clove Club remains closed until at least next week, when London restaurants hope they can reopen after national lockdown comes to an end. Luca, the group’s other restaurant, remains active in the meal kit and takeaway-delivery space.