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Turkish Stalwart Oklava’s Promising Fitzrovia Bakery Is Cut Short by COVID-19

Selin Kiazim says Oklava Bakery and Wine will not reopen “for the foreseeable future”

Black Sea pide on a paper at Oklava Bakery + Wine Oklava Bakery + Wine [Official Photo]

Selin Kiazim’s promising Oklava Bakery and Wine will not reopen in Fitzrovia, according to an announcement posted to Instagram this lunchtime. Kiazim says “there are not enough people in central London and the surrounding areas” to make the business work, with the closure being part of the “effort to save our Shoreditch restaurant,” the original, acclaimed Oklava that opened in 2015. Kiazim said that efforts to reopen the restaurant had faltered, with running services doing more harm than good to the future of both businesses.

Oklava Bakery and Wine opened in early 2020, as a reinvention of Kyseri, Kiazim and business partner Laura Christie’s second London restaurant. It built on the success of the Black Sea pide that was a hit at food hall Arcade Food Theatre, with a range of breads, pastries, and pide alongside brunch dishes with an Anatolian bent. Kiazim says this lunchtime that business at Oklava Shoreditch is going reasonably well, with the bakery’s future, if not entirely finished, not a viable operation for the next several months.

Evening Standard Magazine restaurant critic Jimi Famurewa described Oklava Bakery and Wine as “spectacular” but “effortful” in a broadly positive early review, which suggested that the time needed to focus the offering would return great rewards. Unfortunately for Kiazim and Christie, for now that time has run out.


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