NYC chef Daniel Boulud’s London outpost of Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge has permanently closed. And so one of the city’s outstanding burgers of the last decade is no more.
A spokesperson from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel told Eater that the restaurant permanently closed operations on 20 October 2020 “following the expiry of its ten-year contract.” The restaurant opened in 2010, at a hype moment in London restaurant history, under a year before Heston Blumenthal opened “Dinner by” in the same hotel and introduced the world to Meat Fruit™ (2011).
Bar Boulud’s BB Burger was the hyped draw. A £20 stack comprising a beef patty, topped with braised short rib, foie gras, horseradish mayonnaise, and confit tomato inside a black onion seed brioche bun.
“In keeping with many businesses at this time, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted business levels, which has had an adverse effect on operations,” the spokesperson at the hotel said.
Where restaurants in areas such as Soho, Chinatown, and the City have suffered from a massively reduced number of office workers, restaurants in the wealthy, hotel-heavy neighbourhood of Knightsbridge has suffered mainly from a lack of tourists. Ten years is a good run for a restaurant that did more than rest on the name above the door. But Boulud’s restaurant group appears to be going through a period of what business people might call consolidation: Last month, the chef closed Café Boulud on the Upper East Side in NYC after 20 years.
The spokesperson at the Mandarin in London told Eater that the hotel appreciated the “patronage given to the establishment” during the last decade, adding thanks to Boulud and the “exceptional colleagues who brought the creative concepts to London and made the restaurant a Knightsbridge neighbourhood favourite.”
A tweet by industry news platform CODE Hospitality’s Adam Hyman called the closure “sad.”