Mãos, an unconventional and experimental Shoreditch dining room, which earned a Michelin star in 2019, has announced it will close at the end of April 2022.
The restaurant originally opened in April 2018 with the celebrated Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes in charge but in early 2020 Mãos’s owners installed executive chef Edoardo Pellicano, who had previously worked underneath Mendes. At the time, no reason was given for the split with Mendes.
Mãos was a creative extension of the clothing and art brand Hostem and Blue Mountain School on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch and as such has always been one of the city’s most idiosyncratic restaurants — offering only a tasting menu in the evenings, no lunch service, and functioning according to the format of a dinner party more than a restaurant as most would know it. Guests were able move between dining room and kitchen and take drinks on lounge chairs, with a 16-seater communal dining table sitting in the middle of the space. The owner of the restaurant, James Brown, describes Maos as a “restaurant dedicated to culinary freedom, exploration and shared experience” on its website.
It states there that “The final booking window for Mãos is open through April, 2022 after which Mãos in its current form will close.”
An email to guests who had dined at Mãos over the years was sent from the Brown on 1 March.
“I set out to achieve an alternative to the traditional ‘fine dining’ experience,” he wrote. “As a family run business, myself and my wife Christie took care of everything guests touched and felt outside of the food itself, from the interior of the rooms, to what our chefs wore, consistently tweaking small details like candles, menu design, music, flowers, crockery the list goes on...”
He credits Pellicano as pushing “the restaurant to new heights with a level of cooking that to me is unparalleled in London, becoming one of the most brilliantly talented chefs in the culinary world today,” but that the restaurant’s success “is in no small part thanks to our senior sous-chef Danny Hoang and junior sous-chef Warren Smith, who quietly bring Edoardo’s vision to life in the kitchen every day.”
Demand has, especially since the arrival of a Michelin star, always outstripped supply, with Brown writing that there are often “well over a hundred names on the waiting list for a given service.” But “with only 16 seats to fill, we have far outgrown our small space both creatively and functionally and feel that we have achieved all that we set out to do and more,” he wrote.
Eater has sought comment from representatives of Mãos on what might come next for the restaurant and for Pellicano.