Celebrity chef and one of Britain’s most well-known French restaurateurs Michel Roux Jr.’s central London restaurant in Westminster’s Parliament Square has announced it will permanently close as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The restaurant, moments from the Houses of Parliament, was a favourite of politicians.
As first reported by the Caterer, the restaurant’s website said it had suffered through an incredibly difficult year, citing “ongoing uncertainty ahead” as forcing the decision.
Our restaurant has regrettably suffered during this incredibly difficult year. That, combined with the ongoing uncertainty ahead, has resulted in the permanent closure of Roux at Parliament Square.
It added thanks to the restaurant’s “guests for their patronage and support and extend a special thank you to Michel Roux Jr., Head Chef Steve Groves and every single member of the team for their endless dedication over the past decade.”
Though the restaurant sat in the Roux family stable and it was the Roux name above the door, it was Groves, off the back of a MasterChef:The Professionals victory in 2009, who had led the kitchen team since 2010. Yesterday Groves made his displeasure at Christmas shoppers in London clear on Twitter: calling it a “joke”, Groves said “all the restrictions on hospitality where the risks are properly managed yet [crowds of shoppers] is allowed to happen!”
Since the summer, the rate at which London restaurants have signalled permanent closure has slowed through a combination of the Eat Out to Help Out initiative, the extension of the lease forfeiture moratorium (preventing evictions), and November lockdown leading to the extension of furlough. Now, restaurants are back open, under restrictions, there is no national solution to the rent situation, with eviction now a real possibility in January, and the normally lean months of early 2021 providing a spectre of uncertainty if not inevitable failure.