Shutting Up Shop Early

Chances are if you are reading this you have more time on your hands than you imagined in the run up to Christmas.

In an extraordinary run of events more and more restaurants are taking the opportunity to close early and lick their wounds. There is simply so much uncertainty amongst customers and worries that staff will fall ill to continue.

The latest to say goodbye until the New Year is The Clove Club. The World’s Top 50 restaurant (32 and the highest in the UK), run by chef Issac McHale, used instagram to break its news – and has received 1,000 likes in less than 24 hours which sums up the feelings of support that the industry is receiving.

“We tried our best,” the restaurant said. “It is with a heavy heart that we have made the difficult decision to close the restaurant from Friday 17 December until the New Year, re-opening as planned on Friday 7 January. Our final service for this year will be dinner this evening.”

The Clove Club are not alone. Luke Selby, former winner of The Roux Scholarship and chef patron of Evelyn’s Table has done the same along with Barrafina in Drury Lane and Kol in Marylebone.

Tom Kerridge released details of 654 cancellations and Michel Roux Jnr said his daughter Emily had had 300 cancellations at her restaurant Caractere.

This is a difficult time for hospitality. The new Omicron variation has delivered a conundrum for chefs and business owners: close down early or stay open and mop up those remaining customers who want to celebrate.

Are you closing down early? Let us know.