January 2018 Restaurant News Roundup

It’s been a bumper month for restaurant news, and the year is just getting started. Here’s a look back at what happened on the London food and drink scene in January.

January’s Top 5 Most Important Openings


There are exciting things happening on Queen’s Road Peckham, Henry Harris is back, and The Manor turns into an Italian. Check out the top 5 most important restaurant openings in January.

Significant Bar and Restaurant Closures

Kensington Roof Gardens


Kensington Roof Gardens: The nightclub and home of Babylon restaurant closed its doors after 37 years. A statement on the website cited ‘unpredictable market conditions’ as a reason for the closure.

Smoking Goat Soho: This one was always planned due to Crossrail works. Don’t worry though, we have Smoking Goat Shoreditch to fall back on.

Ape & Bird: The pub owned by the Polpo group closed its doors early in the month after transferring the lease to ‘a very exciting operator,’ later revealed to be Brewdog.

8 Hoxton Square: The modern European restaurant and sister to 10 Greek Street closed in early 2018 (source: Big Hospitality)Β 

Brixton Rooftop: Brixton Rooftop closed late this month after the building was acquired by Sports Direct.

Burro e Salvia East Dulwich: The south London branch of pasta restaurant Burro e Salvia (the other is in Shoreditch) closed this month. A statement on their website cited ‘inconsistent results.’

Headline News from the London Restaurant Scene

Grace Dent replaced Marina ‘O Loughlin as The Guardian’s restaurant critic. When Marina moved over to The Sunday Times we wept (ok on the inside, but still). Who would, or could, replace her? Grace Dent stepped up and she’s as fabulous as ever. Previously at The Evening Standard, she continues to make us giggle at The Graun with her sharp wit and breath-of-fresh-air observation.

It’s a no for Fanny’s Kebabs. A crowdfunded kebab shop was on the receiving end of a Twitter storm this month thanks to their misguided attempts to bring ‘posh kebabs’ to the people. In Stoke Newington. We’ll just leave these tweets here…

Another chef lost his rag with critic Fay Maschler. When will they learn?Β S Yuma Hashemi, owner of The Drunken Butler, took umbrage with her review of his restaurant and decided to communicate his displeasure via an online rant (written entirely in capitals). It’s since been deleted but the core was a suggestion that Maschler was drunk and couldn’t possibly have appreciated his food properly.

RIP Arthur Woodham. The elderly patron of Arthur’s Cafe on Kingsland Road passed away this month. A real London legend, he was the face of the caff for many years, inheriting it from his father. He passed away at 91 years of age.