The Polpo restaurant group has closed its London Notting Hill site, with all staff offered roles across the company as the firm looks to consolidate the Venetian chain.
The closure was long-expected after the site was listed as for sale as early as January – with the prime Notting Hill Gate site placed on the market for £220,000. Polpetto in Soho, which has retained a bib gourmand in the Michelin guide, was also listed at around the same time but is yet to announce its closure.
In a statement posted on the door of the site, a Polpo spokesperson said: “We would like to thank you all for supporting us over the last five years. We have loved being here and bringing a little flavour of Venice to Notting Hill.”
The statement added: “We have offered all our staff roles in other restaurants.”
It follows the decision on 8 March for the firm to enter into a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA), with plans for the firm to emerge as a viable business. The CVA was sought after the firm made £1m of savings at head office in the financial year to April 2018, but did not have sufficient funds to meet historic obligations to HMRC.
As part of the CVA, the business said it would enter negotiations with non-critical creditors as well as closing two loss-making London sites.
The closure of Notting Hill brings the number of sites under the Polpo name down to six, including Polpetto. The firm also operates Spuntino – self-described as a “scruffy small-plate joint serving strong cocktails and Italian/American comfort food” in Soho and Heathrow Airport. The former, on Rupert Street, is scheduled for closure at the end of July will be returned to landlord Hallmark Estate.
However plans remain to relaunch the site, with a £10,000 finder’s fee available to those able to find an alternative location. In March managing director Richard Beatty said: “Losing Spuntino’s original home at 61 Rupert Street is going to be tough. Rarely has a restaurant been so closely associated with the physical space it inhabits. But we have been greatly encouraged by the success of Spuntino at Heathrow Airport and have seen the potential for a reborn Spuntino in Soho that is bigger and better.
“Additionally, the love Londoners feel for that pewter-topped bar and those 27 stools means that we absolutely must find a new home. We are confident there is somewhere nearby that’s just right for us and to show our commitment to this happening quickly, we are offering a £10,000 finder’s fee reward to anyone who informs us of an off-market site that we end up signing on.”