The restaurant of Soho House & Co’s Kettner’s Townhouse has been closed to non-members apart from hotel guests, 16 months after the refurbished venue was unveiled.
Unlike many other properties in the group the hotel was fully open to the public when it launched. At the time head chef Jackson Berg told The Caterer: “We want it to be for everyone in Soho, to drop in for a drink or bite to eat before the theatre, on dates, for dinner, for Champagne. We’ve tried to make it accessible for everyone. Soho loves Kettner’s and we want that to continue.”
However the group confirmed today that the dining room will be available only to members and those staying in the property’s bedrooms, which are available for non-members to book, going forward. A spokesperson added: “The historic Champagne bar is still open to everyone, serving the same menu. We’re proud to have brought the building back to life last year, keeping the 150-year- old Kettner’s story going.”
The Grade II-listed property in Romilly Street, London, has been a landmark in Soho since 1867, when chef August Kettner became one of the first London restaurateurs to serve French food. Remaining open through both world wars, Kettner’s has hosted the likes of Winston Churchill, Agatha Christie, Oscar Wilde and Margaret Thatcher. It is also believed to have been the rendezvous where the future King Edward VII courted his mistress, actress Lillie Langtry.
Private members’ club, restaurant and hotel operator Soho House & Co began talks to take over the lease of the hotel, along with a block of Georgian townhouses, from Gondola Holdings in 2012 with refurbishment starting in 2016.
The change was picked up by PR Hugh Richard Wright who tweeted: “Sad to hear that the restaurant and bar at Kettner’s Townhouse have closed to the public and become an extension of Soho House, especially after all the noise they made about ‘saving’ Kettner’s for Soho.”