Friday, January 15, 2021

Locking up the local

Matthew Steeples suggests that the closure of the Knightsbridge restaurant Racine brings with it another nail in the coffin of dining out in The Royal Borough

 

London is awash with restaurant openings but for every Chiltern Firehouse and Coya that opens with a flourish, another local dining spot seems to fade into history. With yesterday’s announcement that the Brompton Road stalwart Racine had closed its doors came another reminder of how hard it is to keep a restaurant open in areas such as Knightsbridge, Kensington and Chelsea.

 

cooking
After 12 years in business, Brompton Road restaurant Racine joins an ever growing list of stalwarts of the Royal Borough that has closed its doors

 

Last February, in comments to The Steeple Times, former restaurant owners such as Peter Burrell of Sette and Rex Leyland of Foxtrot Oscar lamented the issues faced by those opening establishments in the area and in the time since such people as François O’Neill, the owner of the popular Brompton Bar and Grill, have also put up the shutters.

 

Further indication of the trend toward closure is shown by looking at the small area on and around the strip of Fulham Road between Pelham Street and Sumner Place where, ten years ago, there were a total of eleven restaurants. Today, just six – including PJ’s and Bibendum – remain open whilst the rest having been converted to create offices for estate agents or absorbed into the premises of such stores as Stella McCartney.

 

In the vicinity, as the former premises of Tom Aikens remains empty a year after closing, illustration is provided that high rents and rates are a major issue that hinders the success of restaurateurs in this area. It is time that landlords and officials at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea did more to support restaurateurs in what was once a vibrant culinary destination. Dining out should not just be the preserve of oligarchs and billionaires and equally it is high time that we, as locals, do more to support local restaurants.

 

Subscribe to our free once daily email newsletter here:

     

    The Steeple Times
    We research and background check our articles. If you believe we have made and error in some detail please get in touch, we seek always to write the truth and stand against a press owned by a self selected few. Please help us, we will accept all your likes, subscriptions and anonymous suport. The Editor and his team at the Steeple Times.
    Advertisement

    19 COMMENTS

      • The eleven restaurants I refer to are:

        OPEN STILL:
        PJ’s
        Bibendum
        Bibendum Oyster Bar
        Brasserie Gustave (formerly Marco Pierre White Steakhouse, formerly Sette, formerly Cavallino, formerly Carpaccio)
        Patara

        CLOSED:
        Paparazzi Cafe
        San Frediano
        The Thai, Pelham Street
        Bowler Bar & Grill, Pond Place
        Indian restaurant on Fulham Road (opposite Pelham Crescent, cannot recall name)
        Restaurant that is now part of Stella McCartney store (cannot recall name)

    1. I liked Racine and I loved the Brompton Bar and Grill. Sad to see that the BB&G is now a boring cafe but that’s what the Arabs and Russians want. Mind you, having said that, Mr Novikov even failed with his Brompton Brasserie just along the road. Amazing.

    2. Shame BB&G closed – that was excellent. Perhaps though we need to stop lamenting the demise of restaurants we like and actually go to them as Mr Steeples suggests,

      • On this I cannot agree. The food at Oriel was vile and overpriced and their kitchens filthy….just what one expects from a business owned by private equity.
        The Colbert, as would expect from Corbin and King is a tremendous improvement. Maybe those failing business’s should look to C&K. On the list of restaurant profits Corbin and King come at the bottom of the list at c 10% probably because they have such high standards

    3. I’m certainly doing my best in that area.
      The Indian, called, I think,Tandoori, complete with the immaculately turned out Turban-topped gentlemen at the door, was always excellent. I was led to believe that it was London’s oldest Indian.
      The cost of rental is too high in all that row towards Stella McCartney. Revolving doors. I’m amazed we still have a paper shop. No thanks to Stella, I gather.
      Ronnie

    4. I am very disappointed to hear of Racine closing, one of my favourite restaurants for some time, when it opened it really stuck out as a jewel in that row of tourist trap outlets. Over the past few years, that whole area now seems to have been swamped with Arab tourists. L’Opera next door to Racine seems their main attraction.

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Advertisement
    Advertisement
    2,531FansLike
    2,068FollowersFollow
    10,739FollowersFollow
    129SubscribersSubscribe

    Most Popular

    MacBook Maxwell

    Mucky madam Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers demand she gets access to a laptop seven days per week; one can assume she’ll expect a ritzy MacBook Pro.

    Moron of the Moment – Shaun Bailey

    Pontificating pillock Shaun Bailey proves himself unfit to be Mayor of London after curiously claiming impoverished homeless people can and should save £5,000 to get a home.

    Theresa The Tea Leaf

    Tea leaf Theresa May lookalike goes on the rampage in Hereford and robs a purse; at least she didn’t grab ‘The Donald’s’ hand this time round (or have to share a curry with rotten paedo Rolf Harris).

    Lock Him Up 2021!

    Ideal new ‘home’ for likely to be impeached Donald Trump for sale just as he prepares to leave office; it comes with its own jail – the perfect place to “lock him up!”

    A Chelsea Essential

    Management of Fulham Road Italian The Chelsea Corner share their anger at the British government with protest posters against Lockup 3.0 and restaurants being branded “non-essential.”

    Moron of the Moment 2021 – Karren Brady

    Poundland muckspreader Karren Brady desperately seeks attention by bleating that men are “sexist” against her; Lady Brady brought up a story from years ago proving she has utterly nothing new to say.

    Help the Homeless in Lockup 3.0

    Matthew Steeples suggests the government has made progress with its decision to help the homeless in the UK during ‘Lockup 3.0’ – but it must go further.

    Runners & Riders – Welsh Grand National 2020

    ‘The Steeple Times’ examines the tipsters’ selections and offers a couple of options for the rescheduled Welsh Grand National 2020 at Chepstow – as well as a 66/1 each way option with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 place possibilities at Kempton.

    Hippo Harridan 2021 – Larysa Switlyk

    Not content with butchering bears, barbarian bitch Larysa Switlyk headed to Africa to harm hippos; this harridan must be stopped and banned from Instagram also.

    Hero of the Hour 2021 – ‘Miracle Man’ Brian Toomey

    Jockey who “died for six seconds” in 2013 Brian Toomey set to make a remarkable return to racing as a trainer in 2021.

    Dry January 2021 CANCELLED

    At a time of lockup lunacy in early 2021, the last thing we need is the marketing nonsense that is ‘Dry January’ forced upon us; instead, celebrate #DryGinuary.

    Lockup Lunacy

    Matthew Steeples condemns the government’s slapdash decision to lockup most of Britain (other than estate agents) once again as ludicrous.

    Hero of the Hour – Andy from Argos

    Grimsby resident takes with good humour someone attaching an Argos sign to his house on New Year’s Day whilst journalist reporting story of it goes all Miss Marple.

    Sorry is the Shiftiest Word

    ‘Sir Shifty’ Philip Green’s sister tells him to man up and say sorry over the Arcadia collapse debacle; the chubby chump will likely ignore her.

    Wally of the Week – Thomas Dodd (AKA Céline Dion)

    That the ‘Mirror’ focused on the non-story of a man changing his name to Céline Dion to start 2021 is beyond ridiculous.

    Heroes & Villains – The Best & The Worst People of 2020

    ‘The Steeple Times’ chooses the 25 best and 25 worst people of the last year and the 25 who’ll be missed and the 25 who won’t.

    Bombastic Basham Bashes Back

    Brian Basham, PR peddler for mucky madam Ghislaine Maxwell, suggests ‘Hunting Ghislaine’ podcast host John Sweeney is a drunk and someone he “despises.”

    Archewell OFF!

    Matthew Steeples suggests the best thing to do with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Archewell Audio ‘Holiday Special’ on Spotify is to turn it off.

    Grotesque Ghislaine Grubbily Groans

    As grotesque Ghislaine Maxwell is deservedly denied bail, PR peddler Brian Basham bizarrely drones on about China and “show trials” whilst author Don Winslow references the pressure now placed on Donald Trump.

    Pampered Peers Prattle About Avocados

    Avocados and a “lack of British chefs in the kitchens” get the goat of out-of-touch British peers just as Norman Fowler calls for their numbers to be cut.

    Getaway Ghislaine

    As two victims of Jeffrey Epstein do deals with his estate, will mucky madam Ghislaine Maxwell now getaway from the charges against her?

    Oysters Ahoy!

    Native oysters bizarrely reappear in Belfast Lough after 100 years of absence without any human intervention.

    Runners & Riders – King George VI Chase 2020

    ‘The Steeple Times’ examines the tipsters’ selections and offers a couple of options for Boxing Day’s King George IV Chase 2020 at Kempton.

    A Christmas Nightmare

    “Mini castle” in Pennsylvania goes on sale in time for Christmas for 512% more than it sold for in 2000 in spite of its decoration being nightmare nasty.

    Knightsbridge – Tent City 2020

    As Knightsbridge’s Brompton Road turns into a ‘tent city’ for the homeless, Matthew Steeples urges readers to support such people this Christmas.

    Morons of the Moment – Keith and Catherine Larkham

    Creosoted creatures turned “vexed visitors” Keith and Catherine Larkham complain to a local newspaper about the public being “murderers in the making” in a public park in Lytham, Lancashire.

    Blow-Up The Donald 2021

    Auction to blow-up Donald Trump in 2021 commences online for charity; the opportunity to implode is expected to sell for £375,000 and porn star Stormy Daniels is trying to get involved.

    Jobsworth Jenrick Props Up Property

    Jobsworth Robert Jenrick announces estate agents CAN take potential virus spreaders into peoples’ homes even in Tier 4 lockdown areas; a QUARTER of donations to the Tory party come from the property sector.

    Hollie Doyle – The Heroine of 2020

    For once, the normally “condescending cow” Karren Brady got it right in supporting the tremendous jockey Hollie Doyle to become BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2020.

    Bear Slaying Barbarian Tries Going Global

    Larysa Switlyk’s attempt to go global with a new website sharing imagery of her slaying bears and zebras is proof that this woman is nothing but an international menace and monster.

    The Filthy Money of Maxwell (and Borgerson and Epstein)

    As two associates of Jeffrey Epstein and Prince Andrew get snared, the money of Ghislaine Maxwell (and her supposed “boss”) starts to be clawed back for victims.

    A Bit of a Bully – Priti Patel

    Well-known bully Priti Patel inspires a bingo game after her latest “egregious” telly box blunder over Christmas Covid-19 rules.