Two of London’s most interesting young restaurants – Fiend in Notting Hill and Black Radish in Wimbledon Village – have confirmed their permanent closure, while Barletta in Margate is also folding after falling victim to a £50,000 fraud.
Fiend only opened in summer 2021, and marked the return of chef Chris Denney (pictured), who had previously made his mark at nearby cult restaurant 108 Garage. He of the closure: “It has been an incredibly challenging year. The support we have had from our immediate locals has been immense, but sadly not enough to sustain the business long term.”
Black Radish was a debut from chef Toby Cartwright, who was still in his early 20s when he opened the restaurant four-and-a-half years ago. His adventurous, no-choice set meals won praise from locals, who raved to the Harden’s survey about the “super food, inventiveness and friendly staff” – but again, their support was apparently not enough to sustain the business through the travails of the past two years.
Barletta’s financial problem was more specific, with scammers taking £50,000 from owner Natalia Ribbe’s business account. A friend launched a crowdfunder campaign to claw back the loss, but the £6,500 raised was not enough to save the business, at Margate’s Turner Contemporary art gallery. Natalia and her partner Jackson Berg will now focus on their other venue in Margate, the wine bar and neighbourhood restaurant Sète.
Natalia said: “Our last day of trading will be Friday 9 December. In the lead up to our final day we will cook off all the hits (yes, those carrots) and end with one last dinner to say farewell.
“Lastly, to everyone who donated to help keep us afloat, a refund can be requested at any time. Any remaining funds will be donated to Hospitality Action, who supports hospitality businesses facing challenging times.”