Staff at the Affinity group of restaurants and bars (Princess Victoria, Dickie Fitz, Lady Ottoline and Henry Root) were stunned to discover the company had closed without warning this week. All four premises have been shut down, including their websites, with one Princess Victoria employee tweeting: “Unfortunately we have been closed down as of 7 am this morning and are not open anymore for the foreseeable future. 80 staff across 3 venues have lost jobs. If we do reopen it probably won’t be us.” The “beautiful old gin palace” on a slightly barren stretch of highway in deepest Shepherd’s Bush was known among our reports for its “fabulous wine list”, food was “variable” but could be “sensational”.
A longer post on Princess Victoria’s Facebook page read: “As of today we are unfortunately closed, out of the blue, no one was expecting it but all of our sites across affinity bars and restaurants have been shut down as of 7 am this morning and 80 staff have lost their jobs, apologies to any customers wanting to come in but there is nothing we can do. And to those who had functions booked and paid for we literally found out at 7am this morning, on behalf of all the staff we are so extremely sorry and we hope there is something we can do for you however our higher ups have decided that we need to close with immediate effect. Lots of hard working, dedicated staff have lost their jobs and we are sorry that we couldn’t look after you in the future.”
Fitzrovia’s Dickie Fitz was an Antipodean-influenced brasserie with striking yellow-leather banquettes, on the former site of The Newman Street Tavern. Its Aussie breakfasts and Pacific-inspired all-day menu won some praise in our annual survey, but one or two disasters were also reported, and service could be “apathetic”.
The Lady Ottoline was a “nice little pub” in Bloomsbury – a restored Victorian tavern whose comfort food cooking and rather civilised atmosphere were consistently well-rated by reporters. Chelsea’s Henry Root had failed to inspire reports in our survey in recent years.
According to the Caterer, the Affinity group does not appear to have gone into administration according to Companies House.