Hawksmoor calls time on its casual Foxlow brand

Foxlow is soon to be no more. Hawksmoor’s neighbourhood steak chain will cease trading on Friday June 28, the company has announced.

The group shuttered its Soho restaurant in April this year, and just three months later, the two remaining sites, in Clerkenwell and Balham, will go at the end of the month.

Hawksmoor launched Foxlow six years ago as a pared-down, casual steak restaurant geared towards the mid-market. The Balham branch also boasted a cocktail bar called The Owl, which is also set to close.

Co-owner Will Beckett said the company couldn’t see a viable future for Foxlow, and will instead be focusing on the core business: Hawksmoor.

“After a fantastic 6 years we have made the decision to close the two remaining Foxlow restaurants,” Beckett said.

“Once Soho closed, we started to receive further offers. We decided to sell Foxlow Clerkenwell and simultaneously close the Balham restaurant, which seems better to us than continuing to trade and leave staff, suppliers and customers in a period of uncertainty. We’ll now be focusing on making sure that those people are looked after in the right way.

To a perhaps surprising extent, given the undoubted achievement of Hawksmoor, the Foxlow brand has always failed to ignite similar enthusiasm, and for the last three years has scored 2/5 all-round in the Harden’s survey: “detractors don’t say they’re appalling or anything, just a bit… meh”.

“However, in the end we couldn’t see a future where Foxlow grew as a business. With Foxlow closed we will be able to focus exclusively on Hawksmoor, which continues to be extremely successful and we are very proud that it continues to thrive and grow.

“Many of the people who worked in Foxlow restaurants are moving over to Hawksmoor to continue to build their careers, which we believe is testament to the exceptional culture we have here.”

Is all this surprising? Reporters have generally been favourable when talking about Foxlow, which has always offered “excellent steaks and burgers” – as you would expect from the guys behind Hawksmoor. Sourcing and service have always been high on the agenda.

But the budget spin-off never really seemed to venture past decent, and at times appeared a little lacklustre in the frenetic pace of London’s dining scene. The industry isn’t easy, but good steaks are easy to come by if you know where to look.

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