Sam’s tribulations at the Riverside

High-profile West London-based restaurateur Sam Harrison has said he might close his popular new restaurant, Sam’s Riverside, by Hammersmith Bridge, after being forced to remove a marquee for outdoor dining by the local council.

He said the move was costing the business £15,000 in lost trade a week and had forced him to cancel 50 Christmas bookings. “I genuinely don’t know if we’ll be here in the spring.”

Hammersmith and Fulham council insisted in a statement that its stance had been misrepresented. “While Hammersmith & Fulham is very sympathetic to the challenges faced by Sam’s Riverside, we cannot breach planning regulations because he has chosen to run a media campaign.”

In addition, Sam said this week’s rail strikes had caused the cancellation of 50% of bookings on Wednesday and Thursday this week, with more expected this weekend.

Sam’s Riverside opened in 2019 in the revamped Riverside Studios arts centre building, to immediate acclaim. It has been one of the most mentioned London restaurants in the latest two Harden’s surveys, and is praised as “outstanding, modern and really well designed” with “a buzzy atmosphere” in the newly published 2023 Harden’s guide.

Sam also operates Sam’s Larder in Chiswick, and recently announced plans for two new venues in Brentford, to open next year.

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