Pollen Street Social to close down

Jason Atherton is to close his Mayfair flagship, Pollen Street Social, this summer after 13 years. The last service will be on July 31.

The restaurant was a huge hit when it opened in 2011 and propelled Jason, a former right-hand man to Gordon Ramsay, into the limelight as one of London’s foremost chef-restaurateurs. He went on to create an international group that currently comprises 15 restaurants from London to Shanghai.

As recently as 2020, Pollen Street comfortably made the “most mentioned” list in the annual Harden’s survey, but it dropped off after the pandemic, and last year slashed its prices dramatically in an attempt to revive its fortunes.

Announcing the closure, Jason said: “Pollen Street Social was an iconic restaurant and we are incredibly proud of everything we have achieved. It’s obviously very difficult to close what was always the flagship Social Company site, but the London dining scene is fast-paced and diners are looking for something a little different.

Jason made clear he is not in retreat, saying he would soon announce details of his next two London openings. A new ‘flagship’ has long been trailed on Savile Row, and another venture in Bruton Place.

Meanwhile, a Manchester group which seemed recently to be booming has also announced closures. Rigatoni’s has shuttered branches in Sale and Manchester city centre in quick succession in order to concentrate on its venues in Altrincham and Ancoats.

The fresh pasta group operated by brothers Mike & Alex De Martiis was originally called Sugo, then Sud, before being re-launched as Rigatoni’s in January.

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