Michelin star restaurant in London shut down while people are eating lunch
Heartbreak for staff as The Square closes its doors mid-service due to financial difficulties.
Customers at the highly-rated restaurant The Square were surprised in the middle of lunch, after reportedly being asked to leave. A very disappointed senior staff member visited all diners in the room to inform them of the financial plight of the Michelin-starred restaurant.
It was reported that four suited people arrived at the restaurant, with staff shortly after relaying to customers the unfortunate fate of the establishment - owned by Marlon Abela Restaurant Corporation (MARC). The news of the closure comes after a July 2019 review of MARC that indicated that auditors weren't "... able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence" to give an audit opinion.
At the time, directors were confident of finding funding to continue operations, with a MARC spokesperson then saying, "The reason the auditors could not obtain the information they needed was due to the failure on the part of the relevant financial institutions, including NatWest Bank, to provide the necessary information."
According to Hot Dinners, one specific customer, Sue Houghton, wrote on Instagram, "4 suited men arrived mid-meal and disappeared into a side room. Cheese is then #mysteriously ‘off’ and then over coffee, a very tearful Maitre D comes round all the tables and says we must please leave now as the restaurant has gone bankrupt. Staff haven’t been paid and they are all in tears and so apologetic to us. Feel so bad for them. Really sad way to get a free meal."
Umu, another establishment owned by MARC, continues to trade, although has now fallen under administration, according to The Staff Canteen.
The sudden closure of The Square appears to be an anomaly on the food landscape, with the UK Hospitality Food Service Management Market Report previously reporting a greater confidence in the sector, with prospects of future growth.