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Malcolm John closes Le Cassoulet and Fish & Grill

By Luke Nicholls , 14-Aug-2012

Related topics: Business, Venues, People, Restaurants

Two of Malcolm John’s restaurants - Le Cassoulet in South Croydon and Fish & Grill in Putney - have closed their doors after trade at the sites failed to pick up over the past 12 months.

Malcolm John said last year's riots were a 'disaster' for Le Cassoulet

Malcolm John said last year's riots were a 'disaster' for Le Cassoulet

Le Cassoulet's restaurant’s closure comes just months after the South Croydon Business Association created the ‘restaurant quarter’ in a bid to boost business after the riots and encourage diners back into the area.

It is believed that a combination of the recession, the high rate of VAT and the riots are to blame for Le Cassoulet’s closure, with the latter decimating like-for-likes in the area by up to 90 per cent in August and September 2011.

Speaking to Restaurant magazine earlier this year about the effects of the riots, John said: “Financially it was a disaster, but it was painful for me on an emotional level too. It’s an area that I love. I’ve brought up my family here and it’s particularly sad that a lot of local youngsters have, by extension, been stigmatised by the riots and now can’t find work.”

Meanwhile, the permanent closure of Fish & Grill Putney comes just 15 months after it launched and nine months after a 36-cover jazz bar was opened underneath the restaurant in a bid to boost trade.

John has become known for his involvement in altruistic community activities and, following the riots, he launched The Phoenix Initiative - an apprenticeship scheme which gave four teenagers first-hand kitchen experience at each of his South London restaurants.

His other three London restaurants, Le Vacherin (Chiswick), Fish & Grill (Croydon) and Brasserie Vacherin (Sutton), all continue to trade as normal. The chef has declined to comment on the two closures. 

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