‘We were a great pub’: The Devonshire Arms in Chiswick closes in first year

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

The Devonshire Arms in Chiswick, London, has closed with immediate effect
The Devonshire Arms in Chiswick, London, has closed with immediate effect
The Devonshire Arms – Gordon Ramsay’s failed pub in Chiswick, London – has closed with immediate effect having only re-opened under new ownership in July last year.

The 90-cover pub, under the Enterprise Inns lease, was bought by Nick Gibson for an undisclosed sum, after Gordon Ramsay Holdings closed the venue in June 2010 as a result of a ‘struggling pub market.’

Less than a year later, The Devonshire Arms has closed again and is to be re-sold, as Gibson explained it was unable to capture the imagination of the local community.

“We were a great pub in every sense,” he told BigHospitality. “The feedback we receive on review websites was as good as, if not better than, the feedback we get at our sister pub, The Drapers Arms (in Islington - Gibson's latest venue). People loved the food and the drink, but sadly not enough people made their way here.

“Sure, if people were going out twice as much as they are because they had more money, or the booze from supermarkets was more expensive, then obviously that would help. But ultimately people need to walk in the door and I can’t just blame it on the Chancellor.”

Staff sacked

Upon the opening, Gibson had said: “I don’t know why Gordon Ramsay failed – it’s a good site. I’ll be paying 100 per cent attention.”

He spent over £200k on refurbishing the venue and hiring new staff. David Philpot, former senior chef of Caprice Holdings’ Le Caprice and The Ivy, led the kitchen as head chef, while Ryan Hayward, formerly of Sophie’s Steakhouse, ran the front-of-house.

Gibson said the closure is a ‘very sad day’, although he went on to reveal that the pubs financial difficulties had been clear for a while.

“I’ve always been very transparent in sharing my accounts with the staff,” he added. “We knew how much money we were losing and that wasn’t something that couldn’t carry on doing. I’m desperately sad for the staff that we've had to sack, but there are no guarantees in this industry.

“I hope it doesn’t now turn into a place that just sells pre-packaged food - that would be really sad. I hope someone feels that they can compete with the high street and take the pub on.”

Related topics: Business, Venues, People, Pubs & Bars

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Good design is the key to pub success

Posted by Sue Chalmers,

Hard furniture, timber floors and boring painted walls, why would anyone want to go in there, pay for food & drink when they can stay in their own, more comfortable homes, and eat cheaper food.
I'm all for going out and spending good money on good food, but don't insult me by making me sit on an uncomfortable chair in an uncomfortable space. No atmosphere, no experience, no enjoyment, which means no return visit and no recommendation to friends, family, colleagues.
As Hugh mentions, atmosphere is crucial.
As soon as people realise they need to invest more in the correct design and furnishing of their premises, then the sooner they will realise the success they will achieve. Just look at many of the larger chains, Village Inns is a good example - professional design, comfortable surroundings, professional results.
And £200,000 is extortionate for what it looked like!

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We must look after our British pubs

Posted by Justin,

This is sad - but there IS a market for fresh, fast pure steaks etc in a pub. I don't know if they looked at their energy costs before buying a grill but Synergy grill is a Finalist at Hotelympia and would certainly have helped lower running costs. We would have helped

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Truly Sad

Posted by Hugh,

Lets not blame Chiswick, I ran the Coach & Horses in the early eighties, we had indoor rivers, a lake a waterfall and an atmosphere that I have never felt in any pub anywhere else. Back then we were taking 15k a week, we had clients coming from all over London,as well as a great local trade, maybe, just maybe we were giving what the punter wanted

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