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.