The Italian restaurant opened in Bermondsey in 2012 but shut its doors in September after claiming rising costs had made the business ‘difficult to sustain’.
Now Antico chef Adam Czmiel and founder Nick Crispini are reopening the site as Flour & Grape, a more casual offering with a ‘pared-down’ menu of eight homemade pastas available to eat-in or takeaway.
“Flour & Grape is a completely new concept, Antico rests in peace,” Crispini told BigHospitality. “This is something I’ve wanted to do since 2014. I absolutely adore pasta and would eat it twice a day if could, but from a business perspective it is also about efficiency.
“Over the past year costs have risen through the roof, whether it’s due to produce, business rates or rents. Instead of passing that on to the customer we’re making the background [of the restaurant] more efficient so we can still offer value for money.”
Flour & Grape’s menu will include bucatini (tomato, capers, olives, basil); tortelloni (roasted pork shoulder, sage butter); and reginette (tiger prawn, prawn bisque, basil) alongside antipasti, gelati and wines by the glass.
The 60-cover dining room has been revamped with high seating and sharing tables. A counter at the front of the restaurant will offer pasta to-go and sell bottles from the wine list at retail prices.
“I’ve taken a step back and looked at how I can reduce costs without compromising the quality,” says Crispini.
“Focusing the menu on one concept means you don’t need so many chefs and can specialise. Instead of offering three sit-down courses [Flour & Grape] is more casual, so I’m also cutting down on linen and similar costs.”
Crispini opened Antico in 2012 after working with Theo Randall at his flagship Mayfair site.
The restaurant’s downstairs sister bar, 214 Bermondsey, is currently closed for a refurbishment but will reopen on 17 October, ahead of Flour & Grape's launch on 23 October.