Red's True Barbecue closes only London site

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Red's True Barbecue Shoreditch closed restaurant

Related tags: Smoking

Red’s True Barbecue has closed its only London restaurant after less than three years of trading.

The Leeds-based smokehouse group opened the £1.4m, 150-cover site in 2015 with the intention of using it as a base to grow​ in the capital.

But the company, which is left with seven sites in the Midlands and North, blamed ‘current market forces’ for halting its expansion plans.

Red’s said in a statement: “Our initial strategy was to always grow out a London presence with Shoreditch as an operational hub. Whilst importantly this restaurant remains profitable, current market forces have made it challenging to support growth of the hub and spoke model in the South, and it is for this reason we have decided to sadly say goodbye to Red’s Shoreditch."

Red’s founders James Douglas and Scott Munro opened their first restaurant in Leeds in 2012 and the brand rapidly grew to eight sites, spawning a cookbook and a range of sauces listed in national supermarkets.

Its smoked meats and famous Donut Burger won legions of fans, which it affectionately refers to as ‘believers’.

In 2015 the company received a £5m investment​ from a group of key industry players, including Tortilla founder Brandon Stephens and Pho founder Stephen Wall, to open in Shoreditch with the aim of expanding to 20 sites by 2020.

But in March 2017 MCA​ reported that the company had entered refinancing talks after breaching its banking facility. Its banking partner Santander issued a letter of support indicating it intended to ‘continue to make funding available’.

Red's said it will focus on its portfolio outside the South of England going forward.

“Our heartland, operational and brand strength remains solid in the Midlands, North, North East and North West and so we will continue to consolidate our efforts in the regions," the company said.

The group's remaining restaurants operate in Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.

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