Contractors waste no time stripping axed London restaurant after administration

Contractors were expected to continue stripping out the Albion cafe and restaurant in London’s Clerkenwell this morning after parent group Prescott & Conran fell into administration this week.

News of the company’s financial woes came to light on Wednesday, with the company blaming “a period of sustained change off the back of changing consumer demand” for its decision to shutter a number of under-performing restaurants.

Property agents Davis Coffers Lyons have been instructed to advise on the marketing and sale of affected restaurants and yesterday evening builders could be seen inside the Albion packing up belongings and clearing the site.

FEJ visited the restaurant this morning and all that is visible from the outside are the main interior fittings, including tables, chairs, counters and kitchen area. It is not clear whether the kitchen equipment, which includes the ovens that baked its wide range of breads and pies, will be removed from the site before the weekend or remain in place.

All food and drink items at the property, which also acted as a grocery store, have been boxed up and taken away. Only standard catering supplies such as cutlery, tableware and paper cups remained on display this morning.

It is understood that staff only found out about he closure when Duff & Phelps were appointed as administrators earlier this week.

A notice on the window of the Albion reads: “Due to circumstances beyond our control we will not be opening today. Sorry for an inconvenience this may cause.”

The Albion only opened two years ago and was seen by the group as a key part of its growth strategy, serving seasonal British food throughout the day.

Prescott and Conran was founded by Peter Prescott and Sir Terence and Lady Conran in 2006, who had worked together many years at Conran Restaurants.

They set up the joint venture with a focus on a smaller and more personal collection of restaurants, cafes, bars and a hotel.

As well as the Albion, Parabola in Kensington and Lutyens on Fleet Street have been closed, according to the administrators.

One venture that is not part of the administration process is 2-4 Boundary Street Limited, owner of the Boundary Project. It has been sold to a new company, owned by the Conran Family.

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