Gourmet vegetarian and vegan operator Vanilla Black is to close after 16 years, with the restaurant’s owners saying they don’t see a financially viable way to survive following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The restaurant has been operating in London since 2008, although it was originally founded in York four years previously.
Its contemporary menu featuring unusual ingredients and unique flavour combinations had earned it a recommendation in the Michelin Guide and two AA Rosettes.
Owners Andrew Dargue and Donna Conroy said in a statement: “Like many hospitality businesses around the world, as a direct effect of Covid-19 we are deeply saddened to announce that we are unable to see a financially viable way to reopen Vanilla Black on its current site.
“As a small independent restaurant which has traded for 16 years, the effects of the last few months have been immensely devastating. We have always put our hearts and souls into Vanilla Black and it is a passion rather than a business, so it has been a very difficult decision to make.”
However, the duo insisted they “don’t see this as the end”, adding: “This is not the end of our mission to create innovative vegetarian and vegan cuisine. We will return in the near future with a new and exciting venture.”
Last year, Mr Dargue also became a consultant chef for Bartlett Mitchell. The caterer aimed to work with him to inspire its chefs to create original meat-free dishes that offer customers new menu options beyond the stereotypical vegetarian and vegan fare.