CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Beef & Brew restaurant’s sudden exit

Steakhouse puts some of the blame on Brexit

24 October, 2019 — By Samantha Booth

Dan Nathan co-founded the restaurant [Photo: Jade Nina Sarkhel]

AN independent steakhouse has closed its doors this week after four years in Kentish Town.

Dan Nathan, who co-founded his “labour of love” Beef & Brew with business partner and chef Jessica Simmons in 2015, said the casual dining industry was difficult at the moment.

He said Brexit was one of the factors at play and, combined with getting a good offer on their lease, it was the “right time to step away”. Mr Nathan said: “The market got more difficult. We didn’t think we were going to get the business to where we wanted it.”

The restaurant’s speciality on it’s concise menu were steaks sourced from grass fed native breeds in Yorkshire.

Mr Nathan, who used to live in Tufnell Park, said they wanted to open more restaurants but it was looking like an unlikely prospect.

A second site in Dalston “wasn’t quite as good as the first”, he said.

He said the industry had changed a lot since opening, such as an increase in national wage and pension costs, as well as the looming uncertainty around the UK leaving the European Union, which has also seen people spending less on eating out.

“I think Brexit has a number of factors,” he said. “It affects the value of sterling so it costs more to buy food and, third thing, you’ve got fewer people coming into the UK to work and basically you’ve got less chefs and it costs more to get a chef.”

Despite current industry pressures, Mr Nathan said they had “really loved” running Beef & Brew and it had done “really well”.

“Many businesses are really struggling. We were lucky, but it got harder to make the same level. This is about being successful, it’s harder to get to where you want to get to.” Mr Nathan said the lease had been sold to another restaurant.

In a post on Beef & Brew’s website, they said: “To our team past and present and of course our customers, we owe you a lifelong thank you.”

Pizza East closes

PIZZA East, another popular stop in Kentish Town’s foodie scene, has also closed its doors.

A spokesman for Quentin Restaurants said they have taken the decision to close the Highgate Road restaurant and neighbouring Chicken Shop to “focus on other areas and locations for the business”.

He said the premises have been handed back to the landlord.

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