Administrators close down Michelin-starred restaurant The Square

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 31st January 2020

 Customers and staff are said to have been asked to vacate Michelin-starred Mayfair restaurant The Square in the middle of lunch service on friday January 1st, as administrators seized owner Marlon Abela's assets. 

A source told The Staff Canteen that while two Michelin-starred The Greenhouse and one Michelin-starred Umu - which also belong to Marlon Abela - were still open on Friday, they could also be closed imminently. 

Update: Another source confirmed that Umu was still trading on Monday 03/02. The restaurant was confirmed to have fallen under administration later in the day, but will remain open until a buyer is found. Administrators Graham Bushby and Nick Edwards of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP is understood to have taken on all of Marlon Abela Restaurant Corporation's (MARC's) operations but for The Greenhouse.

Staff at The Square were said to have been aware of goings-on, as it emerged that Abela faced bankrupcy charges in October last year, but are said to have received no prior warning and have not been paid for the month of January. 

The Square first opened in 1991 and moved to its current location in Mayfair in 1997. In 1998, the restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars, which they retained for 19 consecutive years until the departure of Phil Howard in 2016.

Marlon Abela of MARC Ltd acquired The Square in March 2016 and in September, it was announced that Japanese chef Yu Sugimoto would lead the kitchen team. After less than a year, Yu had to return to Japan for family reasons.

The Square closed for refurbishment in August 2017 and Clément Leroy took on the role ahead of their re-opening in November 2017.

The Staff Canteen has contacted the Marc Group and The Square restaurant for comment but is yet to receive a response. 

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 31st January 2020

Administrators close down Michelin-starred restaurant The Square