'The pandemic has hit us harder than we ever imagined it would'

The  Staff Canteen

Acclaimed Clapham restaurant The Dairy by chef Robin Gill has permanently closed, as has its sister business and wine bar, Counter Culture. 

The chef shared the news on his Instagram account, where he said: "This has been one of the toughest decisions of our lives. The pandemic has hit us harder than we ever imagined it would.

"The Dairy has been our way of life for almost a decade, the memories created, the wonderful friendships (the bloodshots), the bees, the people and culture of our little journey will never be forgotten."

His wife and partner Sarah added that during their time at The Dairy, "we were made to feel part of the community and made some dear dear friends, who are still dear friends today.

"Robin and I were overwhelmed when we first opened - we always saw ourselves as the underdogs and the industry really got behind us and believed in us. 

"It has really helped us get where we are today, and we want to thank you all for that."

Robin and Sarah borrowed money from friends and family to open up The Dairy in 2013 after investors fell through, bringing a team together including alumni from Le Manoir, where the couple first met.  

Two years later, they launched The Manor - which became Counter Culture - a Delicatessen turned wine bar. 

Then, last summer, they opened Darby's at Embassy Gardens in Vauxhall, an Irish restaurant and oyster bar inspired by the chef's late father and famous jazz musician, Earl 'Darby' Gill.

Like many others, the restaurant was forced to close during the spring due to the pandemic, but continued to cook food to donate to NHS charities. It has since reopened its doors to diners.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 19th August 2020

'The pandemic has hit us harder than we ever imagined it would'