Nocturnal Animals closed 'for the foreseeable' following Alex Claridge's departure

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 12th August 2019

Birmingham restaurant and cocktail bar Nocturnal Animals has been closed until further notice after the chef owner of The Wilderness, Alex Claridge, resigned from the venue. 

The decision was published on the restaurant's Twitter page, stating that the business owners have "regrettably taken the decision to close the venue for the foreseeable whilst they make a plan" and that any vouchers for the venue could be redeemed at The Wilderness.  

The 1980s-themed restaurant and bar launched in the city centre in November last year, offering modern, Asian-influenced fine dining in the chef's typically fun style as well as novel-themed afternoon tea and an eclectic, original cocktail menu.

Upon announcing his departure earlier this week, Alex explained that he wishes to focus his attention on "making The Wilderness the best restaurant it can be for both guests and our team alike." 

He said:  “Nocturnal Animals was an ambitious new project in the city centre and there is much that I am proud of – the bar in particular has done spectacularly well to achieve UK Top 50 recognition in such little time. I want to make clear, I have nothing but gratitude to everyone involved in the project – staff and guests alike - to date and this decision is not one I have taken lightly." 

The chef said the project has been challenging "for a huge variety of reasons," and that he does not wish to continue as he has done for the past nine months - "split between the two restaurants." 

"I have always promised my family, work family and business partners that The Wilderness and my happiness will be my priority no matter what, and the time is right for me to stay true to that. I intend to dedicate my time and attention to the restaurant that I love so dearly and pursue only the constant goal of making The Wilderness the best restaurant it can be for both guests and our team alike."

Watch Alex Claridge make his "Big Mac" and "Not Another F*****g Balti" dishes: 

In these challenging times…

…the hospitality landscape has dramatically changed in the last two months, and with that our advertising revenues have all but expired, significantly impacting our business. Despite having to furlough a large portion of our staff, we are still delivering the valuable content and honest information, which hundreds of thousands of you come to The Staff Canteen for. We believe we have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs, are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector.

Your financial support means we remain independent and open to all. We were launched by a chef and remain the voice of chefs and other hospitality professionals.

We need your support to keep delivering the products and content that you love, giving you the platform to share opinions and inspiration. Every contribution whether big or small, means so much.
Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 12th August 2019

Nocturnal Animals closed 'for the foreseeable' following Alex Claridge's departure