IT may be the saddest announcement of the year. Just after celebrating its second birthday Beastro down at Spinningfields Leftbank has shut, “blaming an incredibly difficult trading period and unsustainable running costs”.
Co-owners James and Heather Taylor and Richard Brown are not alone in feeling the financial pinch as a steady trickle of closures proves. Their departure, though, is more poignant than most. In their original incarnations as Bangers & Bacon they famously saw off rival street food traders to wine the The Kitchens street food start-up contest on the site that subsequently became their home.
Spinningfields developer Allied London gave business support to them and five other hopefuls, including Chaat Cart, Hip Hop Chip Shop and Yakumama (all of whom now have permanent homes) in separate units. Each got a unit to prove their worth over a six month period and Bangers & Bacon lasted the course, eventually becoming Beastro. They asked ToM’s opinion on the name and we felt it bullishly summed up their offering.
Spinningfields project manager Rochelle Silverstein commented at the time: Bangers & Bacon have worked tirelessly over the last year to develop a loyal customer base, through a combination of diverse and high-quality menus, sell-out events, including innovative Chef’s table supper clubs and a constant passion for their trade.
“Come rain or shine, from breakfast through to dinner the dedication displayed throughout the process was simply unrivalled.”
The team are still punching above their weight. Saturday gone (June 15) marked the launch of a new project from the trip – reopening the Bulls Head Heyside, on the Taylors’ home patch. The menu is Beastro-style, so this is bound to become a destination food pub as well a revitalised local.
A couple of weeks ago Richard and James also made a typically knockabout contributuin to our popular Tasting Notes feature, giving no indication Beastro was going under. This is what they told Facebook today:
“It is with a heavy heart we write this, a message we never dreamt we would have to. With great sadness and disappointment, we have taken the decision to close Beastro with immediate effect.
“Just after celebrating our second Birthday we had hoped that some issues and setbacks we have faced would be able to be turned around. We had hoped we could work hard as possible to work our way out of the difficulties as we have done previously. Unfortunately even with all our best efforts, it has proven to be unsustainable to continue trading.
“We began Beastro with an ambition to grow and a passion for hospitality, a dedication to incredible ingredients and a love for honest cooking. We are hugely disappointed to be leaving in this way.
“Beginning from our street food background, with the help, support and guidance from Allied London we were able to establish Beastro in Leftbank. We are hugely grateful for all the support and help we have had.
“We want to be honest and transparent in our reasons for the closure and want you to know that this decision has not been taken easily, we have been working tirelessly to find a solution to turn this around and make it a success. Unfortunately, due to an incredibly difficult trading period, the costs of running Beastro have made it impossible to continue.
“We have taken a number of steps to try and improve the business from event catering to special menus, opening additional nights and a huge focus on marketing and social media. Even with all our best efforts we have been unable to find a solution to enable us to continue…
“Thank you to our regulars, our suppliers, and our team especially as without them there would not have been, Beastro. It has been an honour and a privilege to feed, serve and know you all.”