Artisan & Vine forced to close

Artisan & Vine in southwest London has been forced to close due to a lack of demand for local and natural wines in a recession.

Kathryn O'Mara

Kathryn O'Mara

Founder of the Battersea wine bar and shop Kathryn O’Mara (left) said that sticking to her principles on natural and local wines and food cost her the business.

“But changing to a more generic option would have cost us Artisan & Vine,” she said.

O’Mara also cited reduced consumer spend combined with a neighbourhood location as having contributed to the closure.

“As the prospect of recession came closer, it became clear that success on our neighbourhood street would require moving away from my vision of local and natural wines and food.

“Artisan wines and food simply couldn’t compete on cost with their mass produced and chemically manipulated counterparts,” O’Mara said.

“It became evident that a suburban location in this economic climate was not right for our concept,” she added.

Trends towards drinking at home helped increase off-licence sales for the business, but the wine bar rent and overheads demanded a higher ratio of on-premise sales.

Artisan & Vine has won numerous awards at international wine competitions for its championing of local and natural wines, particularly English wines.

“We leave proud in the knowledge that so many people enjoyed so many occasions – special and every day – within our humble walls.

“We are eternally grateful for the amazing support we’ve received from the wine industry, awarding bodies, neighbourhood traders and the most adventurous and enthusiastic customers and staff a wine bar could ever hope for,” O’Mara said.

A note from O’Mara on the website’s homepage reads: “Unfortunately Artisan & Vine has ceased trading. We’d love to thank you all for a wonderful three and a half years on St John’s Hill.”

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