Smoking Goat and 8 Hoxton Square close

Beloved Thai barbecue restaurant Smoking Goat in Soho and the wine-centric 8 Hoxton Square in Hoxton are two of the first London restaurant casualties of 2018.

8 Hoxton Square is London’s latest restaurant casualty

Game changer Smoking Goat will serve its last meals on this Sunday. According to Eater the site is closing due to both the redevelopment of Denmark Street and so that works can be carried out on the building the restaurant is housed in.

Smoking Goat ushered in a new era of authentic Thai restaurants, stoking London’s love of Thai barbecue when it opened its doors back in 2014, paving the way for the likes of Som Saa in Spitalfields and Farang in Highbury.

Its chilli fish sauce chicken wings fast became the site’s signature dish and have remained on the menu since its inception.

Its quirky wine list was cherry picked by Zeren Wilson and leaned heavily on aromatic whites designed to pair with the fiery spice in the dishes.

Smoking Goat in Soho closes on Sunday

The success of Smoking Goat spawned founder Ben Chapman to open a sister site, Kiln in Soho, where rustic Thai dishes are cooked in clay pots on wood-burning ovens, and a second Smoking Goat in Shoreditch.

“We’ve had an unforgettable three years on Denmark Street and that’s largely down to a brilliant team who’ve flourished and become co-owners, and our incredibly loyal crowd of regulars.

“I know of no other place where people regularly eat dinner, leave, and then come back in the same night,” Chapman said in a statement.

Chapman is throwing a ‘Goodbye Goat’ party this Saturday when the bar will be open until midnight and free chilli sauce fish wings will be handed out.

Modern European restaurant 8 Hoxton Square, a sibling to the popular wine-focused 10 Greek Street in Soho, has also recently closed its doors.

A note on its website informs diners: “8 Hoxton Square has now closed for business. Many thanks for your custom, please visit us at our sister restaurant 10 Greek Street’.

The restaurant, run by executive chef Cameron Emirali and sommelier Luke Wilson, opened in February 2014, serving the likes of baby octopus with morcilla and paprika; and squid with blood orange and fennel.

In addition to 10 Greek Street, the pair also run all-day café The Whitechapel Refectory and wine bar After Hours at the Whitechapel Gallery.

A spokesperson for 8 Hoxton Square said the owners took the decision not to re-open the restaurant after Christmas as it was underperforming and they decided they wanted to make 10 Greek Street and The Whitechapel Refectory their focus.

The dip in value of the pound in the wake of Brexit, along with the resulting rise in price of imported ingredients and fewer Europeans seeking employment in the British catering sector, has created the perfect storm for the London on-trade.

A number of high profile venues were forced to close last year, including HKK in Shoreditch, Paradise Garage in Bethnal Green, L’Autre Pied in Marylebone, and, most recently the Kensington Roof Gardens in High Street Kensington, which closed this month after 37 years in business.

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