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Le Gavroche to close

Michel Roux Jr. has announced that famed Mayfair establishment Le Gavroche will be shutting its doors for good in January next year after 56 years as one of the most celebrated restaurants in the world.

Left to right: Albert Roux, Michel Roux Jr, and Emily Roux.

The iconic Gallic-inflected London establishment was found by Roux’s father, the late Albert Roux, and uncle, the late Michel Roux Sr., in 1967. After gaining its first Michelin star in 1977, the restaurant became the first UK restaurant to receive the prestigious accolade of three stars in the Michelin Guide five years later after it moved to the larger premises of its current home of Upper Brook Street.

Michel Roux Jr. took charge in 1991, something which he described as “one of my greatest honours”. Though the restaurant lost its three Michelin star rating and went down to two due to Roux’s decision to change to a style of cooking that did not conform to the criteria for the full three stars, Le Gavroche remained one of the most celebrated eateries in the UK capital under his stewardship.

In a statement, chef-patron Roux said: “I know this will come as a shock to many of you, so please know this decision has not been made lightly. Le Gavroche means so much, not just to myself and the Roux family, but to the wider Gavroche team and you, our guests, who have become our family over so many years.”

“I have always felt that should Le Gavroche ever close, it must be on a high,” Roux continued. “Le Gavroche has, and continues to be, fully booked, week in, week out, but I have known for a while that I must make time for a better work/life balance, so I can spend more time with my family and on my other business ventures. The end of the current lease gave me the opportunity to assess and consider the future, and I feel that now is the time to turn the page and move forward.”

“Le Gavroche has changed the face of the UK and London restaurant scene and its legacy is unmatched. For over five decades, Le Gavroche has resolutely remained an iconic figure as the world changed around it, and has been home to many of the UK and world’s best chefs,” he added.

Over the restaurant’s illustrious history, culinary powerhouses such as Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay, Pierre Koffmann and Monica Galetti spent time at the stove.

Roux revealed that the name of ‘Le Gavroche’ “will live on” at pop-up events, and that he will continue his involvement with high-end catering company Chez Roux, and that there will be a series of celebratory dinners over the coming months before the restaurant closes.

While it was speculated that Roux’s daughter, Emily Roux, would follow in her father and grandfather’s footsteps, she has her own restaurant, Caractère, in Notting Hill, which she runs with husband and fellow chef Diego Ferrari.

Roux also thanked the restaurant’s loyal patrons over the last half century: “We have been incredibly fortunate to have such wonderful guests, many of whom have been visiting us for decades. Our success is all down to you. We are, and have always been, so grateful to you all, and I would like to extend a personal thank you to every single person that has dined with us over the years. Your support means everything to us.”

An online dedication book to the restaurant has been set up.

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