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Aquavit closes

Aquavit, the Scandinavian-themed restaurant in St. James’s that once held a coveted Michelin Star, has unexpectedly shut.

Named after the famously strong Nordic spirit, Aquavit opened in London in 2016, having enjoyed success in New York since the late 1980s.

The restaurant offered its own take on Scandi cuisine, including a more gourmet version of the Swedish meatballs that have become so internationally popular thanks to Ikea. With regards to drinks, given the restaurant’s name, there was also a notable selection of eau de vie, as aquavit translate to, from Danish, Swedish and Norwegian distilleries. Its quintessentially Scandinavian oak interior, the work of Stockholm-native designer Martin Brudnizki, also gained plaudits.

Within just 10 months of opening, Aquavit secured a star from the Michelin Guide, however it would lose it in the 2021 edition – a demotion that came as a surprise to some after it was speculated that Michelin would not downgrade any restaurants due to the immense difficulty the hospitality industry faced in the previous year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

While the restaurant may have lost its star status, it still seemed to be popular in the intervening years, however suddenly, and with little fuss, the restaurant shut its doors on Friday 25 August for the last time, the same date as the last Instagram post from its account, which promises diners “an unforgettable experience that will tantalise your taste buds and transport you straight to the heart of Nordic flavours”.

A visit to the restaurant’s website greets you with the following statement: “Aquavit restaurant has closed down. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

While Aquavit has provided no further information, trade publication Restaurant states that a notice in its window directs all enquiries to insolvency practitioners.

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