Konstam at the Prince Albert, the restaurant on 'difficult' King's Cross Road that famously undertook to source 85 per cent of its ingredients from the area covered by the Tube, closed its doors this week.
The restaurant, with its atmospheric spider web-like interior by King's Cross designers Thomas Heatherwick Studio, served up the likes of Waltham Abbey Chicken, Canvey Island dover sole and Amersham lamb, accompanied by the odd Kentish wine.
According to reports in trade press, Caterer Search and Big Hospitality, chef and owner Oliver Rowe has closed the restaurant due to the 'challenging location and the economic climate'. In the reports he said that he would "continue to promote sustainability and local sourcing and would now concentrate on writing a book and developing new projects".
I personally look forward to seeing the fruits of any of these endeavours soon, and hope they will still have a strong King's Cross connection. I last dined at Konstam in April this year, and enjoyed the food and the interior as much as ever. I feel it's a real loss to King's Cross. Konstam was 'out on a limb' in both its approach to sourcing and location. While the former was key to its critical success, it's a pity that the latter played a part in its demise.
The charm-deficient A201/B503, otherwise known as King's Cross Road, is a shipwrecked coast of closed shopfronts. Konstam managed to survive there for four years. It does make me fear for other vibrant and successful restaurants and bars battling it out on the many dragstrip-like one-way systems of our neighbourhood, such as Gray's Inn Road and the Cally.
Will there ever be a full complement of successful businesses on these stretches of road, or does some urgent traffic re-engineering need to be done?