21st August , 2023
A sad day for London’s restaurant scene
Michel Roux has announced the closure of Le Gavroche at the Upper Brook Street site where the restaurant has operated for over 55 years.
The restaurant will close in January 2024.
Originally opened in 1967 by Michel’s father Albert Roux and uncle Michel Roux, Le Gavroche was the first restaurant in the UK to gain one, two and three Michelin stars (it currently holds two) it has become known as “the last bastion in London of classically rich French haute cuisine” and a London institution, internationally recognised for its culinary excellence and unparalleled attention to detail.
Headed by Michel Roux Jr since 1991, Michel says that he is looking for a better work/life balance without the daily demands of a busy Michelin-starred restaurant and that the upcoming end of his current lease gave him the opportunity to assess and consider his future.
Michel Roux says: “The pressure to be able to deliver the high quality that everyone expects is wearing when it’s every day, and every plate.
“The closure of Le Gavroche at this site is about turning the page and moving forward so I can focus on my family as well our other businesses.”
These businesses include Chez Roux, famed for its stunning hospitality at prestigious sporting events, it has expanded to offer unparalleled catering at home or a chosen venue as well as cookery classes and culinary consultancy from a hand-picked team led by Emily and Michel Roux.
Michel will continue to head up the F & B operations at The Langham, London; working with the ICMI Hotel Group operating the Roux restaurants in Scotland; consulting for Compass Group and catering at major sporting events with them including the Wimbledon Championships.
“I’ve also recently announced a collaboration with Cunard at Sea, and of course I will continue to create my cookbooks and TV series.”
Michel’s daughter Emily and son-in-law Diego Ferrari will continue to operate their successful Notting Hill restaurant Caractère, and Michel will cook there from time to time for special events.
Le Gavroche brand and the limited company will be retained by the family and will be used for special events and pop ups, private and public, in different locations, potentially around the world.
“I am pleased to have made this decision and excited to take Le Gavroche on the road, to be a master of Le Gavroche rather than it being my master,” says Michel.
The restaurant staff, who Michel considers as family, will be going through redundancy consultations over the next few weeks.
For those staff who do not qualify for redundancy, Michel will ensure they are properly looked after too.
Michel and his Le Gavroche team will be planning to ‘go out with a bang!’ so he can give his special thanks to everyone who has supported the restaurant over the decades.
There will be a series of public dinners celebrating the menus over the decades since the restaurant opened, which will start this November and go through until the restaurant’s closure in January next year.
Family members and familiar faces who have worked at Le Gavroche in the past will be making appearances at these events.
Further details of all events will be available soon through Le Gavroche’s website and they will be announced on Le Gavroche’s newsletters.
And for those who want to record memories of significant meals and celebrations, Michel’s team has created a dedication page on Le Gavroche’s website so that people can upload their own words and photos of time spent in the restaurant.
Le Gavroche – A Timeline
1967 – Albert Roux and Michel Roux open Le Gavroche on Lower Sloane Street in Chelsea
1974 – Le Gavroche is featured in the inaugural UK Michelin Guide in 1974
1977 – A second Michelin star is awarded
1981 – The restaurant moves to Upper Brook Street, Mayfair
1982 – Le Gavroche is the first restaurant in the UK to be awarded 3 Michelin stars
1986 – Albert takes sole control of Le Gavroche and Michel leaves for The Waterside Inn
1991 – Michel Roux Jr takes over as Chef Patron from his father, Albert
1993 – Two Michelin stars awarded
2016 – Michel Roux Jr celebrates 25 years at the helm of Le Gavroche
2017 – Le Gavroche reaches its 50th anniversary milestone
2021 – Michel Roux celebrates 30 years at the helm of Le Gavroche