The owners of the Roebuck pub in Chiswick High Rd, Food & Fuel, have gone into administration. Its future now looks very uncertain as 250 staff at the company are made redundant and the owners look for a new buyer at the worst possible time.
The Steam Packet, which opened last summer at Strand on the Green, is in the same group, but looks at the moment as if it might survive. Operations Manager Ian Slater told The Chiswick Calendar that it was not on the list for permanent closure at the moment as it was a later addition to the group and is owned by Food & Fuel’s parent company, The Restaurant Group, one of the biggest names in the hospitality business.
Ian told The Chiswick Calendar: “The Roebuck is a great pub. It’s an awesome pub. I hope a business of that calibre and location will be picked up by someone, even in these uncertain times”.
Regular patron James Thellusson said: “I’m gutted. Friday nights will never be the same. It was my second home”.
The Restaurant Group also owns Wagamama, Chiquito and Frankie & Benny’s restaurants. The company put out a statement on Thursday (26 March), saying 61 out of 80 branches of the Tex-Mex dining chain Chiquito would not reopen. It also said it would permanently close its 11 Food and Fuel pubs in London. The decision will lead to the loss of almost 1,500 jobs.
A spokesperson for The Restaurant Group said that it expected the two chains to make a loss during 2020, and stated that “Covid-19 has had an immediate and significant impact on trading across the group”.