Alex Jackson, restaurateur and head chef at Sardine in London's Hoxton, has announced that the restaurant has permanently closed.
In a newsletter to subscribers, Jackson said he was "really sad" and wanted to thank the "amazingly loyal guests, our fantastic suppliers, and especially all of our team members, past and present, who have worked so hard to make Sardine the special place it was".
"We are truly sorry we are not able to continue to be there for you."
He said that social distancing would have been very difficult to implement in such a small space and that they did not have the resources to trade through the "inevitably difficult times ahead".
While there were currently no firm plans to open another venture, Jackson hinted that he would remain active in the industry, saying that he hoped to be able to cook for guests again, "someday and somehow".
The restaurant, described by food critic Marina O'Loughlin as "sheer grin-inducing enjoyment", opened in July 2016 and focused on "simple, homely" Southern French cooking over a charcoal fire.
Jackson, former head chef at Stevie Parle's Dock Kitchen and Rotorino restaurants, ran the 46-cover restaurant in partnership with Parle and his team. It became a destination for weekend brunch and offered a daily-changing lunch and dinner menu throughout the week. Jackson's book, Sardine: Simple Seasonal Provençal Cooking, was published in June 2019.
The news of the restaurant's permanent closure was an update to older post on its website which stated that they hoped to reopen, having closed their doors "for the time being" in light of government advice.