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Criterion ceases trading

20 August 2015 by
Criterion ceases trading

The Criterion restaurant has ceased trading, two months after its operator Vox Restaurant Limited was placed in administration.

Vox called in administrator UHY Hacker Young in June this year after landlord Criterion Capital increased the rent by 60%, backdated to February this year.

The move left Vox Restaurant with a bill of over £500,000 which it was unable to pay. The administrators had continued to operate the site and hoped to sell it on to another operator, but no deal was forthcoming.

Fast food giant McDonald's was rumoured to have been interested in the site for a gourmet burger concept, but was not thought to have been able to move quickly enough to seal a deal.

The restaurant, which was once owned by Marco Pierre White, was built in 1874 and was known as both the Long Bar and Marble Hall. It closed its doors to guests last night and has now ceased trading.

In a statement on its Facebook page, posted in the early hours of this morning and signed by "Criterion management", the restaurant said: "We are very sad to announce that today has been the last day of the Criterion Restaurant.

"Unfortunately, the restaurant had to be placed under administration on 18 June as a result of a rent review outcome declaring a staggering increase of 60% per square ft. This came at a point when the previous payable rent was already higher than numerous other restaurants in Piccadilly Circus and Regent Street. Criterion Capital, the current landlord, and Vox Restaurant Ltd t/a Criterion Restaurant, could not agree on mutual rent during rent review."

"Administrators Hacker Young were unable to find interested operators under the new rent and have taken the decision of closing down."

In-administration Vox Restaurant Ltd is estimated to owe creditors, including members of the Sopromadze family, the Georgian entrepreneurs who own Vox Restaurant, a total of £4.9m.

Criterion administrator lifts lid on rent troubles >>

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