Scandinavian-influenced food concept Rök has closed its original restaurant in London's Shoreditch and dropped plans to open a new site in Soho.
Chef and co-founder Matt Young blamed rising rents and operational costs on the decision to close Rök Shoreditch after three years, leaving the business with one restaurant in Islington.
"With rising rents and operational costs, this had been a difficult decision to make but, it also gives us the opportunity to focus our attention on our bigger restaurant, Rök Islington," he said.
"We made this decision for the future of the business; two is not always better than one. We'll now have more time to focus on improving Islington and more importantly I'll have more time to do what I love, cooking and creating dishes."
A spokesperson for Rök also confirmed the Soho site, which had been due to open this year and was set to feature a greater emphasis on plant-based dishes and a move away from smoked meats, had fallen through. Rök ended its residency at the Kitchens at Old Spitalfields Market earlier this year after three months to focus on the new site.
Charles Bakker, Frida Lindmark and Matt Young opened the first Rök (meaning ‘smoke' in Swedish) in Shoreditch in 2015, focusing on the culinary traditions of Scandinavia like brining, pickling and smoking. A second restaurant on Upper Street in Islington followed in July 2016.