Shumi closes after 18 months

20 May 2005
Shumi closes after 18 months

Controversial Italian-Japanese restaurant Shumi in London's St James's Street has finally closed its doors after 18 months in business.

The contentious combination of Italian food and Japanese-style eating caused debate when it opened in 2003, but was eventually phased out for a more traditional Italian menu in July last year.

Owner Steamroller Restaurants confirmed the restaurant closed on 9 May but insisted it would reopen in another guise later this year.

A statement from the company said: "We have recently been contemplating a complete redesign and refurbishment of Shumi. Consequently we have decided to press ahead and close the restaurant and will reopen it in the autumn following the refurbishment works. Until then, the Calma Lounge will continue to operate as normal."

Co-owner Jamie Barber said all Shumi's staff had been temporarily transferred to the group's other restaurant, Hush in Mayfair, until it reopened.

Barber said: "Shumi was a concept that I really liked, but it just didn't take. I still think the original menu was great, but you've got to cater for the demands of the area."

He declined to comment on what form the refurbished restaurant would take.

Owners Barber and Geoffrey Moore, son of actor Roger, had struggled to make the radical Shumi work since day one. Its highly publicised Japanese style of eating overshadowed its modern Italian menu and led to confusion on the part of customers, according to Barber.

He also admitted that customers had found the original interiors cold, and the menu overpriced.

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