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Vinoteca’s future hangs in balance

Published:  17 August, 2023

Vinoteca has filed for protection from its creditors, leaving a big question mark over the future for the business.

Launched in Farringdon in 2005 by Charlie Young, Brett Woonton and Elena Ares, the seminal hybrid London wine bar grew to five outlets in London, with a Birmingham outpost also launched.

However, difficult trading conditions post-pandemic saw the closure of the group’s Marylebone site, soon followed by Birmingham, which shut up shop in May this year.

    • Read more: Pub closures surge again in Q2 breaking Q1 record

The closures presaged news of wider difficulties for the group, with Young telling Harpers at an event hosted at Vinoteca Borough back in April that trade was “very challenging” due to the host of challenges that had engulfed the hospitality sector.

Covid, followed by rising inflation and falling footfall from customers impacted by the cost-of-living crisis have all hit the on-trade hard, with many London businesses also suffering from the still prevalent work from home trend.

Vinoteca made its name by combining a great, sometimes quirky and ever-evolving wine list, with many offered by-the-glass, plus punchy Mediterranean-inspired plates of food and a very visible ‘wall of wine’ in-store to encourage off-trade sales.

As such it has long been a favourite with both the trade and regular consumers, setting a benchmark for the many similarly multifaceted hybrid wine ventures that were to come.

As The Times has reported, Vinoteca now has a short time left to restructure its debts or find a rescuer before administrators step in, with the group facing full insolvency.

Vinoteca has been approached by Harpers for comment.