Victor Garvey closes Encant to focus on developing presence in Soho

Chef and restaurateur Victor Garvey has announced that he has closed his modern Spanish restaurant Encant, one of his two restaurants in Covent Garden, ahead of opening a second site in Soho in 2018.

The news coincides with Garvey confirming that he has completed a buy-out of his investors, which sees him take ownership of his restaurants Sibarita in Covent Garden and Rambla in Soho under the umbrella of the newly-incorporated Garvey Restaurant Holdings.

Key team members including Garvey’s head chef Krisztian Palinzkas, operations manager Claudio di Martino and executive assistant Marsida Rexhepaj have been given shares in the new enterprise, in recognition of the role they have played in its evolution.

Explaining the decision to close the profitable and popular Encant after just under two years in business, Garvey says: “Encant is very special to me as it was my first solo restaurant, and it’s still as busy as ever, but creatively the team and I feel we’ve taken it as far as we can.'

'Sibarita and Rambla - which are both performing better than I could ever have imagined - opened in quick succession and both their menus feature several dishes which originated at Encant; it got to the stage where Encant had effectively become a development kitchen for the others, rather than innovating in its own right.”

All staff from Encant have been retained and redeployed within the group, and offers have been received for the site at 16 Maiden Lane from other restaurant operators, although their names remain confidential.

Of the new, as-yet-unnamed Soho restaurant, for which a site has provisionally been acquired, he says, “Although all different, Encant, Sibarita and Rambla have a common DNA: a mix of traditional and contemporary tapas, great Spanish cheeses and charcuterie, well-made cocktails and good-value wines by the glass. I want now to take it further and expand what we offer but I didn’t want to open a fourth restaurant at this stage, just a different one – and decided the best solution all-round was to close Encant and focus on Sibarita and Soho.”

Garvey Restaurant Holdings’ new Soho restaurant will open later in 2018, while Encant closed at the end of December 2017. Sibarita in Covent Garden and Rambla in Soho continue trading as usual.