Royal Festival Hall Southbank restaurant Spiritland has closed

Spiritland bar and restaurant sat on London’s Southbank  (Daniel Hambury/@stellapicsltd)
Spiritland bar and restaurant sat on London’s Southbank (Daniel Hambury/@stellapicsltd)

The Royal Festival Hall restaurant and bar Spiritland has closed down because “the current conditions simply don’t allow it”, staff revealed on Friday.

The music, food and beverage venue on London’s Southbank announced the closure on social media, blaming the Covid pandemic, Brexit, energy price rises “and many other factors” for the “inevitable” decision.

“We’d have loved to continue our mission there but the current conditions simply don’t allow it,” Spiritland Royal Festival Hall staff wrote on Twitter.

“We opened at the end of 2018, spent 2019 finding our people - then 2020 happened. We were shut for nearly half of our four years there but managed to do a lot in a short time.”

The Southbank business claimed it was “the only independent venue in a sea of chains” and “the only space offering a culturally aligned programme to Southbank’s arts venues”.

Although its doors have already closed, the establishment is “going out in a blaze of glory” with artist Black Keys playing a gig on Saturday night and then “a final party” on January 13 with DJs Jarvis Cocker and Alexis Taylor - the very first DJs to play at the venue.

“We’ll miss our beautiful home on the Southbank,” staff wrote on Twitter.

“We wanted to build a unique and credible addition to London’s cultural landscape - our journey will continue elsewhere and we’ll keep you posted about what’s next for us.”

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Spiritland Royal Festival Hall served up American diner dishes, offered weekday album playbacks sessions, and an extensive programme of artist performances throughout the week. The venue was designed to look like a 1970s recording studio to emphasise its prized sound system.

Spiritland King’s Cross, the Headphone Bar in Mayfair and Spiritland Productions remain operating.

A number of fans were devastated by the Southbank closure.

One Twitter user wrote: “Absolutely gutted. What a venue. Had some incredible nights there…hope you find a new home.”

Another wrote: “A fabulous venue very dear to people’s hearts. For me, the Festival Hall is the Southbank.”

Others praised the “great” music and staff.

Southbank London said on Instagram: “So sorry to hear this!! So many memories made and an amazing space.”