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Royal Festival Hall’s Spiritland bar to close next week

The audiophile-oriented eatery will bow out on January 13

By Joe Goggins

(Picture: Spiritland)

The Spiritland bar at London’s Royal Festival Hall has announced its closure.

In a series of tweets today (January 6), the independent venue confirmed that it will close its doors for the final time next Friday (January 13).

“Some tough news to share: our beloved home on the Southbank is now closed,” their statement began. “We set out to build a pleasure palace for lovers of music and culture within Europe’s biggest arts centre. We’d have loved to continue our mission there but the current conditions simply don’t allow it.” You can read the statement in full below.

Spiritland opened their Southbank outpost in 2018, after beginning life in King’s Cross as a café and bar catering to music lovers with an audiophile-grade sound system; that location will continue to trade, as will Spiritland’s headphone bar in Mayfair, which allows patrons to play music through some of the world’s highest quality headphones whilst they drink.

Additionally, their production arm, Spiritland Productions, will continue its work on national radio programmes, outside broadcasts, podcasts and live events from its studio in King’s Cross.

The restaurant at the Royal Festival Hall, though, brings down the curtain next week with a closing party that’s set to feature DJ sets from Jarvis Cocker and Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, both of whom were also on the decks when the location opened nearly five years ago. Before then, a previously scheduled DJ appearance by Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney from The Black Keys will go ahead as planned tomorrow (January 7).

The statement, which was signed by founders Paul Noble, Sophie Uddin and Dom Lake, blamed the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit and soaring energy costs for the closure. “Covid, Brexit, energy price rises & many other factors made this difficult decision inevitable. 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 [at the Royal Festival Hall] but managed to do a lot in a short time.” 

“We’ll miss our beautiful home on the Southbank,” they concluded. “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.” Tickets for ‘The Last Dance’ closing party with Cocker and Taylor are available here.