After 44 years of trading, Albertine, the iconic London wine shop and bar, has closed.
Owners Rob Freddi (pictured) and Allegra McEvedy are hopeful that they will be able to find a new home for the business in the near future, but the changing landscape of their local area has proved to be one challenge too many.
“Since Christmas we had started to get very busy evenings again,” explains Freddi.
“The reality, however, is that the area around Wood Lane has radically changed since March 2020. We had lost our historical customer base when people started working from home, or returned to the office for only a couple of days a week.
“The broadcasting corporations around us [including the BBC and Loftus Media] that had been giving us excellent lunch trade, private room hires, filming, events over the year, were no longer a reliable source of business for us.
“It became evident last autumn that waiting for that kind of trade to return would have been a romantic, unrealistic idea.”
Freddi admits that while local Shepherds Bush residents remained loyal and supportive, they just weren’t contributing the level of trade needed to grow or sustain the business.
“We took the hard decision to call it a day before getting into financial troubles,” he says.
A couple of years ago Freddi set up La Mad Wine, an import company which has been “feeding” Albertine’s wine list with exclusive imports of French and Italian wines from small family domains. He will now focus on expanding the portfolio while working with the team on finding a new site for Albertine.