Iconic London restaurant Criterion has gone into administration after 140 years, as a result of sky-high rents.
UHY Hacker Young has been appointed administrator, with Peter Kubik and Andrew Andronikou handling the case.
The Criterion was put into administration by the directors after its rent jumped 60 per cent from £525,000 to £850,000 a year following a rent review.
The landlord Criterion Capital - whose ownership is completely distinct from the restaurant's - sought rent arrears totalling £517,000, prompting the director to seek financial advice from Kubik, and the decision was taken to place the business in administration.
The restaurant's iconic doorway (Source: Criterion)
It said in a statement: “Up until now the company has traded successfully. It was decided that Administration was the most viable option as it allows the business to continue to trade as normal whilst the administrators market the business for sale.”
The lavish restaurant originally opened in 1874 and is based in the heart of Piccadilly Circus.
Former guests include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – who staged the first meeting between Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson at the restaurant's long bar – Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George, as well as HG Wells, G K Chesterton and Bertrand Russell.
More recently the likes of Russell Crow and Madonna have starred in films shot at the restaurant, while scenes from ITV drama Downton Abbey were also filmed there.