Footage from the scene showed smoke pouring from the Gymkhana building on Albemarle Street. A spokesperson for JKS Restaurants, which owns the site, confirmed nobody was harmed in the incident and the fire was extinguished three hours after it was reported.
While the incident was ongoing a London Fire Brigade (LFB) spokesperson said that “part of the ground floor restaurant and part of the ducting – the ventilation system – from ground floor to roof level” had been “alight.” It later confirmed that half of the ground-floor restaurant was damaged by the fire.
The restaurant is now temporarily closed and will not accept bookings for the time being.
A spokesperson for JKS said: “At this stage, the cause of the fire is not yet known, however, we would like to reassure the public that all staff and diners are safe. We are working with the London Fire Department to minimize all damage and prioritize the safety of the public and the surrounding area.
“At this time, we would like to thank the public and the London Fire Departments for their support and cooperation during this series of events.
“Currently, Gymkhana is not taking further reservations and all existing bookings are being retrospectively rescheduled and re-booked at other JKS Restaurants and partner venues to minimize further disruption.”
The interior of the site has become as notable as its cuisine, with the Hardens London restaurant guide 2019 giving praise for its “sophisticated interior design” and “old-style colonial cuisine”. The Michelin guide 2019 also noted its “interior… full of wonderful detail and plenty of wry touches”.
The site is one of several operated by JKS Restaurants, owned by siblings Jyotin, Karam and Sunaina Sethi. The other restaurants within the group include including Lyle’s (one Michelin star), Sabor (one Michelin star), Kitchen Table (two Michelin stars), Bubbledogs, Bao, Xu, and Berenjak.
Picture: Andrew Poulton
Article reprinted from.thecaterer.com