So, not the easiest piece to write but here goes....
Yesterday, Friday 19th July, was Bar Battu's last day. Ironically, it was the end of a busy week. So what led to this decision?
We opened in October 2010 wanting to serve simple, well cooked food with mostly natural wines. Mainly, we were warmly welcomed but never quite as popular in the City as we had hoped to be. Financially, we were not unsuccessful but never really quite successful enough. We developed a strong, loyal following who loved what we did but then, as sometimes happens in business, there was an unsolicited approach to sell.
The very nice guys from B@1 loved our premises and location and really believed they could bring a bit of their cocktail bar magic to the City. We agreed a price, shook hands and they'll be open very soon.
So, have we deserted the City? Well, no. We own another restaurant nearby that you might have heard of called Luc's Brasserie. It's in Leadenhall Market, not too far away. Please come and see us and if you liked Bar Battu, please let us know by commenting on this post.
So, thank you to all who supported us and we really do hope to see you very soon at Luc's.
 
 
 
 
Last night was the first Truffle Club supper hosted with the help of Mister Truffle. The evening was a big success, in fact it was oversold. We had a huge table set up in the first floor dining room and all the diners sat together. The bulk of the guests were there to celebrate Tony Hammond's birthday, he had brought a big group along.
The food was great, the kitchen did a great job and Nadege had done a brilliant list of well matched wines.
Lots of talk about the next one, Spanish maybe?
 
 
Thanks to everyone who took part in our little survey. We wanted  to get an idea of just how busy (or not) we might be during the Olympics. This is what you told us....

 
 
It seems to have taken a while in Bar Battu HQ to realise that it's 2012 and all the plans we had in mind well... we need to get started. So, we have been talking to the lovely Mr Truffle (www.mistertruffle.com) and we're planning the first Truffle Supper in March, we have a new bar menu with a bit of a Tapas influence courtesy of Ruben our Chef, lots of new wines, dinners, menus, etc. We'll do our best to keep the blog updated (better than we've done so far) and we'll Tweet and send mails. Well, that's the plan.
 
 
Oh dear, what a day.
Wednesday evening we noticed that there was a slight plumbing problem, one of the loos seemed slow to drain. We called the plumber (Plumber #1) who kind of fixed it but said he would need to come back on Thursday. Within the hour we had a major leak and needed the serious aid of a blocked drain specialist (BDS). He arrived at 9pm. By 2am the problem was still not fixed. 9am on Friday Plumber #1 returns and fixes the pipe that BDS had punctured whilst trying to clear the blockage. 11am Plumber #1 had fixed the broken pipe but we soon found out, not the blockage. Midday, we opened for lunch with water pouring down the walls (and a slight odour) and a chain gang of volunteers emptying buckets. First customers arrive, not a word (so British), straight upstairs for lunch. We fill the upstairs, everyone happy, hardly anyone mentions the crisis they walked past on the way in. It's Dunkirk once more. 2:30pm BDS returns to collect payment from previous night. Realising problem wasn't fixed, grunts about Plumber #1 then gets out the machines. Pulls up his truck outside, huge hoses running in and out of the restaurant, customers leaving (thank you so much, lovely) water everywhere. Parking Warden immediately grasped the gravity of the situation and stuck a ticket on BDS's van. BDS takes an hour to clear the blockage, at 4:30pm he leaves, 5pm we're open again and the first customers of the evening arrive. Normality resumes.
 
 
'Well, as we approach our first anniversary, we thought that we would do a little research amongst friends and customers to see how we're doing. The results of our rather unscientific enquiries were (blush) often complimentary  but we're not going to rest on our laurels so.... Here's what we've done:
  • We have a new Website! Of course, you know that, you're on it but here's a little background. We didn't dislike our old site, quite the contrary in fact but you told us that it was hard to navigate. Put simply, the aesthetics were good but the mechanics were not. So the new site is much simpler and, as it's entirely 'homemade' it will be easier to update on a regular basis. Well, that's the plan anyway.
  • We have a new Wine List. This is a funny one because we are always changing our list but this time it's really new. One of the issues with 'Natural Wine' is that it is made by eccentrics in tiny quantities. So that makes it really difficult to be cheap. You told us that sometimes you want an easy drinking bottle around the £20 mark. The new list has lots of those. So, we are still championing the small producer but we've spread the net to include the New World and a greater spread of less whacky wines. 
  • It's almost Christmas. Well, not really but if you haven't booked that lunch/dinner/drinks you should get on it straight away. Take a look at our Christmas Page then get in touch so we can make the arrangements.

Having done our little bit of research, we were pleased with the results but love to get your feedback. Please tell us what you think.