Kensington Roof Gardens closes citing profit challenges

Kensington Roof Gardens has closed after 37 years as its owner Virgin Group cited it a "challenge" to turn a profit.

Kensington Roof Gardens closes citing profit challenges

The party venue has played a key part in London’s nightlife scene with top DJs and live music. It has also hosted a number of showbiz parties and award ceremonies in its restaurant Babylon.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Group said that the venue has "stood the test of time" in a changing London market but it is facing "unpredictable market conditions" and is struggling to remain profitable.

A spokeswoman for the company told Campaign that it has contacted all clients and "sadly" released all bookings. She added: "We remain in close touch and have offered assistance with sourcing alternative venues where appropriate."

The closure is with immediate effect and all 85 staff have been made redundant. Virgin Group will help find them alternative employment within the company and the hospitality industry.

The venue was also known well for its pink flamingos. The spokeswoman said that "one of our key priorities is ensuring their continued wellbeing". Plans are still being finalised.

Twitter users have complained about London Mayor Sadiq Khan's pledge to protect the City's nightlife.

Jon Brown, managing director for The Roof Gardens, said: "For over 35 years The Roof Gardens has showcased top DJs and live musical talent as well as hosting numerous events, parties, award ceremonies, weddings and dinners in our award winning restaurant Babylon.

"The time has now come for us to hang up our dancing shoes, and take off our gardening gloves, but one thing’s for sure and that is The Roof Gardens will continue to be one of London’s most spectacular and extraordinary landmarks and we look forward to seeing what’s next for this beautiful venue."

The Roof Gardens was part of Richard Branson's Virgin Limited Edition, a collection of luxury venues and retreats, which includes Necker Island and the Kasbah Tamadot. There are no immediate plans for the group to open a new London venue following the closure. 

Recent activations at The Roof Gardens include The Telegraph's Gin Experience, Grey Goose's Rooftop Film Club and Santander's Spin Up.