LONDON — Iconic party venue Kensington Roof Gardens announced on Tuesday it will close suddenly because it is struggling to remain profitable.
The glamorous rooftop nightclub and restaurant, which is located above Kensington High Street, has been run by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group for 37 years, but will close imminently.
“In an ever changing London market The Roof Gardens has stood the test of time but in the face of unpredictable market conditions and a challenge to remain profitable, we feel that the time has come for us to close our doors,” the Group said in a statement.
“We are certain The Roof Gardens will continue to be one of London’s most spectacular and extraordinary landmarks and look forward to seeing what’s next for this beautiful venue,” it said.
The venue’s staff were told on Tuesday they were being made redundant because Virgin was facing rising operating costs, according to The Times.
A spokesperson for Virgin Group told The Times customers who have paid a deposit for a future booking will have their money returned.
Keep scrolling to take a look back at the venue’s history:
The Roof Garden was formerly known as Derry and Toms Roof Gardens, since it was on the roof of the former department store Derry & Toms, which opened in 1933. The gardens, which cost £25,000 to build, were opened in 1938 by the Earl of Athlone. Visitors were charged one shilling to enter and money raised over the next 30 years was donated to local hospitals.
Here is the Derry & Toms building, in High Street Kensington. The Gardens cannot be seen from street level.
The Gardens have three distinct areas. The first is the Spanish Garden, which is based on the Alhambra in Spain.