Thursday, 4 August 2011

Bailiffs Enter Avventura


The premises of Italian restaurant 'Avventura' has today been repossessed by bailiffs whilst its owners are away on their summer holidays.

The restaurant, which celebrated its first anniversary last month, closed its doors on Monday for a scheduled two week summer break and was due to reopen on 16th August.

Dawkins bailiffs, acting on behalf of the landlord, re-entered the premises in the early hours of this morning and the lease on the premises has been determined.

31 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Tom Ato said...

Ah.

*rips up groupon voucher*

axlrocky said...

I wonder if Wetherspoons or Mcdonalds will have another go? They both tried adn failed for permission on that site before

Depressed said...

Real shame. I had several lovely meals there but comments on the posts on this blog covering Avventura since it's opening showed it was always going to struggle in the face of ignorance and apathy from people for whom Pizza Experess is the height of Italian sophistication.

Sadly, I think a Wetherspoons is more fitting for the majority of Worcester Park's residents.

Captain said...

It's tough on all the local traders and they need our support otherwise they will never succeed. I loved the food and staff @Avventura and hope that they can pull it back.

Best of luck to them and all the small traders on our High Street.

Andy said...

What a shame!!! Avventura was the best restaurant in Worcester Park by 100 miles, and probably best in the borough!

So authentic, top quality seasonal ingredients, great welcoming staff, great atmosphere...if it closes for good it will be sorely missed, and a HUGE loss for Worcester Park.

Why do people insist on going to generic pizza express when there is pizza and pasta dishes a thousand times tastier and better quality over the road??? The prices are easily comparable if all u want is a pizza and a beer!!

The people of Worcester Park are their own worst enemy sometimes, just try something new for goodness sake!

If people don't show support to these businesses, we will be left with NOTHING but charity shops and hairdressers. Why would ANYONE visit Worcester Park for that?? We'll just disappear off the map.

I already heard murmurings some time ago that Sutton council were once considering buying the leaseholds to the businesses as they came up for renewal, and turning the whole road into residential properties. Whether it's true or not, I don't know, but if everything gradually closes down and is left derelict anyway, then why not??

Anonymous said...

What a shame, and what a thing to happen while you are on holiday.
Are the owners aware of this, or is it a horrible surprise waiting for when they get back?

Richard moore said...

Just passed the place and saw the notice. Guy leaning on car saw me and said he'd be opening a Turkish restaurant in about a month. Shame as it was a nice restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Went there for a groupon meal last month with 6 of us...was tasty!! I wouldve gone back...its a shame this has happened, the food was delish and the staff very accomodating! Sorry to see you go x

I love Avventura said...

This is a real, horrible shame. We loved going to Avventura, Salvatore and his team were wonderful, so welcoming and nothing was too much trouble. Food always spot on.

I just feel sick for them, having come to know them relatively well, what a horrid thing to happen whilst on holiday. If they do read this (as I know he was intrigued and bemused by the comments on this blog and read them despite others' wishes that he keep away!) then I hope they know how sadly missed they will be.

Thoughts of a Wetherspoons or similar turns my stomach. It'll turn into some of our less salubrious neighbours if we're not careful.

Nichu said...

I'm very sad, we were planning on going tomorrow (though it would have been closed anyway). And I had £52 worth of unspent Groupon vouchers. It must be very hard to start a new restaurant, in an area where people prefer to either go to KFC or go out in Wimbledon, London or Kingston for a "proper" meal out. It is such a big premises too, we always thought it was a shame it never seemed full. I loved the way the food was more authentic and not old school Italian with waiters pestering you with pepper grinders. And I can't believe people complained about the prices - probably the same people who think nothing of paying £3.50 for a pint of Fosters in a mediocre pub...

Katy Four said...

Let me just give a little balance here.

I wish no ill at all to the staff but here's the business reality: the restaurant closed because it was an expensive restaurant with large overheads opened in the middle of a severely unstable economy and offering a highly variable product.

I know - I took my whole family there and found both the food and the staff to be severely lacking. I'm far more likely to eat in a fairly-priced bistro than a burger joint, so don't write that off as me just not "getting it" or being a Pizza Express fan.

Regarding being on holiday while it was repossessed, if that was anything of a surprise, then they truly were incompetent at running a business. Presumably they were a tad behind with the rent and this other chap offered the landlords some actual money.

The poor sod - now we have a misguided Turkish restaurateur who - IN SPITE OF ALL THE OTHER FAILED REDTAURANTS that have gone to the wall on the exact same site before him - is CONVINCED that his will be the eatery to flourish there. He might do - I might be wrong. I just don't think so.

Again, best of luck of to the Avventura proprietors. But businesses unfortunately don't generally run on luck.

Anonymous said...

oooh, Turkish restaurant wouldn't be too bad, there is a great one in Kingston, needs to be good though not a glorified kebab shop.

All these bleeding hearts on here saying it was the best and most authentic Italian going only need to read previous blog posts to understand this was a disaster from the start, they asked people on here what type of restaurant people wanted and then ignored everyone and opened the one business that wasn't required with two already well established Italians in the area. I'm amazed the bank gave them the money for a premises that large with a potential market share so small.

Still sad for someone to be on holiday and that happen but the writing had been on the wall for a long time. The reason hairdressers can survive is that hair always grows and the overheads are zero. If I opened a giant Italian next to two Italians, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out what is going to happen

Anonymous said...

The staff and food served in there were anything but lacking I'm afraid, it was top quality food akin to west end restaurants, with the service to match.

It was just too much to expect Worcester park to embrace such an enterprise.

As mentioned above, new business in Worcester park needs support, not know-it-all 'business experts' who sit on the sidelines waiting for them to fail.

Do you REALLY want to live in a ghost town of hairdressers shops??

And besides, after eating in the so called 'well established' italian restaurants, I can tell you that the only authentically decent one was avventura without a doubt.

They wanted to bring seasonal fresh food to Worcester park, instead of prepacked, frozen/defrosted CRAP.

Peter said...

...by Turkish restaurant, I presume they don't mean 'worcester park kebaby'! What a shame for such a wonderful restaurant to close.

The food and service was exceptional. Thank you for trying Salvatore and the team...but I guess Worcester park really doesn't have any taste or class.

Oh well, back to jumping on the train for a decent meal out, instead of spending our money locally.

Nice one Worcester park. And congrats to those who possess the elusive power of hindsight.

Enjoy having nowhere nice to spend the evening.

I can safely say that as soon as the house market improves, we will be leaving Worcester park, it's dying, and no one seems to care, neither the residents, or the council.

Will the last person to leave please turn out the lights...

Anonymous said...

Where can one buy a nice meal in Worcester Park now then?

HG Wells is quite nice, but other than that its all stodge and nastiness. Pizza Express is just dull.

Avventura was different, and exciting, something out of the ordinary. Hence Worcester Park couldnt cope with it.

We had M&S, which became a poundland, now Avventure is gonna be a kebab shop.

I assume Waitrose will be renovated into a Lidl, and then the transformation will be complete.

Very sad. Worcester Park is going down the drain. Its a 'pass through' town, with nothing of any interest for anyone. I genuinely dont know how it is going to survive.

Just wait until the torturous traffic prompts a by-pass to be constructed, and then that will truly be it. There wouldnt be any reason for ANYONE to use Worcester Park anymore.

Diabolical.

Gemma said...

"It was always going to struggle in the face of ignorance and apathy from people for whom Pizza Experess is the height of Italian sophistication."

I find this quite laughable, given that the crème caramel I was served for dessert at Avventura came with a glob of Nutella and some bits of toffee popcorn scattered on top. Is that your idea of Italian sophistication?

Gordo's Neighbour said...

Gemma, you just proved Depressed's point.

That creme caramel was a great example of fresh produce, skill, loving care and innovation. The hazelnut spread was anything but nutella - yes, made from hazelnuts, but not a sweet sticky spread, more a light mousse to balance the creme caramel below. And the popcorn really worked! So yes, I would use it as an example of Avventura's gastronomic triumphs.

And if you really want a definitive comparison - house wine on the high street - bottle cost 50 cents (if Italian), probably lots of chemicals, maybe even more water than grapes, basically plonk laced with sugar. Avventura house wine - 100% traditional, would win many a blind tasting.

I get it that food and taste is subjective. And that the restaurant maybe had problems with service, and that the prices were on the top-end of what was available on the high street (though I'd dispute that, especially for families)...

But I also know that they were very fastidious about the quality of the food (saying that they used fresh and quality produce alone doesn't do it justice). I have my favourite pizza express (and KFC) combos too, but I know intimately how far apart in goodness, quality and relative value the those pizzas are from Avventura's.

So ultimately, not enough of WP 'got it' and it is WP's loss. We can now go back to debating the merits of one chippy vs the next, or KFC vs BK (IMO, BK is infinitely more sophisticated than KFC, I mean come on, flame grilled!)... one barber vs the next, one charity shop vs the next.

Plenty of messages of support on here, but obviously it didn't translate into sufficient business for the guys. Well good luck to them - with skills like that, they should have been ripping off the rich anyways instead of providing good food at a good price for us. Where's the profit in that?

Magic Dragon said...

What a shame. They did a great cappuccino. Problem was it was situated too far up the high street and on the wrong side. People tend to park at the bottom and don't generally make it that far up the hill. A Wetherspoons would be great - save having to drive to North Cheam - one could stagger home. Mind you, the British Legion may have to cope with a few defectors. Really hope it's not replaced by a Turkish restaurant!

BenjyP said...

This makes me a sad panda!

Anonymous said...

Blame Sutton Council for the way Worcester Park is declining. They treat it like a distant outpost. Why can't they impose some sort of penalty on the owner of the Drury and Cole premises? A long term eyesore. Maybe they could give some of the businesses a business rate discount to help them weather the present economic climate. Let's face it however good a restaurant is, eating out is the bottom of your spending list when faced with ever increasing day to day expenses.

Anonymous said...

A major problem with Worcester Park is that it looks shabby and run down which makes it more difficult to attract shoppers and good shops. Compare with New Malden that, despite the equally horrendous traffic, actually looks quite nice now due to public realm works and has attracted a better range of shops. Sutton Council have made a good start with tidying up the area around the station but they need to do more. People may not be aware but Sutton have agreed to allocate the bulk of the Borough’s transport funding to Worcester Park over the next 2/3 years, so this is a really positive opportunity to improve the look of the place. So yes WP has been ignored in the past but for once let’s give credit to the Council for this!

However it’s not just down to the Council, the retailers have got to make an effort too. La Mamma is the only shop that really looks nice (shame the food doesn’t match!). Even the entrance to the Waitrose car park looks dire. I see that yesterday Boris announced the award of funding to Outer London Boroughs to support town centre regeneration such as this. I note that Kingston applied for and got £600k to help improve their town centres (good luck with Tolworth!). Sutton was strangely absent from the list- what went wrong? Didn’t they bother to apply or was their application poor? Either way it’s a shameful lost opportunity- not good enough Sutton!

Anonymous said...

Years ago shop keepers actually washed the frontages of their shops regularly and took responsibility for cleaning the areas in front of them, maybe the bad old days were not so bad as it seems to have been a time when people took a pride in their surroundings and tried to improve them. All credit to the remaining retailers in the High Street who in the face of adversity keep on going. Maybe Sutton should have spent less on the dire benches and sculptures "gracing" Sutton Town Centre and spent the money in Worcester Park.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree about the shop fronts, what is the saying if you keep it nice others respect it too. It would be good if some of the residents also did this and kept the front of their houses tidy..the flats at the top of Longfellow for instance are awful, it would take 10 minutes to pick up all the weeds and then passers by woudln't see it as a tip and drop more rubbish there! I think it's called pride

Anonymous said...

I hate to see a venture fail, but it was overpriced for a Worcester Park eatery, and the food wasn't very good either!

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with the food not being very good, and it wasn't necessarily overpriced - rather under portioned on some items. The pizza was one of the best I've eaten. I just think that the owner's had there heads so far up there .... that they couldn't see the business failing - you only have to read the Chef / owner's posts on here. What's with the Italian flag in the window - hardly what you'd expect in an upmarket restaurant ?

I am sad for any business to fail, particularly one which had so much potential.

Anonymous said...

What a shame that Avventura has closed. The food was definitely more inviting than the normal run-of-the-mill Italian restaurants, especially the pizze, and the ingredients authentic and fresh. Obviously Worcester Park was not ready for this level of sophistication! Unfortunately Salvatore had already felt he needed to 'downgrade' the menu to cater for suburban tastes and the coffee bar, despite producing great coffee, could not compete with Costa (I agree that the location at the top of the High Street was probably to blame for this). The 'cling film' and awful Italian flag in the windows did not make such a great impression but Salvatore and his team deserved to do well nonetheless. It's Worcester Park's loss but unfortunately it isn't Salvatore's gain!

Anonymous said...

We decided to try La Mamma ...
Oh dear...

As we entered the door a member of the Albanian Mafia approached us, unsmiling.

"Up or down"
It dawned on me that this was a statement, not a question, and it referred to the seating.

We scanned the menu, which looked promising. Mafia man was back for our order. "The specials" he barked, pointing to a blackboard. Penne Puttanesca was on offer, with 'anchovies and capers'. That will do nicely.

It arrived with a large slice of goat's cheese on top. 'But I ordered the Puttanesca ...'

"It is Puttanesca. Cheese is a bonus".

Ho hum. I hunted for anchovies and capers without success. What I found was olives, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and goat's cheese. In fact, what I found was the Penne Boscaiola from the menu, with olives, peppers ....

The waiter knew. The waiter had lied to me.

From where I was sitting I could see the staff in repose. There were several more mafiosi, who looked up in unison with an expression of defiance when new customers arrived. Who were they expecting? The police? A rival gang?

There were other staff of course, and I came to the conclusion that either: a. sadly, they had just heard their mothers had died; b. they were being held in slavery and forced to work there; or c. they were playing a game, where the first one to smile is out.

When the bill came it was wrong.
No, said Mafia man.
I pointed out that a column of 0s and 5s couldn't possibly produce an 8 as a result.
He took it away.
He returned with a new total. It was still wrong; it was still in our favour.

He asked for my credit card. Are you mad?!
We paid cash (the correct amount, since you ask) and left.

I'm sorry this is anonymous, but if they have my name they'll find out where I live ...

Anonymous said...

Everybody keeps referring to the new restaurant as a kebaby. I have heard this is not the case. It will be a authentic turkish Mediterranean eatery with great turkish hospitality. I for one will be a regular customer as I regularly travel to kingston to have a great meal and good night out.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you I have been to Turkey several times and they fantastic different foods which is not only kebab

Luke said...

Went once for dinner (opening night) and once for lunch, at which the owner said they were likely to close. Pasta was really excellent. My gf never wants to go out in WP when I suggest - it just doesn't have the right image or food/drink venues to excite a twentysomething. Needs investment from council to improve aesthetics and from businesses to bring in some class.

Jacey said...

I for one can't wait to try it. Of course we all know kebabs and I've had some great "kebab wraps" abroad but there will be so many different things to try. Okay, my appreciation of that area of cooking is not great but I love chickpeas, lamb, couscous, their breads,so can't wait. Give it a go and be openminded.

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