Back in July, I posted an emotive piece about the glamorous, beautiful and shabby interior of Odin's restaurant in Marylebone, writing "that I will be extremely grumpy if it ever closes down": that sad day has arrived; in as much as the art collections at Langan's and Odin's are being sold off. A fan of The Greasy Spoon has alerted me to a Christie's press release: "the core collection of 230 artworks from the legendary London restaurants Langan's Brasserie & Odin's...(to be sold at auction)...in December 2012."
I've had a look at the Langans' website and it tells me that the three restaurants (Langan's, Odin's and Shepherd's) will be closed for redecoration, re-opening at later dates. I can tell you right now that without that fabulous interior, I will- with great regret- not be returning to Odin's. The food's not that good, the once impeccable service has declined noticeably in the last few years, and the only raison d'etre for the place was that fabulous art collection (bought with the help and advice of the art critic, Brian Sewell) and the wonderful interior. Without it- I really don't see any point of returning, even (and especially) if, the whole place is redecorated in the Los Angeles airport lounge style. Look what happened to The Savoy or Brown's Hotel. Surely without Peter Langan's art collections, the whole ethos, the intrinsic spirit, the whole flippin' point of these famous old restaurants is gone?
To be fair to the group I don't know what their financial position is- and they may have been forced into a depressing and uncalled for position where there was no other option but to sell up. Asset Stripping? Dunno. But what I do know, is that yet another two legendary London institutions- or at the very least, their art collections- are about to bite the dust. And on this grey, gloomy, and foggy November morning, I am extremely grumpy.