"The scale of the challenge was too great": Selin Kiazim and Laura Christie close Oklava

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Selin Kiazim and Laura Christie close Turkish Cypriot restaurant Oklava Shoreditch

Related tags Oklava Laura Christie Restaurant Selin Kiazim Closure

Selin Kiazim and Laura Christie have permanently closed their Turkish Cypriot restaurant Oklava in east London, with the pair saying they 'fought long and hard' to keep the business going.

A notice on the Shoreditch restaurant's website​ confirms the closure, with Kiazim and Christie thanking staff past and present for their effort and hard work.

“We've let the fire die down and swept up the ashes from our mangal for the very last time,” the statement reads.

“This place holds many special memories for many people and we're grateful for all she's given us.

“It's been an honour to cook for and serve all of you and share our love and passion for hospitality through countless lahmacuns and şeftalis and the best damn hellim there is to be had.

“To the staff past and present who shared this journey with us: thank you for your effort and hard work. We couldn't have done it without you.

“We fought long and hard but have come to the end of the road. We're proud of everything we've achieved.”

Kiazim and Christie launched Oklava in 2015 with Kiazim leading the kitchen and Christie, who also runs Linden Stores in Cheshire, overseeing the business.

The pair went on to launch a second restaurant in London's Fitzrovia called Kyseri, which opened in the summer of 2018. The restaurant was later converted into Oklava Bakery + Wine, which eventually closed in the summer of 2020 as a result of low footfall in the wake of the first national Coronavirus lockdown.

While no official reason has been given for the closure of Oklava, Kiazim references the numerous struggles related to inflation, staffing and the rising cost of living currently faced by restaurants in her own statement posted to Instagram​.

“The scale of the challenge was too great for us in the end, the mountain too high,” she says

“I hope things will change for our beloved industry and I hope that many restaurant doors in London and beyond will manage to stay open in the months to come.”

Kiazim and Christie also run a hospitality consultancy business aimed at supporting chefs and restaurateurs with the development of new concepts called Quince + Co, which launched last year​. 

Related topics Business & Legislation Fine Dining

Related news

Show more

Follow us

Hospitality Guides

View more