It's the end of an era. After eight and five years, respectively, Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale have left Artesian at The Langham, along with nine other members of the team. It's fair to say, and no-doubt an understatement, that this critically acclaimed bar (and, as a result, London's bar scene), won't ever be the same.
The two apparently handed in their notice a month ago, hours before the bar was named World's Best Bar for the fourth time. And then the others, including bartenders Rudi Carraro and Roman Foltan, followed suit.
Langham managing director Duncan Palmer confirmed: 'After much success and international acclaim, we can confirm that Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale have taken the decision to move on from The Langham, London. We thank them for their contribution in firmly establishing Artesian and The Langham, London as one of the most iconic and innovative destinations internationally.' Palmer added that 'some of Alex and Simone’s colleagues have also decided that now is a timely moment to look at new opportunities'.
Kratena said: 'It's been an incredible pleasure and privilege to lead Artesian for the past eight years and I will always be grateful to the Langham for its continued support and [the] creative freedom we received. Even though we will miss our team, Simone and I are ready to pursue new challenges.'
Palmer suggested, however, that this wasn't entirely the end of the association between Kratena and the hotel. 'Alex has indicated a willingness to assist us to recruit and train new team members and therefore, our successful relationship will continue in a different form,' he said. 'The team has established a great legacy, and we look forward to the next phase of Artesian’s success and to making a further exciting announcement related to the social element at The Langham, London in due course.'
Watch this space.
UPDATE (11/11/2015): Imbibe has since been informed that Kratena will not be involved in any of the recruitment and training at Artesian, as previously indicated by The Langham.