I felt a little sorry for these guys - spent months refurbishing and finally opening to lukewarm success. Then another Italian place opens right across the way (Capricci) at the base of one of the Neo Bankside pavilions. There's also Carluccio's and Coco di Mama on Southwark Street.
That particular storefront has had three failed businesses to my recollection (Amano Cafe, Caffe Fratelli(?), Hot Italian)
Yes, a shame it's closed, but to be fair they never really had it right even before the other Italian places opened. It felt as though the owners couldn't make up their minds whether it was going to be a restaurant, or a takeaway place, or a bar and they never had a dedicated website - if you searched for them it was still Fratelli's, which seemed odd to say the least.
We used to go in for a drink sometimes on our way home from work, but there was never any certainty it would still be open at 5.30 / 6pm. If you want to build up trade you really need to be open when potential customers expect you to be open, rather than just shutting at random times. That said, as mentioned above, none of the previous businesses were able to make a go of it on that site either.
I can't believe it's to do with the site given that it's surrounded by an ever-growing number of other eating places that generally seem to be doing good business.
There might be slightly more weekday footfall in the "street" between Camino and Tonkotsu (during the week, in particular, I guess), but the ex-Hot Italian site is far from deserted (and I'd imagine they would pay a slightly lower rent to counteract that.
The right food & service at the right price seems to do well there. Leon's been a fixture for ages, and Tsuru/Tonkotsu has also been there for a few years.