Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

This week in restaurant news: the number of restaurant cancellations begins to fall, the casual dining sector takes another hit, Andi Oliver and Fred Sirieix open a pop-up in Clapton, and two London eateries close their doors.

‘Close pubs before schools in future’: England’s children’s commissioner, Anne Longfield, has said that schools should be the “first to open, last to close after pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops”. She added that schools should be an “absolute priority” and that suppressing levels of infection in the wider community would allow them to operate with lower risk.

Pubs and restaurants ordered to close in Aberdeen: Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon ordered all pubs and restaurants in the city of Aberdeen to close this week after the number of confirmed cases in the area has risen to 101.

Data shows number of cancellations and no-shows beginning to fall: According to data from CGA, a survey of 1,250 people found that cancellations had fallen from 23% in the week commencing 13 July, to 11% by the week starting 27 July. No-shows also reduced in the same period, from 24% to 22%.

Pizza Express may cut 1,100 jobs: Italian chain Pizza Express is mulling the closure of 67 of its sites, putting 1,100 jobs at risk. The casual dining chain has 449 UK outlets.

Bryon to close 30 sites: Burger chain Byron has also announced it is to close over half of its sites as 51 sites. The chain went into administration last Friday and a certain amount of its assets have been bought by Calveton UK. 31 restaurants belonging to the chain are set to close permanently.

BAME in hospitality launches mentorship scheme: Non-profit organisation BAME in Hospitality has created a new mentorship scheme to support members of the black, Asian, and minority ethnic backgrounds. Called the Elevate Mentorship Scheme, it is set to start its work in the autumn.

Kitchen Table to expand into Bubbledogs site: Two-Michelin-starred restaurant Kitchen Table is to expand into the site of Bubbledogs where it will acquire a new lounge and bar area. It has also launched its own delivery service. Meanwhile, Bubbledogs has moved online in the form of Bubbleshop.

The Fat Duck to reopen with celebratory 25th anniversary anthology menus: Acclaimed Bray eatery The Fat Duck is to reopen in time to celebrate its 25th anniversary. To mark the milestone, the restaurant has launched an anthology menu featuring a compilation of classic dishes, including bacon and egg ice cream, developed in the year 2000, and mock turtle soup, first served in 2009.

New openings:

Queens Mayfair: Marketing and hospitality executive Victoria Sheppard and her sister, interior designer Grace Sheppard, are set to open Queens in Mayfair on 10 August. Billed as an artisan coffee shop, the site will be open from breakfast through to dinner, and will serve cocktails and wine in the evening, as well as light bites including cheese and charcuterie.

Royale: The team behind Shoreditch’s Leroy are set to open a new residency at East London Liquor Co.’s restaurant. Called Royale, it is open from 7 August and will serve a simple menu of rotisserie chicken and sides, along with a selection of wines, spirits and cocktails.

One Love: Chef and Great British Menu judge Andi Oliver and TV presenter and former general manager at Galvin at Windows Fred Sirieix are opening a pop-up restaurant and bar in Clapton. Opening on 20 August, the venue will serve Caribbean food, French pastries and wine as well as rum cocktails.

Closures:

Cub: Hoxton’s Cub, run by Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan) and Doug McMaster, has announced it will not reopen. Launched in September 2017 on the site of White Lyan, the restaurant and bar adopted a drinks-led dining approach which focused on minimising waste and simplifying the supply chain. The team plan to continue using the Cub brand, with the possibility of future pop-ups and events.

Oklava Bakery + Wine: In a video posted on Instagram, chef Selin Kiazim announced the closure of Oklava Bakery + Wine due to low footfall. The outlet only opened in January this year. Oklava’s flagship Shoreditch site remains open.

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