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Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

This week in UK restaurant news: a petition to create a minister for hospitality will be debated in January, MasterChef: The Professionals crowns its 2020 champion, and London’s Roganic will relocate in the new year.

Furlough extension welcomed: UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the extension of the Job Retention Scheme until the end of April 2021. It had previously been due to end on 31 March. Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, called it a “hugely positive move”.

Minister for hospitality set for debate: The government is to debate the creation of a minister for hospitality on 11 January after a petition calling for an industry figurehead achieved over 100,000 signatures.

Welsh brewer and pub operator SA Brain up for sale: The Times reports that Welsh brewer and pub operator SA Brain has put itself up for sale. Brains is reported to have hired Evercore as its advisors and is inviting offers for an investment or sale to a trade buyer.

MasterChef: The Professionals winner crowned: Spoiler alert, look away now! 25-year-old Alex Webb has been crowned the winner of this year’s MasterChef: The Professionals. Webb, who is head chef of Square 1 restaurant in Essex, said winning the BBC cooking competition was the “best feeling” he’d ever had.

Welsh and Northern Irish hospitality faces further restrictions after Christmas: Wales and Northern Ireland are to go into lockdown after Christmas. Wales will go into tier four restrictions from 6pm on Christmas Day. The decision will be reviewed in three weeks. Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, hospitality sites must shut apart from takeaway business for six weeks from Boxing Day. The situation will be looked at again in four weeks.

2021 openings 

Huŏ to open in Chelsea next year: Huŏ, a new venture from the team behind Notting Hill’s Uli, is to open next year on Chelsea’s Park Walk, serving up “clean, fresh and healthy Asian food”.

Borough Market’s Elliot’s to open new site: Borough Market’s restaurant and natural wine Elliot’s is to open a new site in February next year in Hackney, taking a similar approach to the original that was launched in 2011.


Mayfair’s StreetXO closes: Spanish media outlet Expansión reported the closure of Mayfair’s StreetXo, owned by chef Dabiz Muñoz. The Madrid chef opened the restaurant with a €6m investment four years ago.

Roganic won’t open again at its current site: Simon Rogan has stated that Roganic will relocate from its current site in Marylebone, The Caterer reports. The restaurant has been closed since March. There are plans to reopen it at another location in London next year.

Brighton’s The Set to close: Chef Dan Kenny has announced on Instagram that Brighton’s The Set restaurant will close at the end of March 2021. He said he hoped the restaurant would live on. “The new year may bring us a new home, or we may look at new projects such as pop-ups, exclusive private dining and some other stuff,” he wrote.

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