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Plans pulled for Idris Elba’s new wine bar due to staff shortages

He may be one of the biggest names in the movie industry with five films out this year, but Idris Elba has had to pull the plug on his plans for a wine bar in the redeveloped Battersea Power Station due to being unable to find enough staff.

Credit: Instagram/ portenoirekx Elba and Farber

Elba, alongside co-founder David Farber (previously Connaught Wine Cellars), opened their Porte Noire bar and shop near St. Pancras Station last year. While the establishment has proven to be a hit, particularly with such star power behind it, the expansion plans have been derailed by an issue that has blighted the UK’s hospitality industry since Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Evening Standard was told by Farber that: “In the end we couldn’t get staff. Without staff you can’t run a restaurant.” db has reached out to Porte Noire to ask if the Battersea location might open in the future should staff be found.

The reality for many restaurateurs, in the capital and beyond, is that positions both in the kitchen and front of house are becoming increasingly difficult to fill. Vacancies in the hospitality sector have been rising faster than those in any other industry, with approximately a fifth of front of house and cleaning roles unfilled across the UK.

It does appear that most new venues destined for the redeveloped Battersea Power Station (which is due to officially open on 14 October) are still going ahead. Among them is Inception Group’s Control Room B, which group co-founder Charlie Gilkes has called a “career highlight”. That opening is still going ahead as planned. The site will also be the location for tech giant Apple’s new UK offices.

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