Friday Five: the week's top news

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Braised fennel at Norse
Braised fennel at Norse
We round-up some of the top hospitality stories you might have missed this week

- Scandinavian restaurant Norse in Harrogate has announced its closure​ months after posting a widely-shared blog admitting it was struggling to stay open. It introduced an a la carte menu alongside its tasting menu in January and received a supportive review from Marina O'Loughlin in The Times, ​but trade failed to improve. "I had a talented team and a lovely space - I just didn't do a good enough job of telling our story and convincing people to step through the doors," says director Paul Rawlinson.

- The Northcote Group has sold its three-strong Ribble Valley Inns portfolio​ to Brunning & Price, the pub division of The Restaurant Group, for an undisclosed sum. The Nag's Head in Cheshire was not included in the sale, despite being put on the market for around £1m earlier this year. Northcote - which owns the Michelin-starred restaurant and hotel of the same now - says it will look to develop its business further going forward.

- The Gaucho restaurant group is considering a sale of its entire company​ following two years of declining sales at its CAU casual steakhouse brand. Gaucho's management is holding talks with potential buyers this week to secure a "long-term" future for the business.

- Arthur's, Dalston's "only non-hipster cafe", is to close after 70 years in business​ following the death of its founder Arthur Woodham in January. Woodham's grandson Jamie had intended to take over the site, but discovered the decree in his grandfather's will this month. The shop will close on 25 May. 

- Deliveroo has launched a £5m "innovation fund"​ to invest in creating new restaurant brands in partnership with budding and established chefs. The company is planning to team up with celebrity cooks as well as using its bank of customer data to develop new concepts "from scratch" in areas where it has identified demand for certain cuisines.

For more of this week's news, click here.

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