Friday Five: the week's top news

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Friday Five: the week's top news
We round-up some of the top hospitality stories you might have missed this week.

- The founder of Paris' Big Mamma Group says its decision to open an Italian restaurant in London this week​ is either "extremely brave or extremely stupid" in the run-up to Brexit. Victor Lugger says the Shoreditch site will be staffed entirely by Italians and import 180 Italian ingredients. 

- Northcote Hotel, home to the renowned Michelin-starred restaurant, has been sold to Britannia Hospitality for an undisclosed sum​. The deal includes Cafe Northcote and the Northcote at the Rovers events venue. Craig Bancroft, managing director of Northcote, and Craig Jackson, general manager, will continue to run the Northcote businesses with executive chef Lisa Goodwin Allen and the existing staff.

- London's Market Halls will launch a casual dining concept for out-of-town shopping centres this spring,​ which could be rolled out across the UK. The Hall will debut at intu Lakeside, in Essex, featuring seven kitchens, a coffee shop, two bars and pop-up areas for food trucks. Market Halls' CEO Andy Lewis-Pratt says "in theory" there could be at least 15 similar opportunities for the concept to open across the UK.

- Brian Hughson has taken over as head chef at D&D London's 20 Stories​ in Manchester after the departure of chef director Aiden Byrne last year. The restaurant says the appointment of Hughson, who has cooked with Gordon Ramsay at The Savoy Grill and at The Belvedere with Marco Pierre White, will bring "significant changes" in 2019 to keep the restaurant "at the top of its game".

- Restaurateurs Richard and Lindsey Johns will launch their next gastropub project early this year.​ The couple, who closed their well-regarded restaurant Rascills in Raskelf in January, have taken on the Malt Shovel pub in Hovingham and will relaunch it as The Hovingham Inn. 

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

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