Market Halls has closed its site at the intu Lakeside shopping centre in Essex after less than six months of trading. The Hall was the group’s first concept outside of London, and featured six kitchens and space for 680 covers. But the site closed shortly before Christmas, with staff claiming low footfall meant they took as little as £10 on some days.
Wonderland Restaurants, which is founded by former Disney executive and CEO of The Fat Duck Group, James Bulmer, and counts the former executive chef of three-Michelin starred Alinea as part of its team, will open its debut venue in London this year. The group has also launched Wonderland Labs, which is described as being dedicated to accelerating and evolving food and drink innovation for both existing and future projects.
Michelin is eyeing a members-only program called the Michelin Club that would give members ‘select privileges’ at participating guide-listed restaurants. According to a survey posted on Bookatable, Michelin is 'laying the groundwork' for a club pitched at ‘gastronomy enthusiasts’ and would offer a range of benefits at participating Michelin-rated restaurants alongside members-only access and special pricing for Michelin culinary events worldwide.
Former Duck & Waffle chef Dan Doherty has quietly returned to London’s restaurant scene almost exactly a year after being dismissed from his role at The Royal Oak gastropub in Marylebone following accusations of sexual harassment. The all-day restaurant, called Tila, is serving dishes including butter-roasted Devon crab with lemon, garlic and sourdough; and promises ‘epic’ Sunday roasts on its Instagram account.
Chef Neil Rankin and former Benugo CEO Handley Amos are heading up a restaurant division that will provide investment opportunities, financial backing and expertise to chefs and restaurateurs to help them launch new ventures. Called The Pepper Collective, and part of partnership and experience agency SALT, the division is working with names including Rob Roy Cameron, Tom Brown, Alyn Williams, Jasmine Hemsley, Gizzi Erskine and Italian restaurateur Antonio Civita to open new venues this year.
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