The group was due to open its first US restaurant, in New York, this month, but says it has decided to take the ‘difficult decision’ to postpone the launch.
In a post on Instagram, it wrote: "Over the last few days, the growing impact of Coronavirus has made it increasingly clear that we needed to make the difficult decision of postponing our New York opening. While our journey to opening New York has been a long one, our highest priority is ensuring the health and safety of our staff and customers.”
The group hasn’t given an expected new opening date, which is unsurprising given the uncertain nature of the Coronavirus and its likely spread, but it says it will open Hawksmoor New York ‘as soon as we’re able’.
Recent measures introduced in New York mean that bar and restaurants are being closed at 8pm to reduce the changes of spreading the virus. Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, which operates numerous restaurants in the city, recently announced that it was temporarily closing all of its restaurants ‘until we believe it is safe to re-open’.
In a statement signed by Meyer on 13 March, the company said it would be using the temporary period of closure to explore how best it can support the livelihoods of its employees and the broader hospitality community.
Hawksmoor New York was originally going to open at the World Trade Center but its founders Will Beckett and Huw Gott pulled out of the deal after two and a half years. Speaking to Restaurant magazine last month, Beckett said he felt liked he had ‘dodged a bullet’ by opting out of the scheme.
It will instead open in the former United Charities Building in Manhattan’s Flatiron district.
The restaurant is not the only new launch to be impacted by the Coronavirus. BigHospitality understands that building work on the proposed new Blacklock restaurant in Covent Garden has been postponed.