Friday Five: the week's top news stories

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

 The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards Top 100 Auction goes live, Wahaca restaurant closures and Native Osea Island Essex

Related tags: Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards, Wahaca, Native, Big Mamma, Restaurant, Auction

A round-up some of the main hospitality news stories from the past week, including The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards Top 100 Auction going live, Wahaca's restaurant closures and Native's move eastwards.

- Bidding has begun in The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards Top 100 Auction​. The auction, which will run for another week, ending at 6pm on Sunday 6 September, includes 120 very special food and drink related lots, including a meal and masterclass led by Mark Birchall at Moor Hall followed by a stay and breakfast; a seafood masterclass for four people with Tom Brown at Cornerstone; a weekend for two in Barcelona with a meal at El Celler de Can Roca; and The Dorchester’s Tom Booton in your kitchen. To view the lots and to make a bid, visit the online auction here​.

- Wahaca is closing more than a third of its estate and is considering a Company Voluntary Arrangement​ (CVA), in a bid to secure its future. The Mexican restaurant group will not reopen its restaurants in Bluewater, Bristol, Brixton, Charlotte Street, Chichester, Manchester, Liverpool, Kentish Town, Southampton and St Pauls, with just 18 of its 28 restaurants to remain open. Founders Mark Selby and Thomasina Miers described the decision as the hardest of their lives.

- Wild food restaurant Native is relocating to Osea Island on the Essex coast this autumn, where it will operate out of a former World War I torpedo store. The restaurant, run by head chef Ivan Tisdall-Downes and Imogen Davis, will open in October and will serve hyper local and seasonal food.​ It will be accessible by road or by boat depending on the tides. Tisdall-Downes and Davis closed their Native restaurant in Southwark earlier this year, with the site being taken on by Casa do Frango as an extension of its restaurant.

- The total number of individual restaurant premises signed up to the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme fell by 1,000 between the second and third week of the scheme statistics released by the Government show. Some 85,000 individual restaurant premises had registered to take part in the scheme as of 16 August​, but this fell to 84,000. More than 64 million meals have been claimed under the scheme, which comes to an end on Monday (31 August).

- Restaurant group Big Mamma has confirmed it still plans to open a third London restaurant, in Covent Garden​, despite saying earlier in the year that it might put its expansion plans on hold because of the way the UK Government has dealt with the Coronavirus pandemic. The group plans to merge the buildings of 29-30 Maiden Lane and 15 Henrietta Street in Covent Garden to create a ‘high quality destination’ restaurant.

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