Friday Five: the week's top news

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

the top stories in hospitality this week

Related tags: Marcus wareing, Restaurant, lockdown, Simon Rogan, Roganic

We round-up some of this week's main hospitality news stories including the industry's dismay at London going into tier three, the end of Roganic in Marylebone and brewer SA Brain putting itself up for sale.

- London chefs including Marcus Wareing went public with their infuriation at yet another set of new restrictions for the capital, just in time for the Christmas period. Restaurateurs were given only one day’s notice from the Government since being open again for just a few weeks, sparking concerns about hospitality jobs and Christmas food waste. Peter Lloyd, chef owner of Sticky Mango, said the sector was being made a “scapegoat”, as there is “no real evidence that it’s the main cause of infection”. Chef and restaurateur Wareing tweeted “once again hospitality screwed over again”. Restaurants have since faced the difficulty of shifting surplus food in the form of deliveries and collections.  

- Cardiff-based brewer SA Brain is among those businesses most recently hit by the pandemic, stating it will sell 40 of its 200 pubs due to costs of £1.6m. The brewer is led by chief executive Alistair Darby, who has hired advisors from Evercore to invite offers for an investment or sale to a trade buyer. Darby described recent restrictions as a “closure by stealth” and called on politicians to “stop changing their mind”. “It’s hugely frustrating and a bit insulting”, he said.  

- Simon Rogan’s Michelin-starred Roganic announces it won’t be reopening, after remaining closed since the initial lockdown was introduced in March. Rogan will direct his attention away from the restaurant on Blandford Street, Marylebone, and focus on various different projects in the new year, including his chef’s table concept Aulis in Soho and his Lake District operations. He has also been busy establishing a nationwide delivery offering, Simon Rogan at Home, and a has plans to reopen Roganic next year at an alternative London location, once he has a “clearer vision of the post-pandemic landscape”.   

- The Set in Brighton will close permanently in March next year. Chef Dan Kenny announced the closure on Instagram, saying he hopes the restaurant will be able to live on elsewhere, and that the team are considering some new projects for 2021, including pop-ups and exclusive private dining. Kenny has also closed his neighbourhood-style cocktail bar The Fix, which operated alongside The Set at Artist Residence Hotel on Regency Square. “We want to close the chapter by putting out the best food we have ever cooked, so please do book in to come and say goodbye with a final meal with us”, he said.  

- Boxing Day has been cancelled for hospitality business in Wales, announcing restaurants, cafes and bars will have to close at 6pm on Christmas Day. Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford announced the move from level three into level four, which is essentially a national lockdown, but stressed that venues would stay open for Christmas Day to protect “those who are lonely and isolated”. The new lockdown will begin on 28 December, after the five-day temporary relaxation of rules for Christmas.    

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