The Old Pharmacy
Chef Merlin Labron-Johnson is to open a wine bar and grocery store close by to his farm-to-table restaurant Osip in Bruton, Somerset. Set to launch in January, The Old Pharmacy - named after the 16th Century building in which it’s housed - will be inspired by the épiceries (grocery shops) of rural France. Working alongside Labron-Johnson on the project will be Osip operations manager David Durban, whose CV also includes stints at Petersham Nurseries and Frenchie. The Old Pharmacy will be open all day for coffees and lunches, which will include seasonal salads made using garden vegetables grown by the chef. In the evening, the wine bar will serve a selection of small plates alongside a list of natural wines, and beers.
High Street, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0AB
By some margin the most ballsy opening of 20201. Alex Ghalleb is spearheading a multi-faceted restaurant venture within the grounds of a Grade I-listed former church that will include a restaurant headed by high profile Israeli chef Elior Balbul. The former Soho House general manager and ex-managing partner at Gold restaurant in Notting Hill expects to open Chameleon in early next year at One Marylebone, which was until recently used as an events space. The restaurant will seat guests within nine luxurious outdoor greenhouses - the largest of these seating up to 30 people - and a tented lounge area with a separate, more casual menu. Balbul is well known in Israel having headed the stove at a number of high profile restaurants in Tel Aviv including Catit and Blue Sky.
1 Marylebone Rd, London NW1 4AQ
New wave kebab operator Le Bab is to open a third London restaurant next year on Old Street. Set to launch in February, the new Le Bab will take its cue from late-night kebab culture and remain open into the small hours with a 5am closing time. The 20-cover restaurant, which is taking over a former Turkish Delight kebab shop, will feature a ‘striking’ interior design created by Angus Buchanan that includes a stainless-steel counter and side bar; red upholstered barstools; a stainless steel and mirror panelled wall design; and a graffitied ceiling. The food, overseen by executive chef Manu Canales, will be a continuation of the menu served at Le Bab’s Kingly Court site, showcasing ‘bold flavours’ through a serious of dishes that include ‘fusion’ kebabs and mezze. This includes a late-night pepperoni pork shawarma special available exclusively from the new restaurant that features pork shawarma with tomato pork jus, mozzarella fondue, pepperoni and fresh basil. 2021 will also see Le Bab open a concession within drinks venue KRAFT Dalston.
231 Old St, Old Street, London EC1V 9HE
High profile restaurateur Ratnesh Bagdai has teamed up with former The Oxford Blue chef patron Steven Ellis to take on The Bailiwick in Surrey, with further pubs on the cards should the venture be a success. Formerly operated by pub company Brunning & Price, the pub is on the edge of Windsor Great Park in Englefield Green within striking distance of tourist hotspots Virginia Water and Savill Gardens. Bagdai is currently co-owner of the Brindisa Restaurant Group and is a well-known figure in the industry having previously co-run Restaurants Etc. with Mark Hix. He is also the boss of restaurant accountancy firm RNB. He says the pub - which is expected to re-open in early January - would have been a steal post Covid-19 and is a “very good proposition” for a post Covid-19 trading environment because of its affluent catchment area and ample outside space. Ellis menu will feature a wide range of classic pub dishes, and number of which will include a game element sourced from Windsor Great Park.
Wick Rd, Englefield Green, Egham TW20 0HN
The team behind top-end Mayfair Indian restaurant Benares will launch an Indian street food restaurant at Camden Market early next year. The Indian Alley will be led by Benares executive chef Sameer Taneja and will trade from a Grade I-listed 2,250 sq ft building. The team plan to launch the venue as a stripped-back affair designed for post-lockdown trading before closing and reopening with a more complete design further into 2021. Taneja, who trained at The Oberoi Group in Delhi before heading to the UK to cook at The Waterside Inn and Pierre Koffmann’s restaurant at The Berkeley Hotel before heading the kitchens at a number of high-reaching Indian restaurants.
Camden Market, Camden Lock Place, London NW1 8Af
Winslade Manor Restaurant and Bar
Former Jack in the Green head chef Matt Mason is to head up the kitchen at Winslade Manor Restaurant and Bar near Exeter when it launches next February. The Grade II listed building located in the 85-acre Winslade Park is run by operations company Vida and has undergone a full refurbishment. Mason will join the restaurant after 28 years at the east Devon gastropub alongside his wife Jo, who will be its restaurant manager. The restaurant is described as ‘casual elegant’ with Mason serving seasonal, local food from suppliers including Creedy Carver, Darts Farm, Flying Fish Seafood and Country Farm.
Winslade Park Ave, Manor Drive, Clyst St Mary, Exeter EX5 1FY
The team behind Notting Hill-based Asian restaurant ULI is launching a sister Asian restaurant in Chelsea next year. Chef Michael Lim and co-owners Graham Rebak and Adam Wilkie will open neighbourhood restaurant HUŎ in early 2021 on Park Walk. It will serve a menu of dishes from around China and Southeast Asia, all prepared from scratch using traditional Chinese, Thai, Malay and Singaporean disciplines designed to ‘represent a lifetime’s work’ of Lim’s time in professional kitchens. The interior is being designed by Jonathan Clark Architects and will take inspiration from the immediate vicinity surrounding the restaurant when it was popularly known as ‘ Chelsea Beach’, with bleached timber banquettes and flooring and a white timber raft ceiling.
9 Park Walk, London SW10 0AJ
Brixton’s Department Store Studios workspace will soon be home to Mediterranean restaurant Bellefields. Slated for April next year, the restaurant and bar will be located on the ground floor of the Bellefields Road site. The design will evade the bustle of Brixton and nod to sunnier climates with bare brick walls and a cobbled courtyard for al fresco dining. Architecture company Squire & Partners - which has its offices in the building - has partnered with head chef James Mathieson to create the restaurant, who was previously at Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack in Soho. His menu will include dishes such as Linguine vongole, lamb tagine and Turkish manti.
19 Bellefields Rd, Ferndale, London SW9 9UH
Borough Market-based restaurant and natural wine bar Elliot’s will open a second restaurant in Hackney early next year. On the former site of The Corner Deli on Mare Street, the new site is expected to open in February and will take the same approach as its older sibling, working with high-quality produce from independent farmers, growers and fishermen. The menu will include small plates and slow fermented sourdough pizzas cooked with toppings including palourde clams, yellow tomatoes, garlic and crème fraiche; and winter truffle, pumpkin, radicchio and mascarpone pizza. Elliot’s was launched by Australian chef Brett Redman in 2011 and is big on wood fired cooking.
121-123 Mare St, Hackney, London E8 3RH
In Glasgow’s trendy Finnieston area, Unalome is helmed by Former Isle of Eriska head chef Graeme Cheevers and is taking over the site of The Sisters restaurant following owner Jacqueline O’Donnell’s retirement. Expected to open early next year, Unalome takes its name from a Buddhist symbol that represents the path each person takes in life. Cheevers - whose CV also includes a spell heading up Martin Wishart’s Michelin-starred Loch Lomond restaurant - says it was chosen to signify something ‘new and completely different for Glasgow’s food scene’. Serving modern European cuisine, the 60-cover restaurant’s menu will change weekly.
36 Kelvingrove St, Finnieston, Glasgow G3 7RZ
Rudy’s Vegan Diner
Following the success of the brand’s debut site in Camden and the opening of what it dubbed the ‘world’s first vegan butcher’ in November, Rudy’s Vegan Diner will open its second restaurant on Islington’s Upper Street in January. Conceptualised by co-founder and chef Matthew Foster with his partner Ruth Mumma (aka Rudy), the menu will offer the brand’s ‘signature’ veganised versions of classic American junk food dishes, with highlights such as the ‘Dirty Burger’; ’Rudy’s Reuben’; mac ‘n’ cheeze; and dairy-free ‘freakshakes’. There will also be a new plant-based brunch menu served. As well as in-restaurant dining, the new site will also offer Rudy’s range of meat-free alternatives from the adjoining vegan butchery.
206 Upper St, Islington, London N1 1RQ
Japanese restaurant Hot Stone will open a second venue in Fitzrovia in January 2021. The critically-acclaimed Japanese restaurant, inspired by the historic Japanese art of cooking tableside on hot stones, will open on Windmill Street. The menu is designed by Executive Chef Padam Raj Rai, and will feature sushi, sashimi and seasonally changing hot dishes like 48-hour marinated black cod, Hamachi cheeks and homemade tofu. It will join the Islington restaurant as two of only eight restaurants in the UK to serve certified Kobe beef. The site follows the success of its first restaurant in Islington’s Chapel Market in 2018, and will follow the same minimalist, traditional Japanese interiors, designed by Muzo Design. The new venue’s 1,300 square foot space will seat 50 with a seven seat open sushi bar, and will feature wallpaper by 18 century Japanese ukiyo-e painter Hokusai Katsushika.
3 Windmill St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2HY
Egg-focused breakfast and brunch brand EggRun is to open its first permanent location in early March on Fish Street Hill in London’s Monument, having initially opened earlier this year as a delivery-only venture. The concept is somewhat similar to other egg-focused gourmet food brands operating in the capital like Mad Egg and Eggslut, and features a primarily grab and go-orientated menu of breakfast dishes including ‘classics’ such as scrambled eggs with caramelised onions, cheddar, chives and EggRun’s secret sauce; and the TacoRun with scrambled eggs, feta cheese, onion and lettuce. Founders Laurent Manuel and Asher Grant say they plan to build a portfolio of up to 15 sites by 2023, with at least two more locations expected to open in the next 12 months.
46 Fish St Hill, Bridge, London EC3R 6BR
Lunar Pub Company, which owns The Hunter’s Moon pub in South Kensington, is set to open its second London location next year, having secured a site on Ebury Street in Belgravia. Named after the largest moon of Jupiter and the third largest celestial being in the solar system, Ganymede will feature a menu of modern-European cuisine overseen by group chef director and co-founder Oliver Marlowe. Dishes will include Lunar Pub Company staples such as foie gras parfait; scallop ceviche; and a sharing fillet of beef wellington. Ganymede will also offer brunch on Saturdays; roasts all-day Sunday; and a selection of daily-changing specials. Scheduled to open in April 2021, the pub will boast a 30-cover bar and 46-cover dining room.
Grand Trunk Road head chef Dayashankar Sharma is to open fine-dining Indian restaurant Heritage in West Dulwich in January 2021. The 48-cover space will draw on Sharma’s 30 years of culinary experience including at Michelin-starred Tamarind and Zaika in Kensington. It will serve regional small plates, kebabs, tikkas and curry dishes with signature dishes to include char-grilled truffle murgh kebab, vegetarian and vegan options such as broccoli ke kofte, and Indian breads like the gruyere and chilli naan. The drinks, meanwhile, include a range of Indian-inspired alcoholic and zero-proof drinks; wines; and a number of Indian whiskies and beers.