Friday Five: the week's top news

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Friday Five: the week's top news

Related tags: Restaurant

This week's main hospitality news stories include Russell Norman's new restaurant announcement, Karen Jones joining Deliveroo, and The Cinnamon Club paying tribute to 'hero' waiter Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole.

- Russell Norman is opening a new Italian restaurant and bar in central London​ this summer. The restaurant will be called Brutto, after the Italian word for ‘ugly’, with Norman saying that it will be 'a place of passion and tradition, where flavour is more important than favour, and where you will often hear the expression brutto ma buono (ugly but good)'. Posting on Instagram​, Norman says he hopes it will open in the summer (with a fair wind) and that although it will be located in a central London area "it isn’t in Soho, Covent Garden, Mayfair, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, St James’s’, Peckham or any of those fancy places”. Brutto’s menu will be Italian with 'a Tuscan accent', using excellent ingredients and the cooking focusing on simple preparation and honest presentation.

- Prezzo executive chair Karen Jones has been appointed to Deliveroo's board as a non-executive director​, alongside former Coca-Cola Europe chief executive Dominique Reiniche. Jones, who is also currently the chair of Hawksmoor and Mowgli, will join the recently listed company’s board of directors as the chair of the remuneration committee and as a member of the audit committee. Reiniche, meanwhile, who is also a non-executive director of PayPal Luxembourg, will join as a member of the audit, remuneration and nominations committees.

- A waiter for London restaurant The Cinnamon Club, who died after jumping into the River Thames to rescue a woman who fell from London Bridge, has been hailed as a 'true hero'​. Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, 20, known as Jimi, entered the water at around midnight on Saturday (24 April) after spotting the woman fall. A passer-by jumped in with him and both the second man and the woman were saved, but Olubunmi-Adewole was tragically swept away and his body was found six hours later. Paying tribute to Olubunmi-Adewole on social media, Vivek Singh, CEO and executive chef of The Cinnamon Club, said: “We are absolutely devastated and are trying to come to terms with the tragic death of Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole. Jimi, as he was known to everyone The Cinnamon Club, was a much-loved member of the front of house team and we are all reeling from this incredibly tragic news."

- Former Redcomb Pubs owners Dan Shotton and Mark Draper have announced four new additions to their Prospect Pubs & Bars portfolio​, with further expansion expected. The pair, who sold Redcomb Pubs’ 15-strong bar and restaurant estate to Young’s back in 2019 in a deal worth £34m, have taken on The Blue Ball in Walton-on-the-Hill for their third site under the Prospect Pubs & Bars banner. Another three sites have already been acquired for opening this year, with Shotton adding that the group plans to acquire five to seven sites per year from 2022 onwards.

- The US-centric Tao Group Hospitality has acquired Hakkasan Group in a deal that will create a ‘premium hospitality powerhouse’​ with significant potential for future growth. The newly formed group comprises 61 entertainment dining and nightlife venues in 22 markets across five continents and features a collection of widely recognised upscale, lifestyle-oriented hospitality brands, including Tao Group Hospitality’s Tao, Marquee, Lavo, Beauty & Essex and Hakkasan Group’s Hakkasan, Yauatcha, Omnia and Ling Ling. Hakkasan Group’s portfolio expands Tao Group Hospitality’s domestic reach in key markets such as Las Vegas, Southern California and Miami, while also significantly growing Tao Group Hospitality’s international presence with the addition of key global destinations. This includes London, where Hakkasan Group operates two Hakkasan restaurants (pictured), two Yauatcha restaurants and Sake no Hana. 

Check below for more of this week's headlines, or click here​.

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