Friday Five: the week's top news

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Friday Five: the week's top news

Related tags: Hospitality

This week's main hospitality news stories include D&D London plotting significant expansion, fears over inflation, and Alexis Noble​​ closing her Stoke Newington restaurant Wander due to visa issues.

D&D London is looking to grow its estate significantly in the next two to three years​ with 16 potential projects in the UK and overseas currently in the pipeline. The restaurant group says it is moving into a more expansive phase following the challenging past 18 months with plans for new restaurants in cities across the UK as well as in London as it looks to reduce its dependency on the capital. Prospects include opening second venues in Manchester and Bristol with the Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow also on the cards. It comes as the high-end group announced in a financial update that its UK restaurants have traded substantially ahead of expectations since April, but that central London revenues were below pre-Covid levels due to absence of office workers and tourists.

- UKHospitality has warned that rising inflation has the potential to 'seriously derail' the sector’s recovery​. While the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that inflation temporarily dipped in September to 3.1%, from 3.2% in August, real estate adviser Altus Group has warned that the headline rate signals that gross business rates bills next year will rise by £23.15m for pubs in England, whilst restaurants and cafes will see their liabilities increase by £21.87m, unless the Government intervenes in the Budget later this month. There have also been serious warnings of food price increases, with Ian Wright, chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation, telling MPs earlier this week that inflation is between 14% and 18% for hospitality firms. Describing the figure as 'terrifying', he warned that price rises for food firms' ingredients will lead to consumer price rises.

- Australian chef Alexis Noble has been forced to close her Stoke Newington restaurant Wander until at least the end of the year because of visa issues​. The restaurant shut last week, with Noble saying that her visa extension has been denied and that she was required to leave the country. Posting on Instagram, she said that she would be appealing the decision but that she was currently not allowed to legally work, forcing the restaurant to remain closed and cancel its reservations. “Unfortunately, I will be reaching out to everyone who has made reservations for the rest of the year and have to cancel them, and Wander will no longer be open until this situation can be resolved,” she wrote.

- Frank and Jackson Boxer, the brothers behind Brunswick House, have launched a bar in the heart of London's West End​ this week. Located close to Cambridge Circus below Shaftesbury Avenue arts and performance venue Stone Nest, below Stone Nest will initially open Wednesday to Saturday from 6pm – 2am offering a short drinks list of low-intervention wines, cocktails, long drinks and beers. Stone Nest will collaborate with guest curator Tic (of Young record label, whose acts include The XX, FKA Twigs, Ethan P. Flynn, Koreless and Sampha) on the bar’s music programme. The venue will be the second joint launch for the two brothers, who launched Brunswick House in a crumbling Georgian mansion house in Vauxhall in their early twenties.

- Whatley Manor chef Niall Keating is to launch a restaurant close to his hometown of Stoke-on-Trent late next month​ that will 'celebrate the rich history and heritage of the Potteries and the industrial revolution'. Due to launch on 25 November, Lunar will be run in conjunction with The Great British Experience Company (TGBEC) and will be located within Wedgwood's Barlaston pottery. Described as a 'modern dining experience' Lunar will be 'progressive and creative' and inspired by Korean, Japanese and French cuisine. 'A passion for sustainability' will also encourage strong environmental and ethical standards across the supply chain and throughout the restaurant, which takes its name from the Lunar Society, a supper club for the Midlands enlightenment, of which Josiah Wedgwood was a founding member.

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

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