Friday Five: the week’s top news

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

Friday Five: the week’s top news

Related tags: Star at Harome, Bookings, Burger & Lobster, Richard corrigan

This week’s main hospitality news stories include Christmas party bookings taking a hit over new variant fears and the sale of Shoreditch hotel The Boundary.

- Police investigating a fire at the award-winning Star at Harome gastropub in North Yorkshire believe it was started deliberately.​ The Michelin-starred pub and restaurant, which has been run by chef-patron Andrew Pern for the past 25 years, was ‘reduced to ashes’ last week as a result of the blaze. Police investigating the fire are appealing for witnesses and information about the incident. At its height, 45 firefighters tackled the blaze, with all occupants managing to leave the restaurant safely.

- Christmas party bookings are taking a hit as fears grow over the latest Covid-19 variant, with operators reporting cancellations of existing bookings as well as a drop off in demand for new bookings.​ Larger corporate bookings are being particularly badly hit, with chef restaurateur Chris Galvin reporting the loss of some his London-centric restaurant group’s biggest festive bookings. David Toscano - the owner of Cin Cin, which operates Italian restaurants in London and Hove - says that the new variant has softened an already soft December, with cancellations more of an issue at his group’s Fitzrovia site than its South Coast restaurant. “Customers are clearly jittery again about meeting in groups,” he says.

- Burger & Lobster founder Misha Zelman and former The Fat Duck Group sales and marketing professional Ben Hedley are opening a ‘multi-cuisine kitchen and grocer’ in Notting Hill.​ Called Neyba, it will open in January on Westbourne Grove and will see chefs including TV chef Tony Singh MBE and Endo Kazotushi collaborate to create cook at home meals for takeaway and delivery. Other chefs involved include One Pound Meals cookbook author and owner of Miguel’s Pizza Miguel Barclay and Yoko Nakada, founder of premium Japanese recipe box business Makes Miso Hungry.

- Richard Corrigan is expanding his restaurant empire in the capital with the opening of a restaurant at canal-side development Hawley Wharf Camden.​ The chef/restaurateur told the Irish Independent that work was currently under way on the as yet unnamed restaurant. “I am up to my eyes with designers, builders, for my new place in Hawley Wharf in Camden Basin,” he said. “That whole area of Camden was a bit of a tourist hole. Now it has become another London hub, like Shoreditch was in the 1990s.” According to the paper, the restaurant is being designed by the architects who built Soho House in Berlin. It will have two rooftop areas seating 120 seats as well as space for a further 50 covers on the terrace.

- Harcourt Inns founder James McCulloch has acquired Shoreditch-based boutique hotel The Boundary from the Conran estate.​ Under its new ownership, The Boundary will enter ‘a new era’ in 2022 following an extensive refurbishment of the ground floor which will become a destination all-day bar and restaurant. The ground floor is currently home to the British-themed Albion Café. The hotel also has a basement restaurant that most recently traded as Wilder Restaurant and Bar, an events space, and 17 individually-designed rooms.

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