We round up this week’s restaurant news, from the conversion of a London bus into a Turkish kebab restaurant and the opening of a pop-up Tiffany’s café to the arrest of four people over a machete attack at a Hove wine bar.
UK government visa decision: The UK government’s decision to deny visas to low-skilled workers is set to create a “huge challenge” to the UK’s pub, bar and restaurant sector, the drinks trade has warned. The government unveiled its new points-based immigration system this week, which it says will attract “the brightest and the best” talent to the UK following the end of the temporary Brexit measures at the end of the year. UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls called it “disastrous” for the hospitality sector, stating it failed to recognise that the industry was at the heart of communities across the UK, and is already facing an acute labour shortage.
The Mixologist: A man has charged after the doorman of The Mixologist wine bar in Hove was attacked with a machete, the BBC reports. A total of four people were arrested following the incident on Tuesday this week. Police have now charged Ashkan Zahedian, 29, with possession of a bladed article and unlawful and malicious wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. The doorman sustained stab wounds and was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.
Dave Phinney: Winemaker Dave Phinney is to open a 120-seat fried chicken restaurant as part of a development to create a “city” for 75,000 people on Mare Island just outside San Francisco. As reported by the New York Post, the restaurant and bar will be housed within Phinney’s Savage & Cooke distillery, which he opened in 2018.
The Tiffany Blue Box Cafe at Harrods: It is now possible to have Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The American jeweler has opened a pop-up café on the lower ground floor of luxury London department store Harrods featuring Tiffany’s trademark blue. Open from Monday to Saturday, from 6.30pm-10.30pm, dishes include the ‘signature crab muffin’ with Cornish crab, Barbers cheddar rarebit, pickled shallots and sliced radish for breakfast; afternoon tea featuring sandwiches filled with English cucumber & pink peppercorn and egg and black truffle; and a dinner menu featuring the likes of beef tartare or grapefruit and burrata.
Last Stop Kebab: A former double-decker London bus has been transformed into a kebab restaurant in Edmington, North London, the Enfield Independent reports. The bus took only 20 days to convert into a restaurant and now boasts 40 covers.
Claro: Portuguese chef Leandro Carreira, formerly of Londrino in London Bridge, is to open a Portuguese-inspired seafood restaurant where Bonnie Gull resided in Soho. As reported by Eater London, Portuguese taberna Claro is due to open on Bateman Street this spring and will focus on small seafood plates and wines by the glass.The 26-cover venue is a joint venture between Carreira and Alex Hunter, co-founder of Bonnie Gull and The Sea The Sea in Chelsea, where Carreira is executive chef.
Gazegill Organics: Gazegill Organics, based in the Ribble Valley in Lancashire, is set to open an eco-restaurant at its 250-acre farm as the trend for sustainable restaurants continues. The family-owned farm first announced plans for the project back in 2018. Now given the green light, the owners say the project will bring 10 extra jobs to the area. Most of the produce due to be served at the restaurant will be sourced from the farm, while the remainder will be sourced from other local organic farms, cutting down on food miles. The restaurant will be powered by electricity, generated on site through wind and solar power, and will be constructed out of green oak and glass.
Chucs: London restaurant and café Chucs has launched a new bring your own booze (BYOB) offer. Called Mondays Uncorked, it will run across the group’s sites in Mayfair, Westbourne Grove, Belgravia and Kensington & Chelsea. Every Monday from 6pm, diners can bring their own wine and enjoy £4.50 corkage, while Chucs will also be offering 50% off on all bottles worth up to £200. Customers who order a main course are permitted to redeem the offer.
Restaurant and bakery Darby’s in Embassy Gardens will welcome five guest chefs from 3 March to celebrate British Pie Week. These include Henry Harris of gastropub KPH, chef Anna Hansen, Surender Mohan of Jamavar and Bombay Bustle, Ravinder Bhogal of Jikoni and Jeremy Lee of Quo Vadis. Each will create a pie that will be showcased at the restaurant. Kicking things off with be Harris with his pie filled stuffed with slow-cooked dug leg, green olive and Cahors wine, with a spiced suet crust and marrow bone chimney.