Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

In restaurant news this week: UK hospitality sales fall by 87% in April through June, local lockdowns affect restaurants in northern England and Rick Stein’s Marlborough restaurant is saved from closure thanks to a benevolent landlord.

A selection of dishes on the menu at the new Tavolino

UK hospitality sector sales drop by 87% in the second quarter: Sales in UK hospitality fell by 87% from April through June, totalling just £4.6 billion compared to £34.2 billion in the same period last year, UKHospitality’s tracker has reported.

José Andrés sues insurers for failing to provide Covid-19 payout: Celebrity chef José Andrés’ restaurant group has filed a lawsuit against its insurance provider, claiming it was wrongfully denied cover for Covid-19. It joins a growing number of US restaurants who are also taking action.

Local lockdown affects restaurants in northern England: The UK government has imposed restrictions on parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, and West Yorkshire following a spike in Covid-19 cases. Restaurants, bars and pubs in the area are now dealing with large volumes of canceled bookings as multiple households are no longer allowed to meet up indoors.

Cardiff Council creates covered food court: Cardiff City Council has opened a 240-seat covered outdoor food court serving drinks and dishes from local businesses.

Rick Stein Group’s Marlborough restaurant saved by landlord: Rick Stein Group’s Marlborough restaurant, which was due to close, has been saved by its landlord. It is understood the landlord has written off some debt and cut the rent by almost a quarter. All 39 members of staff have kept their jobs.

Roux Scholarship postponed: The annual Roux Scholarship competition has been postponed to 2021 after initially being put on hold due to Covid-19. The 18 regional finalists and reserve will automatically qualify as finalists next year.

Dishoom creates four delivery-only kitchens: Indian dining group Dishoom has launched four new delivery-only kitchens in Battersea, Whitechapel, Park Royal and Swiss Cottage so as to continue its output but not put additional pressure on its restaurant kitchens.

Local Eat Out to Help Out deals: The government has launched a new tool allowing diners to find the restaurants in their area offering discounts as part of the month-long Eat Out to Help Out scheme. Steak chain Hawksmoor said it almost sold out of bookings within hours of launching its Monday to Wednesday £10 deal.

Openings:

Tavolino: Tavolino, a new neighbourhood Italian in London Bridge, has opened its restaurant and outdoor terrace. The kitchen is headed up by Louis Korovilas, formerly head chef of Bancone, and godson of Giorgio Locatelli.

Bellanger: As reported by Big Hospitality, restaurant group Corbin & King has resurrected its French brasserie Bellanger in Islington. It will now open with a pricing structure more akin to Brasserie Zedel. The restaurant group previously announced its closure in August last year.

Closures:

The Dominique Ansel Bakery: Cronut creator has decided not to reopen his London bakery and restaurant. A spokesperson told Big Hospitality that in light of the Covid restrictions, both businesses were no longer viable.

Loyal Tavern: Chef Tom Cenci has announced on Instagram that he would not be reopening his London Bridge restaurant Loyal Tavern. He said the decision was made as a result of the Covid-19 disruption as well as “fixed costs”.

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