Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

In restaurant news this week: a loophole is found in Tier 2 restrictions which seems to allow business lunches, Scottish hospitality groups begin legal action against government measures, and Gordon Ramsay Burger is to open its first site outside Las Vegas in Harrods.

Hope for working lunch loophole in Tier 2 restrictions: Restaurants operating under Tier 2 restrictions appear to be allowed to offer indoor lunches after a loophole was discovered in the government guidelines. Trade body UKHospitality has asked for further government clarification to query whether the rule for households meeting indoors applies to those in a restaurant for a working lunch. A Downing Street spokesperson told the BBC that this may be available to those who have no business premises from which to operate. A number of restaurants, including those run by Corbin & King, have already said they are allowing business lunches.

Chancellor announces support package for Tier 2 businesses: UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has set out a series of new financial measures supporting businesses operating under coronavirus restrictions. Hospitality businesses that have been adversely affected by the restrictions can now claim a cash grant of up to £2,100 per month. In addition, the Job Support Scheme, due to come into force on 1 November, has been amended. Employers will now contribute only 5% towards hours not worked, while the minimum hours that employees should work has been reduced to 20%, meaning those working one day a week will be eligible.

Scottish hospitality groups launch legal action against government restrictions: Five Scottish hospitality groups are taking legal actions against restrictions imposed on the trade by the Scottish government. The Scottish Beer & Pub Association, The Scottish Licensed Trade Association, UKHospitality (Scotland), the Scottish Hospitality Group and the Night Time Industries Association Scotland have said the economic support being offered “doesn’t come close to compensating the businesses and means jobs are being lost and livelihoods ruined”.

Chef Sally Abé to consult for Conrad St James: Sally Abé, head chef of the Michelin-starred Harwood Arms in London’s Fulham, has been appointed consultant chef of Conrad St James. The London hotel is investing £1.75 million in its food and drink offering, launching a new restaurant, afternoon tea lounge and cocktail bar.

Co-founder of Covent Garden Italian Margot steps away from business: The co-founder of Covent Garden Italian restaurant Margot has left the business after four years. Paulo de Tarso announced the move on social media. “I wish all the team at Margot well and look forward to telling you more about the next chapter in my story in this amazing industry soon.”

Openings:

Gordon Ramsay Burger at Harrods: Luxury London department store Harrods is to welcome Gordon Ramsay Burger to its Knightsbridge store. Originally developed in Las Vegas, the burger restaurant’s second site will serve an array of burgers accompanied with crispy fries, secret sauces and milkshakes.

Joan: Opening on 2 November, Joan is a new restaurant and bar from the former head chef at Caravan Fitzrovia, Niko Kontogiannatos. Offering a menu inspired by Kontogiannatos’s native Greece, the eatery will initially open for dinner during the week and for brunch on weekends. Dishes include: hispi cabbage, pancetta lardons, croutons, anchovies and garlic sauce; salmon tartare with avocado sorbet and squid ink tuile; slow cooked lamb shoulder served on a bed of sourdough flatbread, sweet pepper sauce and finished with goat cheese; and orange pie, with white chocolate cream, orange gel and crispy filo.

Yard Sale Pizza: Yard Sale Pizza is to open its first London site south of the River Thames in Dulwich. Serving up New York-inspired pizzas, the outlet will ioffer delivery, with a some indoor seating. Pizzas include The New Porker (fresh Sicilian sausage, guindilla chillies, garlic and basil) and Mush be Love (roasted mushrooms, truffle oil and oregano).

Closures:

Langan’s: The Guardian reports that former celebrity haunt Langan’s Brasserie in London has filed notice to appoint administrators. Once co-owned by actor Michael Caine, it was popular in the 1980s with famous faces including Princess Margaret, Muhammad Ali and Mick Jagger.

Abokado: Healthy fast food chain Abokado has appointed administrators, affecting around 150 jobs. The company operates 19 sites in London that are largely reliant on office worker trade.

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