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Here’s What Happened in the London Restaurant World Last Week

Boris Johnson said hospitality businesses could open sooner than he thought, while restaurants themselves continue on their own track of phased reopening

A restaurant is boarded up and covered in optimistic graffiti that says “let the sun shine” on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch Michaël Protin/Eater London

Restaurants in London remain beset by uncertainty. Although there is an official date set for some hospitality businesses to reopen, the 4th July is still a best-case scenario for some, not all, restaurants.

This week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to offer some hope, saying that he thought pubs and restaurants could open sooner than he first thought. That came before he announced the lifting of more lockdown measures — inviting Britons to prepare to meet up to six people outside their households for “barbecues in private gardens”, or whatever else they might wish to do with their rediscovered freedoms from next week. Alongside this, and with more good weather, restaurants in London seemed to change gear once again: more have reopened for takeaway and delivery, while others are beginning to introduce models that could outlive the crisis. And yet, as it was last week, rent remains the biggest unresolved issue for restaurants tenants and landlords across the city. More on that next week. Before then, here’s what happened in the London restaurant world this week, in brief.

  • The coronavirus pandemic continues to put enormous strain on essential food supply across the U.K. Figures released this week revealed that food bank use had tripled during the pandemic. Use had nearly quadrupled across London, and more than quadrupled in the boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Newham.

St. John

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Borough Market

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