clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Reopenings, Closures, Uncertainty: Last Week in the London Restaurant World

Confusion remains around when and how restaurants can fully reopen, as some move to delivery and others signal closure

Restaurants in London remain closed as a result of COVID-19 Michaël Protin/Eater London

This week, the government decided to signal hope of an early reopening for restaurants which have been closed for nearly three months as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic. This came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson had flip-flopped on plans to reduce the social distancing rule from two metres, widely believed to be the difference between outright failure and medium-term survival for many restaurants and pubs. Any hope of opening in June was quashed within 24 hours, when business secretary Alok Sharma repeated that hospitality businesses should instead aim for July.

Even then, uncertainty remains, and the government continues to offer the industry a combination of mixed messaging and lack of clarity. When that lack of clarity is matched with an honest understanding of the future economy, the realisation is stark: This week, one major restaurant announced it would almost certainly not reopen again. And yet there are businesses which see stop-gap opportunities amid this uncertainty; this was another week in which more and more restaurants reopened for takeaway and delivery,

Underscoring everything is a lack of resolution on the matter of rent, an issue which continues to threaten the industry’s long-term future in all corners of the city.

Here’s what happened in the London food and restaurant world this week, in brief.

  • It wouldn’t be a week in the pandemic without a thickening of the plot in the story of Amazon’s investment in delivery giant Deliveroo. The Competition Markets Authority, which first opposed the investment, then provisionally approved it, this week decided to delay making a final decision.

St. John

26 Saint John Street, , England EC1M 4AY 020 7251 0848 Visit Website


153 Hoxton Street, , England N1 6PJ 020 3693 3202 Visit Website

Borough Market

8 Southwark Street, , England SE1 1TL 020 7407 1002 Visit Website


Unit 7, Queens Yard, London, Greater London E9 5EN +44 20 8533 3331 Visit Website


6 Southwark Street, , England SE1 1TQ Visit Website