Stoke Newington neighbourhood restaurant Wander has been forced to close indefinitely after the Home Office denied founder Alexis Noble’s application for a visa extension. Noble, who is from Australia, said that she would use the enforced closure — and ensuing appeal — to self-publish a cookbook, crowdfunding for which will pay Wander’s staff wages and fixed costs.
Noble posted the news to the restaurant’s Instagram, writing that:
Last week I was informed that my visa extension was denied & I needed to leave the country. Whilst I will be appealing the decision, I currently am not allowed to legally work, so therefore I had to close Wander & cancel our reservations. It has been a very heartbreaking and stressful time, & it has taken a few days to consult with lawyers, figure out next steps and try get over the shock of it all. Unfortunately I will be reaching out to everyone who has made reservations for the rest of the year and have to cancel them and Wander will no longer be open until this situation can be resolved.
She later told Eater that she is yet to establish the best avenue for appeal, or whether or not she will be able to do so without leaving the country.
The plan for the cookbook is in some ways a return to the “Wander at Home” service the restaurant established during 2020, when COVID-19 forced restaurants to shut down. It will document the recipes from that time, adding up to “a year of restaurant dishes at home.”
More soon on the future of Wander.