Season of mists and many restaurant openings
Autumn 2021 is going to be a very busy season for new restaurants in London. Despite persistent staffing problems occasioned by Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the fact that restaurant wages and hours tend to be low and inhospitable, groups in a position to take advantage of lucrative deals at vacant sites are on a mad one.
Just today: Fledgling fried chicken chain Thunderbird will take over from older fried chicken chain Bird in Stratford then fly south to Clapham; ramen specialists Kanada-Ya will join Butchies — more fried chicken — at Filmworks in Ealing, just across the road from fellow ramen specialists Tonkotsu.
A Monaco restaurant group will bring “Le PetitBeefbar” — a steakhouse restaurant that it insists is not a steakhouse — to Cale Street in Chelsea; Pitaya, a French, Thai chain will pitch up in Covent Garden; Soho lynchpin Chotto Matte will open in Marylebone and Danish espresso bar Hagen will open its fourth cafe in Pimlico, just down the road from no less than four more new-ish coffee shops. Vegetarian institution Mildreds will head for Borough Market with a new restaurant, Mallow, and the Galvin brothers will take over from Neptune restaurant in Bloomsbury.
The restaurant market is hectic, and those with sufficient capital and proven portfolios are taking full advantage: what this means for the quality and diversity of central London’s restaurants is a separate question entirely.
And in other news...
- Salt Bae, steak stuntman and the most ostentatious restaurateur in the world, tells London he will see the city “soon” by ... putting it in tiny text on an otherwise unrelated Instagram story. Living memes: they do things differently.
- Here are the best new coffee shops in London.
- Bookmark everything you need to know about Great British Bake Off 2021 for when the new series begins later this month,
- Tom Zahir Browne’s Decatur seafood boil was one of the most popular, singular, and uncomplicatedly delicious meal kits of 2020, and he’s going to be popping up for three weeks at Quality Wines in Farringdon from the end of September.
- Great British Menu is shaking things up by switching out its judges, with TV chef Tom Kerridge, Mowgli restaurateur Nisha Katona, and comedian Ed Gamble joining the BBC show for 2022. [Hot Dinners]
- Patty and Bun will join popular chain bedfellows Hawksmoor and Pizza Pilgrims on the virtual shelves at Ocado, selling both its “Ari Gold” burger kit and a pack of two burger patties. [Big Hospitality]
- Good tweet: