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

Tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions arrive in London this weekend. They could be a death knell for hundreds of restaurants

A lone restaurant table on a Soho street, with a couple dining as a man in a tuxedo crouches down next to them — the street is otherwise empty, and it is dark but for streetlights
Outdoor dining will be many restaurants’ only hope as winter comes in
Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images

The last three weeks of London restaurant news round-ups have concluded with the feeling that “two parallel realities are in play at once.” Now they are converging. As tier 2 coronavirus restrictions bear down on the city that little over a month ago dined in the sunshine, restaurants, pubs, and bars face ominous weeks ahead.

  • What it means for restaurants, pubs, bars, and cafes themselves is more complex. These COVID-19 restrictions limit trade, by preventing household mixing indoors, but they do not oblige businesses to close — which would allow them to claim additional job support from the government. On 1 November, that job support changes from the furlough scheme to the job support scheme (JSS,) which bases support on job viability. As businesses are made less viable by one coronavirus policy, they need to be viable to get the benefit of another.

  • Sad news as late-night Chinatown institution Hung’s, a bastion of Catonese roast meats, life-giving noodle soups, and seam-bursting wontons appears to have closed for good on Wardour Street.

Fresh restaurant guides on where to eat in London...

Until next week, eat well and be safe.

Little Bread Pedlar

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