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Food House in Chinatown, closed at the start of 2021 during the coronavirus lockdown in London, England
Food House in Chinatown, closed at the start of 2021
Michaël Protin/Eater London

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Dining Rooms Closed, London’s Restaurants Hope the Third Lockdown Will Be Their Last

They start 2021 with no idea when they can reopen, but in a scenario that is increasingly familiar

By now, the feeling is familiar. Following a Christmas and new year period in which most businesses were closed because of tier 4 coronavirus restrictions, the capital went into full lockdown for the third time on 6 January.

The differences to restaurants in London may seem immaterial on the surface. But the government’s announcement, coupled with the stark public health crisis in the capital, changes the mood. While restaurant owners worry about the future of their businesses, workers contend not just with concerns of the security of their job but their health and safety, too.

The public health, social, and economic situation in London is grave. With no assurances on when the crisis might ease, vaccine roll-out notwithstanding, both the end of lockdown and the path to reopening remain unknown. So restaurants, having been forced to adapt and survive once more, must just wait and wonder.

Below is a snapshot of London’s restaurants, in lockdown, in week one of 2021.


Wong Kei, a Chinatown institution, sits closed; while another, Cafe TPT, remains open for delivery riders.

Wong Kei, a Chinatown institution, closed during the coronavirus lockdown in London
Wong Kei, a Chinatown institution
Cafe TPT, a more modern Chinatown institution, open for takeaway during the coronavirus lockdown
Cafe TPT, a more modern Chinatown institution

Jolene, on Newington Green. Co-owner Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim told Eater at the start of the year: “As a nation, we place too much trust in the competence of our government and we are too dependent on its whims. The last 12 months have shown resilient businesses are built on decisions they make autonomously, on a controllable level for themselves.”

Jolene in Newington Green remains open during the coronavirus lockdown
Jolene in Newington Green

“We are back” is the message. The Eagle, like most hospitality businesses in London, were not back for long before having to close again before Christmas.

One of the country’s original gastropubs, The Eagle in Farringdon closed during the coronavirus lockdown in London
One of the country’s original gastropubs, The Eagle in Farringdon

Voodoo Ray’s pizza slice joint on Kingsland Road.

Voodoo Rays on Kingsland Road, Dalston, closed during the coronavirus lockdown in London
Voodoo Rays pizzeria on Kingsland Road, Dalston

Purveyor of east London’s most famous naan, Ararat Bread packs up at the end of the day last week on Ridley Road market in Dalston.

Ararat Bread on Ridley Road market, one of London’s most well-known and much loved naan purveyors
Ararat Bread on Ridley Road market

The Duke of Richmond is serving a selection of its menu most suited to takeaway. The picks? A crab mayo and chip butty and Welsh rarebit croquetas. All day long, mate.

Duke of Richmond gastropub in Hackney remains closed during coronavirus lockdown in London
Duke of Richmond gastropub in Hackney remains closed

Chef Jeremy Lee on the restaurant whose kitchen he oversees: “the great dame of Dean Street hibernates.”

Quo Vadis, “the great dame” of Soho, closed during the coronavirus lockdown in London
Quo Vadis of Soho, closed

E5 Bakehouse and Secret Smokehouse, two businesses under the arches by London Fields in Hackney.

e5 Bakehouse on the edge of London Fields closed during the coronavirus lockdown in London
e5 Bakehouse on the edge of London Fields
Secret Smokehouse in the arches at London Fields closed during the coronavirus lockdown in London
Secret Smokehouse in the arches at London Fields

Bright is open for takeaway during the day, offering the likes of squid sandwiches, cookies, and housemade soda bread.

Bright- one of the best restaurants in east London is closed during the coronavirus lockdown. Hackney, 2021.
Noble Fine Liquor’s Bright, closed

El Marsem, a sandwich bar which opened in spring last year on the Old Kent Road; and Jenecheru, the Bolivian cafe-restaurant, which continued to serve its community throughout last year.

El Marsem on the Old Kent Road open during the coronavirus lockdown
El Marsem on the Old Kent Road
Jenecheru on Old Kent Road closed during the coronavirus lockdown in London
Jenecheru on Old Kent Road

Bao’s original food stall, Netil Market, Hackney last week, open during lockdown.

Bao’s original location inside Netil Market, Hackney, open during coronavirus lockdown
Bao’s original location inside Netil Market, Hackney

Climpson and Sons coffee shop on Broadway Market.

Climpson’s and Sons cafe on Broadway Market, open but preparing to close at the end of the day on the first day of coronavirus lockdown in London
Climpson and Sons cafe on Broadway Market

Pavilion bakery on Broadway Market.

Pavilion bakery on Broadway Market closed during coronavirus lockdown in London
Pavilion bakery on Broadway Market

The Marksman Public House is closed but offering a range of provisions — pies and buns, primarily — for pick-up collection.

The Marksman on Hackney Road will offer takeaway and delivery through coronavirus lockdown in London this January
The Marksman on Hackney Road

Brick Lane’s Beigel Bake remains open for takeaway, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Beigel Bake in Brick Lane, one of London’s best 24-hour restaurants, open during the coronavirus lockdown in London
Beigel Bake in Brick Lane

The Fryer’s Delight in Holborn — possibly London’s best and most famous chippy — is open for takeaway.

The Fryer’s Delight in Holborn, one of London’s best fish and chip shops, open during the coronavirus lockdown in London
The Fryer’s Delight in Holborn, open

St John Bread and Wine, one of the city’s great restaurants, is open on Fridays and Saturdays throughout lockdown for takeaway pies and other dishes, as well as wine and bakery items.

St John Bread and Wine sits closed in Spitalfields during the coronavirus lockdown in London
St John Bread and Wine sits closed in Spitalfields

Koya, in Soho, will begin sending out flat-packets of udon noodles in the coming weeks.

Japanese udon noodle bar Koya in Soho, closed for now during the coronavirus lockdown in London
Koya in Soho, closed for now
Michaël Protin/Eater London

One of London’s best-known steak restaurants, Hawksmoor’s original restaurant in Shoreditch. The group is offering London and nationwide delivery.

Hawksmoor, Commercial Street, Shoreditch, shuttered during the coronavirus lockdown in London
Hawksmoor, Commercial Street, Shoreditch, shuttered

Lyle’s, chef James Lowe’s Michelin-starred Shoreditch restaurant sits closed. Meal kits are being shipped nationwide while London is in lockdown.

Lyle’s on Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, closed during the coronavirus lockdown in London
Lyle’s on Bethnal Green Road
Michaël Protin/Eater London

An iconic London restaurant on Exmouth Market, Moro, with the shutters down at the start of 2021.

Moro, with its shutters down, on Exmouth Market last week during the coronavirus lockdown in London
Moro, with its shutters down, on Exmouth Market

Hoi Polloi, the restaurant inside the Ace Hotel on Shoreditch High Street, permanently closed last autumn. RIP.

Hoi Polloi at the Ace Hotel, permanently closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic
Hoi Polloi at the Ace Hotel, permanently closed as a result of the pandemic

In Shoreditch, Neapolitan-style pizzeria Pizza Pilgrims’ branch sits closed.

Pizza Pilgrims on Shoreditch High Street closed after Christmas when the coronavirus lockdown was announced in London, England
Pizza Pilgrims on Shoreditch High Street

The Michelin-Starred Clove Club, London’s highest placed restuarant in the World’s 50 Best, remains closed during lockdown. Owners Isaac McHale, Dan Willis, and Johnny Smith announced the permanent closure of sister restaurant Two Lights, helmed by chef Chase Lovecky last year. Meanwhile, the group’s Italian restaurant Luca remains open for takeaway and delivery through Big Night App.

Michelin-Starred The Clove Club, Shoreditch, closed during lockdown
The Clove Club, Shoreditch, closed during lockdown

Bun Bun Bun Vietnamese restaurant closed on Kingsland Road in Dalston.

Bun Bun Bun Vietnamese restaurant on Kingsland Road closed during the coronavirus lockdown in London, England
Bun Bun Bun Vietnamese restaurant on Kingsland Road

Italian meat specialist Macellaio RC is operating a delivery service from its sites in Clerkenwell, Northcote Road, South Kensington, Fitzrovia, and Union Street.

Macellaio RC Exmouth Market open for meat sales during lockdown in London
Macellaio RC Exmouth Market

Quality Chop House will continue to ship wine and supplies from its store in Clerkenwell. Quality Wines (at Home) is for the time being replaced by takeaway brand Arrosto, by chef Nick Bramham, out of the Clipstone kitchen.

Quality Chop House will continue to ship wine and supplies from its store in Clerkenwell, while for the coronavirus lockdown Quality Wines will be replaced by Arrosto, a new roast chicken delivery brand from chef Nick Bramham, which will operate out of the Clipstone kitchen in Fitzrovia
Quality Chop House will continue to ship wine and supplies from its store in Clerkenwell

Wei Guirong’s Xi’an restaurant Master Wei has remained open for takeaway and delivery since last summer. While, Cafe Deco by Anna Tobias has known nothing but the pandemic, opening for takeaway collection in November last year.

Wei Guirong’s Master Wei is open for takeaway
Wei Guirong’s Master Wei is open for takeaway
Anna Tobias’ and 40 Maltby Street’s Cafe Deco in Bloomsbury open for takeaway during the coronavirus lockdown
Anna Tobias’ Cafe Deco in Bloomsbury

While Bao’s Fitzrovia restaurant and development kitchen remains closed for dine-in, the group’s delivery brand Rice Error has taken off from its Borough Market and Netil Market locations.

Cult Taiwanese restaurant brand Bao’s Fitzrovia branch closed during the coronavirus lockdown in London
Bao Fitzrovia, closed for now

Some things remain too good to close: Good Friend in Chinatown.

Good Friend Chicken is open for takeaway in Chinatown during the coronavirus lockdown in London
Good Friend Chicken is open for takeaway in Chinatown

Quality Chop House

94 Farringdon Rd, London, Greater London EC1R 3EA +44 20 3490 6228 Visit Website

St. John

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

Broadway Market

Broadway Market, , England E8 4QJ

BRAT

4 Redchurch Street, , England E1 6JL Visit Website

Hill & Szrok

60 Broadway Market, London, Greater London E8 4QJ Visit Website

Cafe TPT

21 Wardour Street, , England W1D 6PN 020 7734 7980 Visit Website

High Street

High Street, , England KT3

Luca

88 Saint John Street, , England EC1M 4EH 020 3859 3000 Visit Website

The Camberwell Arms

65 Camberwell Church Street, , England SE5 8TR 020 7358 4364 Visit Website

Gymkhana

42 Albemarle Street, , England W1S 4JH 020 3011 5900 Visit Website

The Dusty Knuckle Bakery

Abbot Street, , England E8 3DP 020 3903 7598 Visit Website

The Eagle

310 Massachusetts Avenue, , IN 46204 (317) 929-1799 Visit Website

Spring

Lancaster Place, , England WC2R 1LA 020 3011 0115 Visit Website

Pizza Pilgrims

11 Dean Street, , England W1D 3RP 020 7287 8964 Visit Website

Blacklock

24 Great Windmill St, London, Greater London W1D 7LG +44 7841 754858 Visit Website

Mangal 2

4 Stoke Newington Rd, London, Greater London N16 7XN +44 20 7254 7888 Visit Website

Pavilion Bakery

130 Columbia Road, , England E2 7RG Visit Website

Ace Hotel

100 Shoreditch High Street, , England E1 6JQ 020 7613 9800 Visit Website

The Laughing Heart

277 Hackney Road, , England E2 8NA 020 7686 9535 Visit Website

Bleecker

205 Victoria Street, , England SW1E 5NE 020 7828 8016 Visit Website

Beigel Bake

159 Brick Lane, , England E1 6SB 020 7729 0616

Kiln

58 Brewer Street, , England W1F 9TL Visit Website

Marksman Public House

254 Hackney Road, , England E2 7SJ Visit Website

Cafe Deco

43 Store St., London, WC1E 7DB +44 20 7323 4501

E5 Bakehouse

396 Mentmore Terrace, , England E8 3PH 020 8525 2890 Visit Website

El Marsem

223 Old Kent Road, , England SE1 5LU

P Franco

107 Lower Clapton Road, , England E5 0NP 020 8533 4660 Visit Website

BAO

590 Valencia Street, , CA 94110 (415) 658-7453 Visit Website

Roti King

40 Doric Way, , England NW1 1LH 020 7387 2518 Visit Website

Macellaio RC

124 Northcote Road, London SW11 6QU, London,

Borough Market

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

Master Wei

13 Cosmo Pl, Holborn, Greater London WC1N 3AP +44 20 7209 6888 Visit Website

Violet

47 Wilton Way, , England E8 3ED 020 7275 8360 Visit Website

Ararat Bread

132 Ridley Road, , England E8 2NR 07581 522418 Visit Website

40 Maltby Street

40 Maltby Street, , England SE1 3PA 020 8076 9517 Visit Website

Flor

1 Bedale Street, , England SE1 9AL 020 3967 5418 Visit Website

Brawn

49 Columbia Road, , England E2 7RG 020 7729 5692 Visit Website

Soho House

76 Dean Street, London , W1D 3SQ Visit Website

Hoi Polloi

100 Shoreditch High Street, , England E1 6JQ 020 8880 6100 Visit Website

Sushi Tetsu

12 Jerusalem Passage, , England EC1V 4JP 020 3217 0090

Moro

34-36 Exmouth Market, , England EC1R 4QE 020 7833 8336 Visit Website

OMBRA

1 Vyner Street, , England E2 9DG 020 8981 5150 Visit Website

Esters

55 Kynaston Road, , England N16 0EB Visit Website

Marksman

254 Hackney Rd, London, Greater London E2 7SJ +44 20 7739 7393 Visit Website

Koya Bar

50 Frith St, Soho, Greater London W1D 4SQ +44 20 7434 4463 Visit Website

Noble Rot

51 Lamb’s Conduit St, London, Greater London WC1N 3NB +44 20 7242 8963 Visit Website

Smoking Goat

64 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JJ

Hawksmoor

10 Basinghall Street, , England EC2V 5BQ 020 7397 8120 Visit Website

Dishoom

12 Upper St Martin's Lane, , England WC2H 9FB 020 7420 9320 Visit Website

Bar Italia

22 Frith Street, , England W1D 4RF 020 7437 4520 Visit Website

Two Lights

28-30 Kingsland Road, , England E2 8AA 020 3976 0076 Visit Website

Spitalfields Market

56 Brushfield Street, , England E1 6AA 020 7377 1496 Visit Website

St John Bread and Wine

94-96 Commercial Street, , England E1 6LZ 020 7251 0848 Visit Website

Kaieteur Kitchen

, , England SE1 07466 616137

Padella

6 Southwark Street, , England SE1 1TQ Visit Website

Clipstone

5 Clipstone Street, , England W1W 6BB 020 7637 0871 Visit Website

The Duke of Richmond

316 Queensbridge Road, , England E8 3NH 020 7923 3990 Visit Website

Jolene

54 Great Jones Street, Manhattan, NY 10012 (646) 429-8383 Visit Website

Wong Kei

41-43 Wardour Street, , England W1D 6PY 020 7437 8408

Normah's

, , England W2 4QJ 07771 630828 Visit Website

Bright

1 Westgate Street, , England E8 3RL 020 3095 9407 Visit Website

The Wolseley

160 Piccadilly, , England W1J 9EB 020 7499 6996 Visit Website

Quality Wines

88 Farringdon Road, , England EC1R 3EA 020 3602 8115 Visit Website

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