It may have been a difficult 12 months for the industry, but there's no shortage of restaurants looking to open their doors in 2021. Here's a few to watch out for. Sophie Witts reports.
Location Finnieston, Glasgow
Head chef Graeme Cheevers
Chef Graeme Cheevers is to open his first solo restaurant in Glasgow, serving a weekly changing modern European menu. Cheevers was head chef at the Isle of Eriska hotel from 2018-2020, during which it was awarded a Michelin star. He has similar ambitions for Unalome and hopes it can win Glasgow's first star since Gordon Ramsay's Amaryllis closed in 2004.
The Bailiwick Freehouse
Location Egham, Surrey
Head chef Steven Ellis
Chefs Steven and Ami Ellis have taken on a former Brunning & Price pub in the village of Englefield Green in Surrey. Steven, who cooked at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay for six years and ran the acclaimed Oxford Blue pub, will lead the kitchen with his wife Ami as pastry chef. The menu will make use of game from the Royal Farm and nearby Windsor Great Park.
Pony & Trap North Street
Location North Street, Bristol
Owners Josh and Holly Eggleton
The Eggleton family, who own the Michelin-starred Pony & Trap in Chew Magna, are opening a sister restaurant in south Bristol. It is billed as a modern British bistro serving the same comforting fare as its namesake pub, including a roast of the day with celeriac and greens, and southern-fried confit duck leg with a vegetable stew.
Location 77 Brewer Street, London
Owners Wonderland Restaurants
Warner Bros is to open its first Batman-themed ‘immersive' restaurant, based around the DC comic book universe. Park Row, named after the area of Gotham City where Bruce Wayne's parents were killed, will open on the former Mash steakhouse site in London's Soho. The 18,000 sq ft site will feature five restaurants and three bars themed around characters such as the villainous Penguin and Batman's butler Alfred.
It is opening as a partnership between DC, Warner Bros and Wonderland Restaurants, a new company run by a team including Mike Garston (former head of central development at the Fat Duck) and Mike Bagale (ex-executive chef at Alinea in Chicago).
Bar Des Prés
Location Mayfair, London
Owner Cyril Lignac
French celebrity chef Cyril Lignac is bringing his Paris restaurant Bar Des Prés to London for his first international opening. The original Bar Des Prés opened in Paris in 2016, serving Japanese-inspired dishes including sashimi, sushi and maki made to order. The London outpost is billed as an ‘evolved' version of the restaurant.
Ivy Asia, Mayfair
Location 8-10 North Audley Street, Mayfair
Owner Troia UK Restaurants
With its glowing green floor, mirrored gold bar and dragon-patterned ceiling, the first standalone Ivy Asia restaurant made quite an impression when it opened in London's St Paul's in 2019. Now, a second site is set to launch in the former Mayfair Garden restaurant across the city. It will open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, and promises to serve the same theatrical drinks and dishes as its predecessor.
Location Newton-in-Cartmel, Cumbria
Owner Kevin and Nicola Tickle
Chef Kevin Tickle and his wife Nicola have taken on a 17th-century inn with rooms in Cumbria, which is currently undergoing a major refurbishment. Heft, named after the hefted sheep that roam Cartmel Fell, will include six guest bedrooms and a bar serving small plates, local beers, and Old and New World wines. Tickle, who won a Michelin star while head chef at the Forest Side in Grasmere, will also oversee a fine dining restaurant showcasing top Cumbrian produce.
Location Camden, London
The team behind fine dining restaurant Benares in London's Mayfair are heading to Camden to open street food-inspired Indian Alley. Located within the Grade-I listed Stables Market, the eight-seat, indoor site will serve dishes such as spicy chicken wings, paratha wraps and lamb seekh kebabs, as well as drinks and nibbles on a 30-cover terrace.
The team behind the Assembly Underground food hall in Leeds are launching a restaurant and entertainment space in Manchester's Barbirolli Square. The all-day hub will feature five independent food traders, including burger operators Slap & Pickle; pan-Asian concept Manzoku; Falafel Guys; and Dokes Pizzeria, from the team behind Manchester restaurant Elnecot. Hebden Bridge-based brewery Vocation will run a cocktail bar and taproom on-site.
The Old Pharmacy
Location Bruton, Somerset
Owner Merlin Labron-Johnson
Chef-restaurateur Merlin Labron-Johnson is opening a wine bar and shop in Bruton, just a few doors down from his restaurant Osip. The Old Pharmacy will be open all day, serving coffees, lunches such as toasties and salads, and evening wine, cider and small plates. David Durban, who manages Osip and helped open Frenchie and Petersham Nurseries in London's Covent Garden, will work alongside Labron-Johnson on the project.
Location Mayfair, London
London institution Langan's Brasserie in Mayfair is to be relaunched as a British-French brasserie de luxe. It will be overseen by Graziano Arricale, former operations director at Richard Caring's Birley Clubs, and James Hitchen, who founded the East Coast Concepts bar and restaurant group. Langan's was launched by Irish restaurateur Peter Langan in 1976 in partnership with actor Sir Michael Caine and former head chef of the Capital hotel Richard Shepherd. An extensive refurbishment is planned this year to return the venue to its "former glory".
Mickeys Beach Bar
Owner Michael Caines and Sylvain Peltier
Chef Michael Caines is to open two beachside venues as part of the Sideshore watersports development in Exmouth. Mickeys Beach Bar and restaurant will feature a casual bar hosting resident weekend DJs and a first-floor restaurant with a retractable glass terrace. Caines is also teaming up with pastry chef Sylvan Peltier to open Café Patisserie Glacerie next door, serving French pastries, gelato, coffee, milkshakes and hot pies and pasties.
Moss & Moor
Location Ilkley, West Yorkshire
Opening Early 2021
Zak Jones, former owner of the Clerkenwell Dining Room in London, is opening a huge restaurant project as part of a garden centre development in Ilkley. Moss & Moor will include a 230-cover restaurant and café, alongside a food hall and retail outlets selling artisan cheese, charcuterie, gin and wine.
More restaurants to keep an eye out for
Turkish restaurateur Nusret Gökçe, aka internet steak seasoning sensation Salt Bae, is due to open his Nusr-Et Steakhouse in London.
Floating restaurant the Cheese Barge is due to set sail from London's Grand Union Canal in February, serving a refined menu of dishes using small-producer cheese.
Gordon Ramsay is kicking off plans to open a further 50 UK restaurants by 2025, with Street Burger sites set to open on London's Charing Cross Road and Kensington High Street, and a Street Pizza restaurant launching at Battersea Power Station.
Eataly, the huge international Italian food hall, will open its debut London site at 135 Bishopsgate in a 42,000 sq ft location featuring restaurants, bars, retail and a cooking school.
Chef Sally Abé is to oversee the opening of a restaurant, afternoon tea lounge and cocktail bar at the Conrad London St James hotel.
A new Italian restaurant concept from the San Carlo Group will open at St Christopher's Place in London's Marylebone this spring.
Chef Imad Alarnab's restaurant Imad's Syrian Kitchen will open in London's Kingly Court after its launch was delayed in December last year.
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