Restaurant openings to watch in 2020

06 January 2020
Restaurant openings to watch in 2020

The new year looks set to be a bumper one, with several industry titans opening restaurants across the UK.


  • Location Belgravia, London
  • Owner Tom Aikens
  • Covers 25
  • Opening January

Tom Aikens is to open Muse in a renovated mews property in a scenic corner of Belgravia, serving a menu inspired by the chef's "fondest food stories and memories".

The dining space will be split over two floors, both with an open-plan theatre kitchen and interiors designed by Rebecca Korner. See the 10 January issue of The Caterer for an interview with Aikens.

Tom Aikens 2019 020
Tom Aikens 2019 020

The Craft English Garden

  • Location Craft Dining Rooms, Birmingham
  • Owners Aktar Islam, Sam and Emma Morgan
  • Head chef Andrew Sheridan
  • Opening January

Chef Aktar Islam has teamed up with the individuals behind Birmingham's Craft Dining Rooms to launch a terrace and restaurant at the city's International Convention Centre.

The Craft English Garden will serve traditional British dishes with a modern spin, specialising in afternoon tea. The bar offering will be centred around a selection of 32 British gins and wines from Devon, Sussex and Kent.

English Garden Aktar Islam
English Garden Aktar Islam

Oklava Bakery + Wine

  • Location Fitzrovia, London
  • Owners Selin Kiazim and Laura Christie
  • Opening January

Selin Kiazim and Laura Christie are to close Kyseri and transform the Fitzrovia site into a bakery and wine bar. Oklava Bakery + Wine will be open all day, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and Saturday brunch alongside a vast array of baked goods influenced by Kiazim's Turkish-Cypriot heritage.

Selin Kiazim at the pass at Oklava
Selin Kiazim at the pass at Oklava

Smokey and Little Kudu

  • Location Peckham, London
  • Owners Amy Corbin and Patrick Williams
  • Covers Smokey: 37, Little: 32
  • Opening January and March 2020

The couple behind Peckham restaurant Kudu is set to open two new neighbourhood sites in early 2020. Cocktail bar Smokey Kudu will launch in January under the arches by Queens Road station, followed by Little Kudu in March, situated next to the original restaurant and focusing on tapas.


  • Location Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool
  • Owners Ellis and Liam Barrie
  • Opening February

Ellis and Liam Barrie, behind the Marram Grass in Anglesey, will return to their home city of Liverpool with Lerpwl. Lerpwl will take inspiration from its surroundings, with the docks having been a centre of international trade for generations, bringing in not just goods but people and culture.

The restaurant's interiors will reflect the industrial nature of the environment, while the menus take inspiration from the trade routes that flowed down the River Mersey.

Ellis and Liam Barrie
Ellis and Liam Barrie


  • Location Shoreditch, London
  • Opening February
  • Owners Tim Siadatan and Jordan Frieda

Padella, famous for the queues that wind from the entrance of its London Bridge site, will be opening a second restaurant on Phipp Street, serving simple and affordable pasta dishes. The group's bakery will also move to the site.

Hoppers King's Cross

  • Location Pancras Square, London
  • Owner JKS Restaurants
  • Opening February

Hoppers, the restaurant concept inspired by the home cooking and roadside stalls of Sri Lanka and southern India, is to open its third site. Staying true to Hoppers' philosophy of family-style feasting, the menu will feature bar bites, seafood grills and beachside snacks. Hoppers King's Cross will have a much larger bar than previous sites and feature a selection of beers on tap, including two of the group's own brewed beers.


  • Location Mayfair
  • Owner Santiago Lastro
  • Opening March

Kol will be the debut London opening from Mexican chef Santiago Lastra, who project-managed the Noma Mexico pop-up with René Redzepi.

The chef will serve traditional Mexican dishes using British ingredients, which he has spent the past two years sourcing while travelling the British Isles.

Sessions Arts Club

  • Location Clerkenwell Green, London
  • Covers 60
  • Opening March

Painter Jonny Gent, restaurateur and co-founder of St John, Jon Spitori and architect Russell Potter have teamed up to open Sessions Arts Club in an 18th-century courthouse in London's Clerkenwell Green. The venue is designed to bring together art, food and wine and will incorporate a 60-cover restaurant led by Alex Vines, who has previously worked at 40 Maltby Street, Rochelle Canteen and Sardine, all in London.

Vines' menu will be devised around the seasonal bounty of farmers and growers, leaning to British flavours in the winter and incorporating more Mediterranean influences over the summer months.

Sessions Arts Club
Sessions Arts Club

Noble Rot Soho

  • Location Greek Street, London
  • Owners Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew
  • Head chef Paul Weaver
  • Opening Spring

Noble Rot is to open its second restaurant and wine bar in the site that was formerly home to famous political lunch spot the Gay Hussar.

Noble Rot, created by record label A&R man Dan Keeling and wine buyer Mark Andrew, made its first move from magazine to bricks and mortar restaurant in 2015, opening in London's Bloomsbury. The pair roped in Stephen Harris, chef-patron of the Michelin-starred Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent, as executive chef, who in turn installed one of his own protégés, Paul Weaver, as head chef.


  • Location Soho, London
  • Owner Corbin & King
  • Opening Spring

Corbin & King's much-anticipated seafood restaurant Manzi's is set to open just off Soho Square.

The restaurant, which will be set over two floors with windows on both sides of the dining rooms, will have a nautical theme, with Jeremy King saying he wants it to be "fun and affordable".

Corbin & King has also taken on a new site in Notting Hill and is rumoured to be developing plans for an outpost in the City of London.

Dishoom Birmingham

  • Location Chamberlain Square, Birmingham
  • Owner Shamil and Kavi Thakrar
  • Head chef Naved Nasir
  • Opening Spring

As ever, founders Shamil and Kavi Thakrar take inspiration from the old Irani cafés of Bombay, while giving the restaurant a distinct story borne out of its location. This time they have been inspired by Birmingham's history as the "city of a thousand trades", exploring the similarities with the markets of Bombay and the importance of its commercial heritage.

Executive chef Naved Nasir's menu of Bombay comfort food will be served all day, while a new chef's special will be created especially for the restaurant.


Taka Marylebone

  • Location Marylebone, London
  • Owners Andrey and Anastasia Datsenko
  • Opening April or May

Taka, which moves into the space previously occupied by the Providores and Tapa Room, offers Japanese dishes including tataki, tempura, sashimi platters and yakitori alongside cocktails using sake, Japanese whiskies and liqueurs. The group already has one site in Mayfair, which opened in 2017.


  • Location Lower James Street, Soho, London
  • Owner Shaun Presland

Australian chef Shaun Presland is planning to bring his first solo venture in the UK to London's Soho.

Presland was previously executive chef of the Japanese Sake restaurant group in Australia, which encompassed six premium dining restaurants as well as a number of more casual outlets. He has trained under chefs including Hiroshi Miura, Kenji Nishinakagawa and Nobu Matsuhisa.

Big Mamma Covent Garden

  • Location Covent Garden, London
  • Owner Victor Lugger and Tigrane Seydoux
  • Covers 227

The team behind Gloria in Shoreditch and Circolo Popolare in Fitzrovia has submitted planning approval for a new 227-cover site in Covent Garden.

If the plans are given the green light, the company will combine two addresses – 15 Henrietta Street and 29-30 Maiden Lane – to create its third London restaurant.

Details of which Italian region the restaurant will take inspiration from are yet to be revealed, but it can be assumed the interiors will be extravagant in the extreme.

BigMamma-Circolo Popolare - Pizza al metro - credit Joann Pai
BigMamma-Circolo Popolare - Pizza al metro - credit Joann Pai


  • Location Former Westminster Fire Station, London
  • Owners Atul Kochhar and Tina English
  • Covers 200

Atul Kochhar is to open a second London restaurant in the former Westminster Fire Station, following the opening of Kanishka in Mayfair in March 2019. Mathura will offer Indian cuisine created using locally sourced British produce.

The Connaught Grill

  • Location Mayfair, London
  • Covers 46

The legendary Connaught Grill is set to make a return to London early next year, 20 years after it served its last meal. The grill, located in the heart of the five-red-AA-star Connaught hotel, was regarded as one of the capital's most celebrated restaurants from 1955 to 2000.

US-based chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who already runs his eponymous restaurant at the hotel, will head up a modern interpretation of a classic grill, with an open kitchen featuring a wood-burning grill and rotisserie.

The menu will focus on British produce, from langoustines and Dover sole to British game and seasonal vegetable dishes.

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