Published 6 December 2021
Catch up on the latest industry news stories of the week from the CODE Bulletin
The Boundary hotel in Shoreditch has been sold by the Conran estate 13 years after it was launched by the late Sir Terence’s Prescott & Conran hospitality group. James McCulloch, the founder of Harcourt Inns, has bought the site for an undisclosed sum, and has ambitious transformation plans in place – the Albion Cafe on the ground floor will close and will be redeveloped into an all-day brasserie, fixtures and fittings in the rooftop bar and grill will be overhauled, and the hotel’s 17 bedrooms will be given a “light touch up”. The basement, formerly the French restaurant Trata, will be turned into a speakeasy, meanwhile. McCulloch said he is no longer involved with the Harcourt Inns pub group, which was founded in 2014 and once counted The Coach in Clerkenwell and Hero of Maida in Maida Vale among its six-strong collection; The Caterer said the brand did not survive the pandemic. Today, McCulloch said his sole focus is now the Boundary hotel. He said in a statement: “The Boundary is an iconic building on one of the most desirable streets in East London. With an opportunity to create varying offers across multiple floors, we have exciting plans to give this property a new lease of life. We are working with a leading design team to transform the various spaces and are putting together an impressive line-up of chefs, artists, musicians and mixologists to help put the Boundary back on the London map.” He added the area, home to the likes of Brat, Smoking Goat, and Shoreditch House, has “raised the game”, and he wants to see the Boundary a part of that in 2022.
Burger & Lobster founder Misha Zelman and ex-Harrods and Heston Blumenthal marketing man Ben Hedley have announced the opening of Neyba, a new culinary concept opening its first site on Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill in January. The “neighbourhood friendly, multi-cuisine concept” will see celebrity chefs come together to create a collaborative menu under one roof, with the likes of Tony Singh, Miguel Barclay, and Yoko Nakada on board. Zelman and Hedley say the venue will operate as both a restaurant and a grocery, with dishes available as dine-in or take away and a weekly “essentials” box also available. Endo Kazotushi will be among those to create “cook at home” dishes. Zelman said: “We’re excited about the launch of Neyba. Our goal is to stop people wasting all of that food from the weekly shop.” Hedley continued: “This is a fantastic opportunity to bring all these incredible chefs together to offer authentic ingredients and cuisines under one roof. Having one place where we can go to sample what celebrity and Michelin star chefs eat at home, at affordable prices, we think is a game-changer.”
The US chef Matthew Kenney’s first UK restaurant Adesse has been delayed until January 2022 due to “unforeseen circumstances”. What these are, we don’t know. Probably it is something to do with the pandemic. Kenney was lined up to launch his plant-based venture at Selfridges on 2 December, bringing to London dishes such as jackfruit “crab cakes” with smoked red pepper rémoulade, beetroot carpaccio with yuzu kosho and poppy seeds, a flora tree nut cheese plate with smoked “cheddar” and herbed “feta”, and lime parfait with avocado and spiced macadamia nuts. Kenney announced Adesse, set for the second floor of the increasingly environmentally aware Selfridges, only last month. It will be part of Project Earth, the department store’s sustainability initiative as it looks to commit to more meat-free options across its restaurants and food halls. The exact date for Adesse is now unknown. January, or Veganuary, makes sense.
The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park has announced a new drinking and dining concept for “early 2022” – most likely February. The Aubrey London will replace Bar Boulud and will mark the UK debut for Maximal Concepts, an international hospitality group based in Hong Kong. The team, we’re told, will “create a fully immersive experience where art and design meets high quality drinks and innovative dining”, with an “eccentric izakaya” focusing on traditional Japanese cooking techniques, and two bars where “distinctive” cocktail menus will “provide culturally rich drinking experiences.” An announcement promised The Aubrey will be a lively destination come the evening, helping to “redefine the Knightsbridge night scene” (one which has recently been dominated by a certain Turkish seasoning fanatic). There will of course be afternoon tea.
The Caribbean food brand Natty’s Jerk will open its first permanent restaurant after raising more than £20,000 through crowdfunding. The family business, based in Southsea in Portsmouth, started life as a street food van in 2019, and after much success will move into a Boxpark-style site next year. “Thank you so much to everyone who supported us throughout our crowdfunding campaign – we’re so excited to get to work on Natty’s Shack and bring our vision to life!”
Albert Schloss will open a branch in Birmingham today. The Bavarian and Alpine-inspired beer hall, long-loved in Manchester – weekend queues are so, so long – will be spread across two floors and will feature two bars (one of which is more than 100ft in length). Its in-house bakery will produce breads, pretzels, and pastries, while the cook haus menu will resemble Manchester’s, where bratwurst, schnitzels and burgers are, well, wunderbar. London next? We hope so.
Mitch Tonks has been very busy over the past few months, launching a new tinned seafood range and then announcing a national fish delivery service. He’s had time to plan his next Rockfish restaurant, though, which will open in Salcombe, Devon, in summer 2022. The site will be Tonks’ ninth, and will again focus on serving local, sustainable and seasonal fish affordably. There is also talk of a tenth venue in Sidmouth, also in Devon, which we heard about through Propel. It is worth noting here that the quality of cooking at Rockfish has remained high, despite its expansion since 2010. Perhaps it is not its size, but the fact the group has stayed in the West Country and limited itself geographically.
Tom Griffiths, of Flank fame, is hosting an event on 10 January to raise awareness of mental health difficulties faced in kitchens, and to fundraise for The Burnt Chef project. ‘86’ will begin at the Everyman cinema in Broadgate, where an exclusive screening of Boiling Point, starring Stephen Graham as a chef “on the edge”, will be shown before a Q&A with cast and crew. Later, oysters and champagne will be served at The Ned, and Adam Handling, Roberta Hall, Brad Carter, Andrew Clarke, and Calum Franklin will join Griffiths in serving their signature dishes. There’ll be a charity raffle hosted by comedian Tom Ward and music from Mr Scruff. Tickets are £100 and include the whole shebang. Book here