Published 16 May 2022
Catch up on the latest industry news stories of the week from the CODE Bulletin
The all-day Australian restaurant Milk Beach will open a branch in Soho in the coming months. Well established in Queen’s Park, the concept will launch in Ilona Rose House, with entrances on both Greek Street and Manette Street. An announcement said the venture ‘will bring a little slice of Sydney to Soho’, with a ‘sunny, bright, and relaxed atmosphere’ that will contrast Soho’s busy pubs and dim-lit dining rooms. As far as the food is concerned, it will be similar in theme to the original, but will offer new brunch and dinner menus composed by head chef Josh Deacon, formerly of The Riding House Cafe and the Savoy Grill, and ‘Aussie head of food’ Darren Leadbeater, once of Guillaume at Bennelong Sydney, Aria Sydney, Frenchie, and Wild Honey. Milk Beach’s well-loved ‘chicken schnitty’ and pork rib dumplings will make the move from Queen’s Park, but in Soho guests can expect oysters, crab ravioli, and deep-fried sea bass with nam jim jaew. Aussie food in the UK is building momentum and this could be a standout opening.
The Chester-based chef and restaurateur Gary Usher is a busy man. His hospitality business Elite Bistros is turning into what might be described as a Northern Powerhouse, an eclectic, inimitable brand with six restaurants, an events space, and a range of home meal kits. Wobbly breeze blocks of jellied gravy might soon be sold in upmarket retailers and a cookery school isn’t far off either. Then there’s the tapas restaurant, dependent on crowdfunding – well, yeah, this is Usher we’re talking about – and a promising country pub, which isn’t far off. Our interview with Usher is here.
Temporary powers to serve diners on pavements are expected to be made permanent through new legislation as part of the Levelling up and Regeneration Bill unveiled in the Queen’s speech last week. Central and local authorities scrapped red tape during the pandemic to allow pubs and restaurants to serve guests outside, helping to mitigate lost floor space brought about by social distancing rules. The greater freedom proved a hit – both culturally and financially – and reaction to the latest announcement has been positive. Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: “Making pavement licences permanent is a really positive move. These outdoor spaces benefit town and city centres, enabling them to enjoy the sort of outdoor experiences available elsewhere, and helping local economies recover faster.”
Bar des Prés, the Franco-cum-East Asian restaurant on Mayfair’s Albemarle Street, will launch its new ‘destination lounge’ later this month. The space will have a focus on wine, ‘offering an extensive menu of French wines by the glass at an accessible price point’, and the décor has been inspired by 1950s Paris. Founder and chef Cyril Lignac said: ‘The opening of the lounge is very close to my heart. London has always felt like a home away from home, its energy and vibrant culture inspiring me from the moment I set foot in the capital. Seeing my vision for a destination French wine bar come to life is incredibly rewarding, and I hope to bring some of that Parisian magic to London’s drinking scene.’
The chef Hylton Espey will open Culture restaurant in Falmouth, Cornwall, in June, a venture that will ‘celebrate local produce and hyper-seasonal cooking with a menu of nature-inspired cuisine’. Hylton, formerly of Rastella at the Merchants Manor hotel, said ‘ethically conscious local suppliers and their produce’ will ‘sit at the heart of Culture’, from pasture raised Footes Farm chickens and sustainably farmed Cape & Cove pork to regeneratively farmed Trenow Fields vegetables and Cornish Golden Grain’s pulses and crops. Read more.
The leading Stockport chef Sam Buckley has finally launched his much-anticipated bakery, pottery and sometime snack bar Yellowhammer. Read more about it here.