Friday five: the week's top hospitality stories

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Friday five: the week's top hospitality stories

Related tags Restaurant

This week's top news stories include Michael O’Hare’s plans to relaunch The Man Behind The Curtain as Psycho Sandbar, Charlie Sims and Honey Spencer's latest venture, and Big Mamma's first restaurant in Italy.

- Michael O’Hare’s Michelin-starred Leeds restaurant The Man Behind The Curtain is to close at the end of the year and relaunch as new concept Psycho Sandbar​. The new restaurant will be more accessible than the current offering and is described by O’Hare as having a “surf shack" feel with a brutalist design. Announcing the news on Instagram, O’Hare said the move was in response to the changing restaurant landscape that has been hit first by Brexit, then the pandemic and then the current cost of living crisis. “Things need to change because the world has changed and I‘ve changed, my team has changed,” he says. “Our ability hasn’t but the world has.”

- Renowned sommelier Honey Spencer and partner Charlie Sims will open a neighbourhood restaurant in Broadway Market next month​. Called Sune, the canal-side neighbourhood restaurant takes its name from the Old Nordic word for ‘son’, and the name of Spencer’s wine mentor Sune Rosforth in Copenhagen. It will be open for lunch and dinner as well as weekend brunch with a choice of a set menu or à la carte dishes on offer. The menu will champion British produce and will have an ‘our daily breads’ section with changing accompaniments, such as grilled pagnotta with whipped lardo and rosemary as well as a ‘cold, raw & cured’ section of seafood such as Galician sea urchin and preserved tomato; a fruits de mer plate; and local charcuterie.

- French founded Italian restaurant group Big Mamma is making its first move into the country that has inspired its cuisine​. The group, which operates Italian restaurants in France, Spain, Germany and the UK will open a site of its Gloria restaurant in Milan this December. The restaurant is described as ‘evoking feelings of a sensual holiday in a glamorous, opulent villa from the mid-1960s’ and will be split across two floors with a total of 225 covers. Design features will includes 1.5 metre bespoke chandeliers created by a local Milanese artist and striped golden and white Siena marble flooring throughout. The menu will feature Italian recipes with Big Mamma’s own French and European twists.

- Sussex-based charity Table Talk Foundation has appointed high-profile chef James Golding as its head of food education​. Golding, who previously spent many years working closely with Bournemouth and Poole College’s Specialised Chefs’ Scholarship apprentices and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, joins Table Talk Foundation from The Pig Group, where he worked as chef director for nearly a decade. As head of food education, he will spearhead the development of educational initiatives, including workshops, courses, and resources that will empower children to make informed choices about their food, improve their cooking skills, and understand the broader impact of their food choices on the environment.

The owner of PizzaExpress could throw its hat into the ring to buy The Restaurant Group (TRG)​. The Wagamama owner has revealed that an approach for the business has been made by Wheel Topco, the owner of PizzaExpress, which could signal a bidding war for the restaurant group. As of yet no written or verbal proposals relating to a possible offer have been tabled by Wheel Topco, according to TRG. “There can be no certainty that an offer by Wheel Topco will be made for the Company, nor as to the terms on which an offer might be made,” says TRG. “Accordingly, shareholders are advised to take no action at this time with regard to the information request received from Wheel Topco. If any proposal is provided by Wheel Topco, the Board of TRG will carefully consider its terms, in conjunction with its advisers.”

For more of this week's headlines, click here​.

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