Now the feeling is familiar. After a Christmas and New Year period in which most businesses were closed due to level 4 coronavirus restrictions, the capital entered full lockdown for the third time on January 6.
The differences with restaurants in London may seem unimportant at first glance. But the government’s announcement, coupled with the serious public health crisis in the capital, was a game-changer. While restaurateurs worry about the future of their business, workers are not only concerned about their job security, but their health and safety as well.
The health, social and economic situation in London is serious. In the absence of guarantees on when the crisis could subside, despite the deployment of vaccines, the end of the lockdown and the path of reopening remain unknown. Restaurants, forced to adapt and survive again, must therefore wait and marvel.
Below is a look at the restaurants in London that are on lockdown in the first week of 2021.
Wong Kei, a Chinatown institution, is closed; while another, Cafe TPT, remains open to delivery people.
Jolene, on Newington Green. Co-owner Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim told Eater earlier this year: “As a nation, we place too much faith in the competence of our government and we are too dependent on its whims. The past 12 months have shown that resilient businesses rely on decisions they make independently, at a level they can control.
“We’re back” is the message. The Eagle, like most of London’s hotel businesses, didn’t return for long before they had to close again before Christmas.
Voodoo Ray’s Pizza Slice on Kingsland Road.
Provider of East London’s most famous naan, Ararat Bread packed his bags at the end of the day last week in the Ridley Road market in Dalston.
The Duke of Richmond offers a selection of his menu best suited to take out. Choices? A crab mayonnaise and butty crisps and rare Welsh croquetas. All day, mate.
Chef Jeremy Lee on the restaurant where he oversees the kitchen: “the great lady of Dean Street hibernates.”
E5 Bakehouse and Secret Smokehouse, two businesses under the arcades of London Fields in Hackney.
Bright is open for take out during the day, offering squid sandwiches, cookies, and homemade soda bread.
El Marsem, a sandwich bar that opened in the spring of last year on Old Kent Road; and Jenecheru, the Bolivian coffee shop, which has continued to serve its community throughout the past year.
Bao’s original food stall, Netil Market, Hackney last week, opened during the lockdown.
Climpson and Sons Café on Broadway Market.
Pavilion Bakery on Broadway Market.
The Marksman Public House is closed but offers a range of provisions – mainly pies and rolls – for collection.
The Beigel Bake in Brick Lane remains open for take out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Fryerer’s Delight in Holborn – perhaps the best and most famous chippy in London – is open for take out.
St John Bread and Wine, one of the city’s great restaurants, is closed for business.
Koya in Soho will start sending flat packs of udon noodles in the coming weeks.
One of London’s best-known steak restaurants, the original Hawksmoor restaurant in Shoreditch. The group offers delivery to London and across the country.
Lyle’s Michelin-starred Shoreditch restaurant, chef James Lowe, is closed. Meal kits are being shipped across the country while London is closed.
An iconic London restaurant in Exmouth Market, Moro, with shutters closed in early 2021.
Hoi Polloi, the restaurant at the Ace Hotel on Shoreditch High Street, closed for good last fall. TEAR.
In Shoreditch, the branch of the Neapolitan-style Pizza Pilgrims pizzeria is closed.
The Michelin-starred Clove Club, London’s top-ranked restaurant among the world’s 50 best, remains closed during the lockdown. Owners Isaac McHale, Dan Willis and Johnny Smith announced the final closure of sister restaurant Two Lights, run by chef Chase Lovecky last year. Meanwhile, the group’s Italian restaurant, Luca, remains open for take-out and delivery via the Big Night App.
Vietnamese restaurant Bun Bun Bun is closed on Kingsland Road in Dalston.
Italian meat specialist Macellaio RC operates a delivery service from its sites in Clerkenwell, Northcote Road, South Kensington, Fitzrovia and Union Street.
Quality Chop House will continue to ship wine and supplies from its Clerkenwell store. Quality Wines (at Home) is currently being replaced by takeout brand Arrosto, by chef Nick Bramham of Clipstone Kitchen.
Wei Guirong’s Xi’an restaurant, Master Wei, has remained open for take-out and delivery since last summer. While, Anna Tobias’ Cafe Deco only experienced the pandemic, opening for take-out collection in November of last year.
While Fitzrovia Restaurant and Bao’s Development Kitchen remain closed for dinner, the group’s delivery brand Rice Error has taken off from its Borough Market and Netil Market locations.
Some things are still too good to be closed: Good Friend in Chinatown.