What’s new in 2020
Published 09 February 2020

The original Padella in Borough Market, credit Stephen Joyce

The start of the new decade already looks set to bring us a raft of exciting restaurant openings across the UK

Whether it’s existing establishments spreading their tentacles with more sites or brand new restaurants, the next 12 months promise to see a number of high profile launches.

Four years after the arrival of the original Padella in Borough Market, Tim Siadatan and Jordan Frieda will take their affordable pasta dishes to Shoreditch, when a second site opens in Phipp Street this month.

Mark and Dan from Noble Rot

Noble Rot restaurant and wine bar is expanding, too, as owners Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew take over the legendary Soho site of Hungarian restaurant the Gay Hussar, which closed in 2018 after 65 years. The menu at the Greek Street venue will be overseen by chef Paul Weaver with help from The Sportsman’s Stephen Harris, and a few dishes will be inspired by the Gay Hussar.

Another successful London operation looking to open a second site in Soho is Sabor. Head chef Nieves Barragán Mohacho and José Etura have submitted planning documents for a new site on Lexington Street in Soho, although no dates have been confirmed.


And JKS Restaurants will be killing two birds with one stone when it opens new branches of both Bao and Hoppers on top of each other at Pancras Square in King’s Cross. Hoppers is already taking bookings for its launch on 11 February.

Brand new for London is Akoko in Fitzrovia, the first venture for chef William JM Chilila, who previously worked at Galvin at Windows and The Orrery. A semi-finalist on MasterChef: The Professionals, Chilila will bring his modern West African cooking to Berners Street in April.


There are plenty of expansions and new launches outside London, too, starting with Dishoom, which opens in Birmingham’s Chamberlain Square this spring.

Part of Paradise Birmingham, the restaurant will once again pay homage to the old Irani cafés that were once part of the fabric of life in Bombay. Executive Chef Naved Nasir’s menu will be served all day, from breakfast until late, bringing together the food of all Bombay, dishes cooked in Hindu, Muslim, Irani and Parsi traditions. The restaurant will also have the Permit Room bar, serving Dishoom’s cocktails, teetotal tipples, chai and coolers.

Also in Birmingham, Aktar Islam of Opheem is opening a traditional British restaurant called Craft English Garden on the canalside at The International Convention Centre.

Gary Usher

Gary Usher’s Elite Bistros group is rumoured to be looking to Leeds for the launch of its seventh restaurant. Details are sketchy at present, although Usher is thought to be interested in the Grade II-listed Lifting Tower at Wellington Place for what has been tentatively named the Wagon House Bistro.

In Kent, Will Devlin of The Small Holding at Kilndown, opens a second restaurant on 19 February. The GFG’s current Chef to Watch has taken over The Curlew pub at Bodiam in rural East Sussex. The 46-cover restaurant will serve small and sharing plates with a seasonal, weekly changing menu. Sample dishes include homemade fennel seed charcuterie from pigs at The Small Holding, and whole roast turbot with sea purslane and sea vegetable butter.

Liam and Ellis Barrie

Brothers Liam and Ellis Barrie have made a name for themselves at Marram Grass in Anglesey but they return to their Liverpool roots with their second restaurant, which opens in March. Called Lerpwl (the Welsh name for Liverpool), the restaurant in historic Royal Albert Dock will accommodate 45 diners downstairs with the upstairs offering a 20-seat private dining room with its own kitchen and dedicated chef.

West Country-based siblings Matthew and Iain Pennington are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their Somerset restaurant The Ethicurean by launching a second venture at Trevibban Mill Vineyard, near Padstow in north Cornwall, in mid-March. Sitting above the winery and tasting room, the new 80-cover restaurant will champion vegetable-led cooking, whilst supporting Cornish fishermen and farms local to the vineyard.

Also in Cornwall, Ben’s Cornish Kitchen is moving from Marazion to nearby St Ives in April and Michael Caines of Lympstone Manor has taken over The Cove in Maenporth near Falmouth in Cornwall. The restaurant will re-launch with Caines at the helm in March, serving lunch, afternoon snacks and dinner with menus championing Cornish produce.

Peter Sanchez-Iglesias

And in Bristol, Peter Sanchez-Iglesias, opens a new venue, appropriately called The Third, between Casamia and Paco Tapas. He promises ‘a new concept’ at the all-day operation, which will also give diners a chance to eat at a ‘creative chef’s table’. The Third is due to open this spring.

Published February 2020