Friday five: the week's top stories

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Friday five: the week's top hospitality stories

Related tags som saa Mark Dobbie Andy Oliver Azzurri Boojum D&d london Kol

A new restaurant from the som saa duo, a new purchase from Azzurri Group and a high court ruling that could have wide-reaching implications are among this week's top hospitality news story.

- Two of the founders of Spitafield-based Thai restaurant som saa will open a sister restaurant in the capital this autumn. Mark Dobbie and Andy Oliver will open Kolae​ in London’s Borough Market in October, named after a cooking style from the south of Thailand. Housed in old London coach house, the 80-cover restaurant will be split over three floors and will include a small alfresco courtyard dining area as well as a private dining room at the top of the building.

- Azzurri Group has acquired a controlling interest in Ireland-based, fast-casual Mexican chain Boojum​ and plans to expand the brand across Great Britain. The ASK Italian, Zizzi and Coco di Mama owner has acquired Boojum, which operates from 14 sites in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland from Renatus Capital Partners.

- D&D London has appointed advisors from Interpath Advisory’s corporate finance practice to explore raising new finance ​after confirming that its long-term backer LDC has exited the business. In a statement, D&D said that LDC, which had owned a majority share in the group since 2013, has transferred shareholder control to Beechbrook Capital.

- Santiago Lastra’s Marylebone restaurant KOL ​has become the top ranked UK restaurant in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, entering at number 23. The Mexican restaurant is one of only three in the UK to make this year’s list, joining The Clove Club, which is ranked at number 38 (down three places on the 2022 list), and Ikoyi, ranked at number 35 (up from 49 last year.)

- A High Court ruling​ that found in favour of a group of businesses, including PizzaExpress, seeking insurance payouts for Covid-19 losses could potentially lead to ‘hundreds of thousands’ more claims. The judgment, handed down on Friday (16 June), covered a series of test cases brought by businesses that also included London International Exhibition Centre Plc, owner of the ExCel London conference centre, which is seeking a £16m payout against insurers including RSA and Allianz.

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