Friday five: the week's most-read hospitality stories

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The week's most-read hospitality stories

Related tags Jöro Stacey Sherwood-French Luke French Restaurant Vagabond Marco pierre white Budget The Gentlemen Baristas

A new location for Sheffield fine dining restaurant Jöro and a damp squib of a budget for the hospitality sector were among the biggest stories of the week.

- Luke French and Stacey Sherwood-French have announced that they are relocating their Sheffield fine dining restaurant Jöro​ to a site within the Oughtibridge Paper Mill development. The relocated restaurant will join the couple’s forthcoming bar, terrace and BBQ kitchen concept, which is due to open at the development later this year. The pair opened Scandinavian restaurant Jöro in a shipping container in Krynkl in Kelham Island, Sheffield, in 2016. This was followed by the launch of eastern Asian street food brand Konjö in 2019, which currently has a site at the city’s Cutlery Works food hall, and the opening of House of Jöro, a boutique hotel close to their flagship, in 2021. The pair will retain the original Jöro siite, which will become a Konjö.

- The hospitality sector has reacted with criticism to the Spring Budget​ after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt failed to announce a much-needed reduction to VAT or business rates. Industry leaders had been calling for a cut in VAT to help the struggling sector, which has been hit by hikes in energy and ingredient prices as well as staffing costs and a fall in consumer spending. Rare Restaurants CEO Martin Williams branded the Chancellor’s announcement “an empty Budget in terms of both ideas and support for the hospitality sector” while Loungers co-founder Alex Reilley said: “This current government has to be the most anti-business Tory administration in history."

- Black and White Hospitality and Marco Pierre White​ will launch a pub brand in the Suffolk town of Felixstowe later this year. Marco Pierre White Ale House will occupy a site that is currently trading as The Brook Hotel but which will soon be rebranded to the ‘boutique-style’ Hotel Coco. The Orwell Road hotel will also be home to a Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill restaurant. The two new openings are the result of a deal between the hotel’s owners the Govindasamy family and Black and White Hospitality, the franchising arm of Marco Pierre White Restaurants.

- Coffee shop chain The Gentlemen Baristas​ has been bought out of administration for £785,000. The chain, which called in the administrators in January this year, received 16 offers ranging from £3,200 for individual assets to £785,000 for the business and its shareholdings in two trading subsidiaries, according to documents filed at Companies House.

- Wine bar group Vagabond ​is to undertake a restructuring to safeguard the business. The London-based group, which is backed by Imbiba, cited legacy Covid debts combined with other cost pressures and the forced closure of its Heathrow venue as being behind the decision. Vagabond’s estate currently comprises of 10 sites across the capital alongside an outpost within Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal, all of which continue to trade. In its most recent accounts filed to Companies House for the year ended 27 March 2022, Vagabond reported revenue of £7.4m, which equated to a gross profit of £5.2m. The loss for the period, after taxation, however, amounted to £859,625.

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