Friday five: the week's top restaurant stories

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Friday five: the week's top restaurant stories

Related tags Restaurant

This week's top news stories include Jeremy Clarkson's plan to open a pub, the sudden closure of London restaurant All’onda, and Hawksmoor exploring a potential sale.

Jeremy Clarkson is to launch his own pub after acquiring The Windmill​, a former wedding and banqueting venue set in five acres of countryside near Burford, Oxfordshire. Writing in The Sunday Times​, Clarkson confirmed he had secured the site for ‘less than £1m’ and planned to renovate and relaunch it later this year under a new name. Clarkson said he plans to inject a sense of ‘fun’ into his pub, which will have bar billiards, dominoes and darts. The food will be inspired by 1970s Yorkshire and include ‘shepherd’s pie, and egg and chips’.

- A fine dining restaurant in London’s Fitzrovia that celebrated the staple Italian rice dish risotto has closed its doors after less than two months trading. All’onda, which took its name from an Italian phrase meaning ‘on the wave’, permanently shut its doors on 18 June​, having only launched some six weeks earlier on 2 May. A statement on the restaurant's website attributed the closure to 'unforeseen personal circumstances of the owners'.

- Steakhouse group Hawksmoor has been put up for sale​ in a deal that could value the restaurant chain at about £100m. As first reported by the FT​, investment bank Stephens has been hired to run a sales process and begun speaking to potential buyers. London-based private equity firm Graphite Capital invested £35m for a stake in Hawksmoor in 2013, and has owned 51% of the business since then. According to the FT, Beckett and Gott, who own a minority stake, will retain their shareholding to continue to lead the company following the sale.

Luke French and Stacey Sherwood-French have confirmed they will relocate their Sheffield fine dining restaurant Jöro to a site within the Oughtibridge Paper Mill development this September​. First announced earlier this year, the move is being billed as a ‘significant milestone’ for Jöro, which blends elements of Nordic and Japanese cuisine and until now has been housed in a shipping container in Krynkl in Kelham Island. The restaurant’s relocation will form part of a larger dining destination developed by the couple that will also encompass two bar areas and an outdoor BBQ kitchen concept located on the terrace.

- Chef Tom Griffiths is returning to the pass following a three-year hiatus to oversee the F&B at The Roof Gardens in London’s Kensington​. Griffiths has been appointed chef director at the soon-to-launch private members’ club, which has taken over the Grade II listed site that previously housed A-list nightclub Kensington Roof Gardens. Announcing the news on Instagram, Griffiths said: “After a few years of taking a break from chef life, my love and passion for cooking has brought my back to the kitchen and I am thrilled to announce my new role as chef director of [The Roof Gardens]. Over the past three years I have maintained my passion by participating in various events, cooking all over the world, and meeting wonderful new friends along the way.”

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

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