Covid cases are rising in London right now, and our city has been declared an Omicron hotspot. The result? Christmas parties are being cancelled, commuters are working from home and now restaurants and bars are starting to shut their doors. You can read all about the effect it’s having on our food and drinks industry in our special report.
Hill and Szrok were among the first to announce on Instagram that the restaurant would remain closed until after Christmas. The founders posted: ‘With this untimely new wave threatening to jeopardise our beloved Christmas, we have decided to close our restaurant in order to protect you and our staff alike during this rough patch. We will only operate as a butchers until further notice.’
Forza Wine also uploaded a post with a similar message: ‘It is with high levels of sadness, fear for the future and the health of everyone around us that we’re closing with immediate effect…until after Christmas’ it said. ‘We’re doing so in the hope that our staff can get home and see their loved ones.’
Meanwhile, Toklas bakery has also announced its closure for the festive period. ‘Yesterday we made the difficult decision to close the restaurant and bakery until the end of the year,’ it said. ‘After a couple of cases of Covid we did not want to risk the welfare of our team and guests. We will re-open on 6 January. Have a great Christmas and see you in the new year!’
A list of restaurants that have closed early for Christmas (with thanks to our friends at Eater):
40 Maltby Street
Belly at the Compton Arms
The Clove Club
Duke of Richmond
Hill and Szrok
Max’s Sandwich Shop
Quality Chop House
St John (Smithfield)
Zia Lucia (Highbury)
It’s likely that these restaurants won’t be the only ones to close for the Christmas break early, but there’s currently no call from the government for hospitality businesses to shut. Want to support your local from home? Why not order a tasty meal kit?
Theatres are shutting because of Covid too.
How the Omicron wave is affecting London's restaurants and bars.