17 new UK restaurants and bars to look forward to in 2021
Openings include a rooftop venue with panoramic views and a superhero-themed eatery
Hospitality has been one of the UK industries hardest hit by the coronavirus, but it’s bouncing back with many new openings scheduled for 2021.
DesignMyNight has uncovered the best openings in the coming months, including a rooftop restaurant in Birmingham, a darts experience in Leeds and an immersive DC-inspired venue in London.
Since its first opening in 2019, Big Mamma Group has taken London’s dining scene by storm. Known for over the top interiors, indulgent menus and flamboyant Italian personality, it’s normal to see queues snaking around street corners for the current sites in Shoreditch and Rathbone Square. The newest site, Ave Mario in Covent Garden, is set for the same fate with an indoor courtyard and two outdoor terraces. Taking inspiration from Florence, the menu will be starkly different to that of Circolo and Gloria, working in an entire caviar section and a must-order ice cream cake marbled with chocolate spread.
A new and contemporary Indian restaurant is opening in Marylebone this summer and it’s set to turn heads with adventurous plates and cocktails. The 35-cover restaurant is headed up by Chat Sharma in partnership with the award-winning hospitality group JKS. The menus at BiBi will take inspiration from the chef’s upbringing and you can expect bold flavours across both food and cocktails. The Ice Gola cocktail is made using chaat masala and they have a jalapeno scallop masala alongside other bites that promise the best in British produce.
The Cheese Barge
London’s cheese connoisseurs, who are responsible for The Cheese Bar in Camden and Pick & Cheese in Seven Dials, are about to grow their family of two into three. The brains behind the restaurants announced the opening of their third outlet, The Cheese Barge, in 2019 and dairy fans have been eager to hop aboard since. The floating restaurant moored on The Regent’s Canal in Paddington will source its cheese to showcase the best of British, alongside a lengthy list of matching wines and sherries. The opening date has been confirmed as 20 May.
Tattu has been growing its Asian empire in the UK since 2015. Fast forward six years and it has its feet firmly planted in Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham, with a brand new London opening rumoured for 2021. The team will bring its modern approach to Chinese cuisine to the capital, alongside its signature smoking skull cocktails, candy floss desserts and fiery flavours. Tattu is known for its striking interiors, including sleek dark furnishings and life-sized purple cherry blossom trees. The opening date is yet to be confirmed.
Sonny Huang opened his first restaurant in Soho in 2019 and has applied to convert a former Chilango site in Birmingham into the sister of his izakaya-style London-based venue. Robata, meaning “fireside”, will open its doors in 2021 with Charles Lee at the helm of the kitchen. Lee has worked in several Michelin-starred restaurants and the menu will be focussed on grilled charcoal cooking, plating up bao buns, sushi and sashimi. Details of the interiors are undisclosed but the space will go under renovation to create a new bar, dining room and restaurant.
London’s range of rooftop bars is beyond impressive and it’s welcoming another on 20 May. Sabine will take over the former Sky Bar that currently resides atop Leonardo Hotel, giving it a new lease of life thanks to botanical focussed interiors. The big pull of this fresh-faced venue, however, are its two outdoor terraces, one of which will feature a retractable roof to tackle unpredictable British weather. Not much has been revealed in the way of menus but there will be a selection of local gins, cocktails and champagnes to enjoy alongside the sensational views of St Paul’s Cathedral.
Markus Thesleff made a big splash in the Middle East with restaurants OKKU and CLAW, and he has his sights set on London with the opening of Los Mochis. Opening on 17 May, the taqueria and tequileria will specialise in a fusion of Japanese and Mexican cuisine and a snapshot of its offering has revealed a 22-strong taco menu showcasing pan-pacific plates like Korean fried chicken and miso black cod tacos alongside maki rolls and ceviche. The art displayed around the restaurant will be by Mexican artist Jorge Tellaeche and for every meal served in the restaurant, one will be provided for someone vulnerable or less fortunate.
The group behind London’s famed Jazz Cafe and The Camden Assembly are opening their first ever venue outside of the capital this May. The Blues Kitchen, which is known for its bourbon collection, BBQ food and live music, will be opening up a 600-capacity music venue, club, restaurant and bar along Manchester’s Quay Street. A line up of concert dates has already been revealed on the website showcasing up and coming talent like Goya Gumbani and soul and jazz legend, Roy Ayers.
Flight Club has announced plans to expand into Leeds this summer. The darts experience that’s taken London, Manchester and Birmingham by storm, will open on 25 June with a total of 13 oches. Each oche will house cutting-edge technology amongst its signature fairground-themed interiors. There are a total of five interactive games to play: Demolition, Shanghai, Killer, Quack Shot and Snakes & Ladders.
London’s 77 Brewer Street has been penned as the home of the UK’s first ever superhero-themed restaurant. Park Row (named after an area of Batman’s hometown, Gotham City), is set to open in 2021 with the official date yet to be released. The entrance is said to be modelled around the Batcave with five dining areas inside, all taking inspiration from iconic stories and characters from the DC world. All of these ares will be themed and will have their own novelty factor, but it’s the Monarch Theatre that’s sure to impress hardcore fans as it offers a multi-sensory tasting menu paired with projections while you eat.
The Dog House
Scottish craft beer company BrewDog has proved it is a force to be reckoned with over the past couple of years. The team have announced yet another opening, this one coming with the tagline as their first ever beer hotel. Set to open in Manchester in August, The Doghouse will be an immersive carbon-negative hotel with an urban forest rooftop bar alongside another ground-level bar. The bars will house more than 30 taps and will have a menu of popular dishes including tacos, burgers, and wings.
Homeboy opened its doors in 2018 and although it has remained shut for the vast majority of a year due to the pandemic, it is swinging open a brand new set in Embassy Gardens, alongside its Islington bar this summer. The cocktail bar - which is run by Aaron Wall and Ciarán Smith - prides itself on its modern take on Irish hospitality. The drinks menu at Embassy Gardens will feature popular cocktails alongside an all-day food menu of Irish favourites including curry cheese chips and chicken fillet rolls.
103 Colmore Row
It’s not opening until autumn this year, but 103 Colmore Row is one to watch. Owned by D&D - which has luxurious venues in New York, Tokyo, Paris, London and other regional cities across the UK - the group has secured a ground floor cocktail bar and cafe with an outdoor terrace alongside a rooftop restaurant on the 24th floor of what will be Birmingham’s tallest commercial building. The venue will offer panoramic views of the city thanks to the single floor being spaced across the height of two.
Hot Stone is opening a second restaurant in May, bringing its critically-acclaimed dishes to Windmill Street in Fitzrovia, London. The venue’s executive chef, Padam Raj Rai, who has 19 years of experience in respected Japanese restaurants like Nobu and Zuma, will be cooking Ishiyaki dishes on hot stones, alongside sushi, sashimi and other hot dishes. It will be one of only eight places in the UK to serve Kobe beef and the drink selection will feature quality Japanese spirits including sake, gin, rum and whisky.
One Marylebone, a Grade I-listed building used for grand events and large scale pop-ups, will reopen on 23 April as Chameleon. Split into several spaces, the garden lounge will be host to alfresco drinks and dining, offering Tel Avivian sharing plates, while the greenhouses, which boasts 150 covers, will be available for booking from 21 May. There will be an outdoor courtyard that will host several events in the coming months including immersive cinema experiences, wellness classes and “Curious”, a new party experience.
Dry ageing fish is a culinary technique often used in Japan and rarely in the UK. Opening in May, MARU will be the first restaurant in the UK to specialise in this form of cookery, which is said to give fish a soft, buttery texture. The menu at the Mayfair restaurant will have a 20-course omakase-style farm-to-table approach, priced at £150 per person with a supplementary drink pairing of champagne, wine and the Japanese spirit, sake. The intimate dining experience will only seat up to ten guests.
A slice of Italy is making its way to Glasgow in June with the opening of Doppio Malto. The George Square restaurant, which was previously a Jamie’s Italian, is undergoing a significant refurbishment with the finished result birthing a 180-seater restaurant. Currently operational across several regions in Italy with a total of 28 restaurants, the group will be utilising Italian produce, showcasing a modern take of Italian with beer-based cocktails and beer-based food.