The year ahead is shaping up to be a stellar one for UK restaurant openings. The capital continues to attract chefs from around the world, with two big arrivals from Spain and France on the way, plus a new branch of London favourite Bob Bob Ricard to look forward to. The rest of the country has plenty to get excited about too, with Manchester in particular boasting some headline-worthy openings, such as the London Warehouse project, plus a new restaurant from the wildly popular Gary Usher. Read on for our list of the most anticipated UK restaurant openings for 2019.
Arros QD, London
A restaurant focusing on rice, and paella in particular, wouldn’t normally be something to get too excited about it. But when a chef such as Quique Dacosta, whose eponymous restaurant in Valencia has three Michelin stars, announces he’s coming to London to open a high-end rice restaurant, it’s time to get very excited indeed.
Elizabeth Haigh won a Michelin star at the tiny Hackney restaurant Pidgin in 2016 — and then promptly left to go it alone. Her much anticipated (and much delayed) solo restaurant, Shibui, will finally open in 2019, in an as-yet unannounced London location. It will feature wood-fire cooking and dishes that combine European and Asian flavours from Elizabeth’s birthplace of Singapore.
Opening: Early 2019
As-yet-unnamed Ellis Barrie restaurant, Liverpool
Ellis and Liam Barrie, the brothers who successfully converted a chicken shed on their parents’ caravan park in Anglesey into the award-winning restaurant Marram Grass, are opening a second site at Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool. Very few details — including the name of the place — have been announced, but this opening’s sure to be impressive. Ellis was a finalist on 2018’s Great British Menu, where he wowed the judges with his torched Anglesey sea bass in a pork confit, with barbecue cauliflower florets and pickled mussels.
Bob Bob Cité, London
Bob Bob Ricard is a London landmark, with its flamboyant interiors and a ’70s-inspired menu that favours caviar and champagne. After being delayed for more than a year, its sister restaurant, Bob Bob Cité, will be bringing more of the same to the City’s ‘Cheesegrater’ building, with top chef Eric Chavot in charge of the food. And yes, there will be the trademark ‘press for champagne’ buttons.
Provisioners is the latest project from Clive Watson, the man who launched London favourites Riding House Café and Blixen, among others. Housed within The Dixon, an Edwardian magistrates court reborn as a hotel, the restaurant will offer an all-day European menu of simple comfort food — plus attractive interiors.
Oyster Club, Birmingham
Michelin-starred chef Adam Stokes will launch his second Birmingham restaurant, The Oyster Club, next year. With a long bar serving oysters and posh fish and chips, it’s set to be a more relaxed affair than his other establishment, Adam’s, but with quality seafood hard to find in Birmingham, this is sure to be a game-changer for the city.
Big Mamma is one of Paris’s most successful restaurant groups, with a string of hit modern Italian joints under its belt. For its new British outpost, Gloria, the group is taking over the huge Red’s BBQ site in Shoreditch and will be offering seasonal Italian dishes, fresh pasta, and gelato all at an affordable price point.
Opening: 22 February
As-yet-unnamed Adam Rawson restaurant, London
Adam Rawson won Chef of the Year at the 2015 Young British Foodies (YBFs), and his food at the original Pachamama was certainly deserving of the title. So all eyes will be on his new restaurant, located on the ground floor of the much-hyped Standard hotel, opening in King’s Cross — the brand’s first non-US location. Menu details are thin on the ground but given Adam’s legendary burgers (he’s the two-time winner of London burger competition Slider Decider) it’s a safe bet they’ll be making an appearance here.
It was a big loss when Lee Westcott closed his London restaurant The Typing Room in 2018. But 2019 will see his triumphant return with Pensons, a country restaurant with rooms set on the Nethwerwood Estate in Worcestershire. Drawing on produce sourced locally or from the estate itself, it will take a less formal approach than the fine-dining tasting menus of The Typing Room.
A new restaurant from Robin Gill, the chef behind The Dairy in Clapham, is always something to look forward to. And his next project, Darby’s, sounds like another winner. Housed within Vauxhall’s Nine Elms Embassy Gardens Development, it has an Irish-influenced menu and in-house bakery. Add to that a huge outdoor Sky Pool suspended between two residential towers, 10 floors above the restaurant, and you’ve got one of London’s most exciting new openings.
The London Warehouse development will be a major Mancunian opening, encompassing an apartment-hotel from Native, a Blok gym, and new restaurant from Pablo Flack and David Waddington, the partnership behind east London’s Bistrotheque restaurant. Set in a beautiful, historic red-brick warehouse on the edge of the Northern Quarter, the new Bistrotheque will be an all-day spot on the ground floor, complete with lounge, coffee counter, mini cinema, bar, private dining and outdoor terraces.
Twitter-provocateur and chef Gary Usher will open his sixth restaurant, Kala, in 2019. His first located in Manchester city centre, Kala follows the huge success of The Sticky Walnut and Hispi and will take a similar approach to the food, with bistro dishes such as beef tartare and his famous parmesan and truffle chips.