Richard Caring's iconic Mayfair restaurant reopened this evening with a curfew-busting express menu after the businessman blasted Boris Johnson's new lockdown restrictions.
34 Mayfair welcomed Londoners back today, debuting a menu featuring dishes from a new rotisserie grill, with lockdown-friendly opening hours.
However, perhaps the most noteworthy part of the reopening are two figures of Boris Johnson waving Unions Jacks positioned outside the restaurant, recreating his infamous zip wire stunt.
The dig comes after Mr Caring blasted the government's decision to implement the curfew and criticised the PM's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Richard Caring positioned two figures of Boris Johnson waving Unions Jacks outside his Mayfair restaurant as it reopened today, recreating the PM's infamous zip wire stunt
The dig comes after Mr Caring blasted the government's decision to implement the curfew and criticised the PM's handling of the coronavirus pandemic
Diners will be able to view the new Boris figures when visiting the restaurant.
On Monday to Friday the restaurant will be open from 12pm to 9pm and on weekends it will serve customers to 5pm to 9pm.
It will also have an express menu available for diners, allowing them to eat three courses in under an hour - and ensure they are out of the restaurant before the 10pm curfew.
The menu comes with a range of options, with starters including Steak tartare with quail egg yolk, mains including Wiltshire free range chicken and desserts like salted caramel truffles.
The reopening comes after Mr Caring savaged the government's coronavirus curfew.
Speaking to the Daily Mail last week, he said: 'The Government's naive and ignorant decision to shut down pubs and restaurants after 10pm is going to create havoc in an industry which is already on its knees.
'Far from helping to control the coronavirus, it could drive infection rates upwards. And it will cost countless jobs, quite probably more than a million, in the run-up to Christmas.
'Make no mistake, this is a disastrous decision, taken by people who do not understand what terrible damage they are doing to the country.'
A few days later, Mr Caring, who is also the owner of the Ivy, Annabel's and Le Caprice, said the situation for the country now looks 'super bleak'.
Mr Caring, with wife Patricia, who is also the owner of the Ivy, Annabel's and Le Caprice, has been critical of the government's handling of the pandemic
Pub bosses have warned that the restrictions will lead to thousands of job losses
He said: 'We really are at a crisis point, with very little direction. I'm afraid it looks super bleak. There's got to be a trade-off that stops the economy being damaged to the point of no return.'
Mr Caring's Caprice Holdings, mobilised an incredible 700-strong volunteer army to help staff deliver 75,000 meals a week for NHS heroes and vulnerable people at the height of the pandemic in May.
The company utilised its Ivy and Bills' establishments in cities such as London , Edinburgh, Leeds and Birmingham to try to produce up to one million meals.
Mr Caring, who hails from north London and built his fortune importing clothes from Hong Kong in the 1970s and 1980s, said at the time: ‘This is a time for reflection, patience, understanding, co-operation, trust, belief and most important of all; action!
'We have a hub of collective kitchens and brands in London and have tentacles across the whole of UK and we are blessed to have the most amazing staff and suppliers who truly want to help, even though there is risk involved.'
Scott's, Annabel's and Sexy Fish made 7,000 meals a week for frontline NHS workers and the vulnerable amid the pandemic. Volunteers place bags of prepared meals onto a table in Annabel's garden ahead of them being delivered
Mr Caring is one of several leading figures in the hospitality industry to blast Boris Johnson's 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants.
Patrick Dardis, chief executive of pub group Young’s, said: 'It feels like it was only days ago that the Government was encouraging Britain to get back to work. Yet in a knee-jerk volte-face, it has succeeded in undoing all of its good work – while simultaneously fostering a climate of fear just when it seemed that normality was returning.
'Meanwhile, rather than prevent transmissions, the new curfew on pubs and restaurants will push drinkers and diners out of Covid-secure venues into each other’s homes, and possibly even illegal raves.
'There’s simply no logic behind the new restrictions. Just when British businesses need political leadership, the Government has pressed the self-destruct button.'
Hugh Osmond, founder of Punch Taverns and Various Eateries PLC, said: 'Following the Government’s introduction of a 10pm ‘restaurant curfew’, you could be forgiven for thinking that diners are more likely to spread Covid as midnight approaches.
'But that simply isn’t the case. In the real world, the actual PHE Infection Survey for last week recorded 228 Covid incidents in care homes, compared to just 25 across all food outlets and restaurants. The Prime Minister’s exhortation for people to once again work from home is equally evidence-free.
'In fact, the only certain outcome is that it will further imperil Britain’s economy – putting young people on the dole, closing thousands of small businesses and ultimately, in the medium term, costing more lives as a result of economic deprivation than it will ever save.'
Pub bosses have warned that the restrictions will lead to thousands of job losses, while business leaders say the curfew hammers sales, increases infection rates and has been implemented without any scientific basis.
On Thursday, the impact of curfew on the hospitality industry was revealed in data from CGA, based on a survey of 7,000 venues.
Takings in venues last Friday were down 37 per cent, compared to the same day in 2019, and sales remained below 75 per cent of normal levels on each of the four days after curfew rules were enforced.
Commons science committee chairman Greg Clark demanded ‘transparency’ over the advice, as a Conservative council leader said the industry had been ‘thrown to the lions’.
Writing to Health Secretary Matt Hancock and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, Mr Clark said: ‘It is important the Government is transparent about the scientific advice that it draws on to inform policy decisions so that the reasons for them can be seen and understood.’
He added: ‘Science proceeds through openness and robust scrutiny and it is important that this approach is followed by the Government during the pandemic.’