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Planned Los Angeles outpost of St. John on hold for now due to coronavirus

Fergus Henderson, chef of St. John.
Fergus Henderson, chef of St. John.
(Will Oliver / EPA)

In recent months, Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver had been spending more time in Los Angeles readying the first out-of-London outpost of their legendary restaurant, St. John.

It was one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of the year. That was, until the coronavirus outbreak wreaked havoc on the world and upended the restaurant industry for the foreseeable future. Now, St. John Los Angeles is on hold, one of many planned openings that the virus has put in jeopardy.

“As we head into the eye of the storm here,” Gulliver said in an email Monday from London, “our L.A. plans are now on a big hold and will be picked up again on the other side of all this. We all, of course, have to deal with what is smack bang in front of us.”

Gulliver said they had “detailed design, senior management and brigade and much more” lined up for the restaurant, which was to be at the Platform complex in Culver City, all of which are in some degree of limbo now.

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“This crisis has set the whole of the hospitality world way back on its heels in not just California and NYC,” Gulliver wrote. “Taking things forward now given all the uncertainties is obviously neither prudent nor sensible. The world will be a different place when we are through this.”

Gulliver and Ferguson closed their bakery in London on Monday and will close all their restaurants by midday Tuesday.

Uncowed, Gulliver wrote: “This crisis will end and we must do all we can to stop it and make sure that we are fit and ready on the other side. On a happy note, our online wine sales have been running away, it’s a nice thought that we can offer some solace as we all go into a life hermetic!”


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