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Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia restaurants to close in Cambridge - but better news for Las Iguanas

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Casual Dining Group, the owner of Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge and Las Iguanas, is the latest dining group to call in administrators as hospitality sector losses mount.

Casual Dining owns Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge and Las Iguanas
Casual Dining owns Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge and Las Iguanas

This week has already seen Byron burger group call in administrators. The Cotto restaurant at the Gonville Hotel will not reopen, putting 36 staff at risk. Vanderlyle restaurant on Mill Road has said it may not be able to reopen this year. One of the first victims of the pandemic was Carluccios. The Restaurant Group, owner of Frankie & Benny’s, is in talks with landlords over restructuring plans. Its Cambridge Retail Park and Cambridge Leisure Park sites are listed as “temporarily closed”.

Casual Dining has announced 91 of its 250 outlets in the UK will close as the group struggles to return following the devastation caused by lockdown.

The Cafe Rouge on Bridge Street is set to close. The three Bella Italia outlets in Cambridge - at The Grafton, on Bridge Street and at Cambridge Leisure Park - are also vulnerable, with a formal announcement expected. The Las Iguanas on Quayside, however, will remain open. Staff at Las Iguanas have been told that any new owner is expected to make decisions about the future of the individual restaurant sites.

CL Kennedy, PM Saville, DC Imison and CM Williamson were appointed joint administrators of Casual Dining Bidco, Casual Dining London, Casual Dining Restaurants Group, Casual Dining, Casual Dining Services, Bella Italia Group, Bella Italia Restaurants, Las Iguanas Holdings, Las Iguanas, Cafe Rouge Restaurants and Café Rouge.

The affairs, business and property of the companies are being managed by the administrators, who act as agents of the company without personal liability.

More than 1,900 jobs - out of 6,000 - will be lost as a result of the chain’s collapse.

Casual Dining Group reports multiple offers for the business.

The carnage comes just as pubs, restaurants and hairdressers prepare to reopen tomorrow (July 4).

A study by health and safety experts Protecting.co.uk ran an online poll which suggested a staggering 80 per cent of people would not be going for a drink as soon as the pubs were open.

“It’s been three months since lockdown began,” said company spokesman Mark Hall. “I think people are feeling a bit anxious about going to places that are likely to be busy.”

Read more

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The grand reopening: How Cambridge pubs aim to keep punters safe from Covid-19

Byron burger chain brings in administrators

Alex Rushmer says Cambridge restaurant Vanderlyle may not reopen this year due to Covid-19 crisis

Cotto restaurant will not reopen at The Gonville Hotel in Cambridge, putting 36 staff at risk

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