After trading for 18 years, the award-winning London bar Milk & Honey will close permanently due to the hospitality curfew imposed in England.
Announcing the news on Twitter, owner Jonathan Downey said, “We’ve got two more nights of drastically reduced trading at Milk & Honey (Fri/Sat) and then, after over 18yrs in Soho, we’re closing for good. After an extension to the #ForfeitureMoratorium, we’d planned to trade until Christmas but the curfew killed us off.
“We used to open from [18:00]-[03:00] Mon-Sat but since lockdown, we’ve been trading [18:00]-[01:00] Thu-Sat at much reduced revenues while protecting six of 15 jobs. The curfew means we can’t carry on. Saturday will be the last night of Milk & Honey and the loss of the last six jobs.”
Through the Hospitality Union, which he founded, Downey has been campaigned tirelessly for more government support to mitigate the risks of business closures and job loses within the hospitality space because of the pandemic.
While the UK government has extended the forfeiture moratorium, preventing business evictions until the end of the year, they have also imposed a 10pm closing time on pubs, bars and restaurants across England from yesterday (24 September), which has been widely condemned.
Trade bodies such as UK Hospitality are warning the sector is “teetering on the edge” following the new curfew rules, and said it could lead to 540,000 job losses.