The number of restaurants opening in London is set to increase this year with a “particularly strong” autumn pipeline expected. Website Hot Dinners estimates that there could be more than 200 launches this year compared with 137 in 2020.

Trading in August in central London has been far stronger than anticipated, reports The Standard a situation that has been boosted by this week’s easing of self-isolation rules that have caused pingdemic-related issues across the hospitality sector.

The London pipeline for the autumn opening season includes 38 openings that have been confirmed with an estimated total expected to reach as high as 80. The Standard reports industry observers saying they have been astonished by the number and scale of new ventures considering how badly central London was hit by lockdowns.

Some of the most ambitious launches already include the DC Comics-themed Park Row in Soho; Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s four-venue collection of eating and drinking spaces The Lane, at Theatre Royal Drury Lane; and Covent Garden’s Florence-themed bar and restaurant Ave Mario.

Those scheduled for autumn include Haugen at The Pavilion in Stratford and the restaurants and bars at The Londoner Hotel on Leicester Square.