D&D London to open new City rooftop restaurant: Restaurant operator D&D London has signed an agreement with Generali Real Estate to launch a 9,257 square foot venue on the 14th floor of new development 120 Fenchurch Street in the City. The restaurant, which is set to open in spring 2019, will operate on the floor below a public sky garden and will boast views of the capital. The building, which is adjacent to Leadenhall Market, will in addition provide some 420,000 square foot of new Grade A office accommodation over 13 storeys, and about 27,000 square foot of retail space at ground level. D&D London chairman and chief executive Des Gunewardena said: “After a series of regional UK openings, including our recently launched rooftop restaurant 20 Stories in Manchester, and the announcement of our international expansion with Bluebird opening in New York later this year, 120 Fenchurch Street represents a return to London for what will be our largest new venture here since Aster in Victoria. London continues to be a significant part of D&D’s growth strategy and the project also reflects our continuing commitment to the City. 120 Fenchurch is a remarkable building and I hope we can create a restaurant to match.” Tina Paillet, Generali Real Estate head of technology and product development, added: “From the outset, our focus as a long-term real estate investor has been to carefully curate the retail and restaurant offer within our development at 120 Fenchurch Street, to create a vibrant hub for this part of the City. We are confident D&D is the perfect fit for our building and look forward to them creating one of London’s most exciting rooftop restaurants.” Shelley Sandzer advised Generali Real Estate.
Mowgli and Friska to strengthen Manchester presence after agreeing University Green deals: Indian street food restaurant Mowgli and independent healthy eating brand Friska have signed for sites at the University Green development in Manchester. The scheme, being developed by property company Bruntwood and the University of Manchester, now has nine of its 12 units pre-let ahead of its opening later this year. Mowgli, which was founded in 2014 by barrister, food writer and Indian cookery teacher Nisha Katona, already operates a restaurant in the Corn Exchange in Manchester and has been seeking another site in the city as part of its ongoing expansion plans. The 100-seater restaurant is set to open in October. Katona said: “Mowgli is all about the smash-and-grab of fresh, light zingy Indian food. This makes it a perfect fit for the pace and exacting appetites of the university students and staff.” Meanwhile, University Green will mark Friska’s third site in the city, alongside Manchester Science Park and St Peter’s Square. The University Green restaurant, which is set to open in September, will accommodate up to 70 customers. Friska co-founder Ed Brown said: “We are delighted to be opening in University Green because it’s a site we looked at a long time ago when it was still in the early planning stages with Bruntwood. This will be our third site in Manchester and hopefully one of many more in this great city.” Other operators already signed up include artisan coffee house Takk, Loungers, better burger brand Five Guys and Pret A Manger. Metis Real Estate Advisors represented Bruntwood on the deals.
Wingstop secures West End site for debut UK restaurant: US chicken brand Wingstop has secured a site in Shaftesbury Avenue in the West End of London for its first UK restaurant. Wingstop has more than 1,000 restaurants internationally, including 25 owned by US rap star Rick Ross. The 25-year letting in Shaftesbury Avenue is the start of what Wingstop has said will be a rapid UK expansion programme. The 4,257 square foot premises, previously occupied by HSBC Bank, will span two storeys. Westminster City Council has granted planning permission and a premises licence to run a restaurant operating daily. Lambert Smith Hampton advised the landlord, managing and overseeing the change of use for the building to move from a retail bank (A2) to a restaurant (A3). Alex Lowry, Lambert Smith Hampton director for retail, restaurants and leisure, told Property Week: “We expect this to be the perfect UK flagship location for Wingstop. It’s a hugely popular chain in the US, with big UK ambitions, starting in London. It’s an ideal time to set up shop here with Crossrail on the horizon an influx of new visitors will follow, and sales are estimated to increase to more than £11bn by 2020 in the West End.”
McDonald’s test breakfast catering in US: McDonald’s is testing breakfast catering in the US. The company has started the pilot programme in 195 restaurants in the Orlando area of Florida. The bundled morning meals include more than a dozen pre-selected catering trays serving everything from egg mcmuffins to pancakes to parfaits. Diners can also craft their own breakfast bundles. The packages, available for delivery through UberEats or for pick-up, target groups of six, 12 or 18 and larger. Prices are determined at the individual restaurant level and may vary. Customers in central Florida who want to avoid delivery fees can call ahead and pick up their orders. McDonald’s has created a dedicated phone line for pick-up catering orders. A spokeswoman told Nation’s Restaurant News the Orlando catering programme was only a test and no decision has been made about expanding beyond the pilot area. It comes as other restaurant companies focus more on off-premise sales. In March, Dunkin’ Donuts began offering catering in 16 locations in Massachusetts, Vermont, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
SSP opens three new sites at Taipei station: SSP, the UK operator of food and beverage outlets in travel locations worldwide, has opened three new sites at Taipei station in Taiwan. The new units are Hong Kong premium noodle brand CheeKei; Wee Nam Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice, a Singapore brand with a regional presence in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia, serving Hainanese chicken rice and a variety of Nanyang-inspired dishes; and Khaosoi House, a concept created by SSP, which serves Northern Thai cuisine and specialty curry noodles. Chris Rayner, chief executive for Asia Pacific at SSP, said: “Taipei station is renowned for its great collection of food and beverage offers. With these new openings, we will be adding even more regional choices for passengers at the station. We are delighted to be embarking on this exciting new venture.” Taipei station has daily traffic of more than 500,000 and held the food and beverage business record in 2016 with sales figures of TWD$2.2bn.
Two Heads Beer Co lines up Herne Hill and Surbiton sites: Independent craft beer retailer Two Heads Beer Co is lining up two more sites. The company has made offers on outlets in Surbiton in Surrey and Herne Hill in south London as it looks to add to its six-strong portfolio. The company, which is led by former BrewDog head of retail acquisitions James Hickson, is currently aiming to raise £350,000 on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to open four sites. Hickson said of the two potential new venues: “Both fit the bill in terms of location, size and demographics. While we are at the offer stage only, we are confident we’ll be able to secure at least one of these sites for the business. Great sites are there for the taking for a business such as ours and we are excited to get our next heads of terms agreed as soon as possible.” Two Heads Beer Co is offering 14.9% equity in return for the £350,000 investment. So far, 143 investors have pledged £188,830 with 24 days remaining. Two Heads Beer Co trades as The Beer Boutique and We Brought Beer brands and currently operates six stores – in Balham, Putney, Clapham, Tooting, Wandsworth and Tunbridge Wells. The company generated revenue of more than £958,000 in 2017. Hickson founded We Brought Beer in 2014. It merged with fellow bottle shop business The Beer Boutique in January, with founder Jon Kaye becoming executive chairman of Two Heads Beer Co.
EAT partners with Toast Ale to reduce food waste by turning surplus bread into beer: Fresh food-to-go retailer EAT has partnered with Toast Ale that sees it give its surplus crusts of bread to Toast, which turn it into a range of craft ales and lagers then sold in-store. EAT stocks Toast Pale Ale and Toast Craft Lager in all five of its licensed sites – Royal Festival Hall, Heathrow (Terminal 2 and Terminal 3), Edinburgh and Windsor. Toast’s first brews of the pale ale and lager used 1,040kg of surplus fresh bread donated by EAT. EAT marketing director Holly Oades said: “We’re always looks for ways to reduce our food waste. Through working with Toast we have now found a way to give new life to this bread. Not only does it cut waste in the kitchen, the beers taste fantastic and Toast gives 100% of its profits to charity.” Toast chief brand and finance officer Louisa Ziane added: “We’re thrilled to be closing the loop with EAT, creating delicious beers with surplus fresh bread from the production of its sandwiches. Our profits will go to the charity Feedback so we can together tackle the systemic causes of food waste.”
Cotswolds Distillery closes crowdfunding campaign after raising almost £2.9m: The Cotswolds Distillery, which produces artisan gin and whisky, has completed its fund-raise on crowdfunding platform after raising almost £2.9m. The distillery was aiming to raise £2m and was offering 6.23% equity in return for the investment. It has now closed the campaign having raised £2,872,460 from 1,215 investors. The funds will be used to boost the distillery’s brands by accelerating investment in advertising and promotion, deepening its sales and distribution network, and building a visitors’ centre as a “brand home”. The Cotswolds Distillery was founded by chief executive Dan Szor, while directors include Richard Watling, former senior director at Allied Distillers and Diageo. The distillery recently secured a £145,000 grant from the Rural Development Programme for England towards the launch of the visitors’ centre. It has signed a lease on a site in Bourton-on-the-Water to open its first off-site shop.
Bun House And Tea Room founders to take jian bing concept to Old Spitalfields Market: Bun House and Tea Room founders Alex Peffly and Z He are to take their concept focused on Chinese street food dish, jian bing, to Old Spitalfields Market. The duo launched Pleasant Lady Jian Bing Trading Stall in Greek Street, Soho, in April. Now they are heading to Old Spitalfields Market in Horner Square with a stall in The Kitchens from Monday, 11 June. Jian bing is traditional crispy skin crepes, which are stuffed with savoury fillings, folded and wrapped. Pleasant Lady uses the flavours of He’s native Canton on its concise menu. Jian bing is made fresh to order, cooked on a traditional hot plate and served once the batter has crisped and turned golden brown. Topped with a fried egg and fresh vegetables and layered with fiery tomato sauce, the jian bing comes with a choice of pork, lamb or chicken, with house-made soy milk and soft drinks completing the menu. He said: “Old Spitalfields Market is the perfect east London home for Pleasant Lady Trading Stall. The spirit of the market is a great match for our jian bing, which is designed to be eaten on the go – the best way to browse the market stalls will be to grab a jian bing and go for a wander. It will be exciting to bring a much-loved taste of my childhood in Canton to the hustle and bustle of east London.”
BrewDog opens ninth London site with Islington launch, first allowing customers to brew own beer: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has opened its ninth London site, in Islington – and its first that allows customers to brew their own beer. The company has opened the site in Essex Road, which features 14 taps and four 20-litre homebrew kits, as well as a deli fridge stocked with a range of beers to drink in or take away. The 100-capacity bar, which includes a heated outdoor seating area, marks BrewDog’s fifth opening on 2018, bringing its total number of bars to 36 in the UK and 54 worldwide. BrewDog co-founder James Watt said: “London has established itself as a hub for passionate, innovative and experimental craft brewers and we’re proud to be able to stand by their side in the crusade for awesome craft beer. Collaborating and connecting with like-minded people is what fuels us, so we’re thrilled to be able to welcome more zeal, brilliance and love for craft beer into the fold with the awesome homebrew kits in our ninth London bar. The more people we can introduce to the world of beer and brewing, the better our community will be.”
Healthy eating delivery company bought out of administration: A healthy eating delivery company that counts celebrities among its client base has been bought out of administration by north west counterpart Kettlebell Kitchen, saving 20 jobs. Soulmate Food is a range of lifestyle menu packages providing breakfast, lunch and dinner across a variety of plans. It allows customers to create a meal specific to them. Jason Elliott, Ben Cowgill and Craig Johns from Cowgill Holloway Business Recovery were appointed as joint administrators of Soulmate Food on 30 April 2018. The sale to Kettlebell Kitchen has allowed for the continuity of supply to customers, preserving the goodwill and intangible asset value. Kettlebell Kitchen director Jamie Alaise told Insider Media: “Soulmate Food is a fantastic brand built up over nine to ten solid years – one of the very first to launch into this market. With a strong and more southern clientele complementing Kettlebell Kitchen’s more northern customer base, this now positions us as one of the largest meal preparation companies within the UK. The brands and offerings are very different; appealing to different customer wants and demands. This means we can now cater to a wider spectrum of people when it comes to nutrition than any other prep company on the market today.” Freeths advised Soulmate Food while Knights Solicitors advised Kettlebell Kitchen.
Burning Night Group opens fifth Potting Shed, in Harrogate: Bar company Burning Night Group has opened a £1.1m venue in Harrogate that houses a fifth site for its Potting Shed brand. Ormsborough, parent company of Potting Shed Trading, which was founded by the Burning Night management team and backed by funds managed by Downing, has transformed a site in Montpellier Gardens formerly occupied by bar restaurant Rift & Co, creating 50 jobs. The venue features the brand’s trademark brightly coloured wooden sheds with private bench seating, an indoor “lawn”, cocktails, craft beer, artisan spirits and a range of food. Director Jade Renner said: “We take a lot of care in finding all of our sites and this landmark building fits perfectly with our brand and gives us a great opportunity.” The other Potting Sheds are in Guiseley, Northallerton, Bingley and Beverley, while a sixth site is due to open in Southport in June.
Charles Wells partners with Fourpure as part of Wandering Brewer Project:Bedford-based brewer and retailer Charles Wells has partnered with London’s Fourpure Brewing Co as part of its Wandering Brewer Project. The project, a two-year initiative between Charles Wells and some of Britain’s top breweries to create small-batch beers, marks Charles Wells’ journey leading to the opening of its new £13m brewery in Bedford, which is set to be operational by summer 2019. The collaboration with Fourpure will span 12 months and see four different limited-edition keg beers. The partnership plays on the theme of adventure and discovery, which “embodies what both Fourpure and the Wandering Brewer Project stand for”. The first keg beer is Rucksack Pale Ale – a 4% pale ale with spicy and citrus notes. From June, Rucksack will be available at select Charles Wells pubs in the UK and for free-trade customers through selected wholesale partners. Over the course of the year, three further keg beers from the collaboration with Fourpure will be released – Appalachian IPA 4.7%, Bavarian Helles 4.0% and Rhine Pilsner 4.7%. Each one will follow the travelling theme and be supplied on a limited run.
200 Degrees to open seventh site, in Sheffield on Monday: Nottingham-based coffee roaster and retailer 200 Degrees will open its seventh site, in Sheffield on Monday (4 June). The company is opening the 83-seat outlet in Division Street as it pushes ahead with plans to expand to between 20 and 25 sites during the next three to five years as well as develop the wholesale side of the business. Co-founder and managing director Tom Vincent said: “Once again we have to thanks a host of designers, builders, suppliers and our own fantastic team for getting Sheffield open on time. We’ve had great feedback so far and we’re really looking forward to becoming part of the thriving coffee culture and food and drink scene, I studied here so I know Division Street well and the city is very close to my heart. We’ve also just launched our new cold brew bottles and Nitro coffee in cans as well as working on more venues, wholesale and some very exciting collaborations set for the end of the year. It would be fair to say 2018 has been a busy one so far.” 200 Degrees has two sites in Nottingham and one each in Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff and Leicester. In December, 200 Degrees received a £3m investment from Foresight Group.
Freshii to introduce fully compostable containers and cutlery in Irish restaurants: Canadian-based health brand Freshii is to introduce a fully compostable range of food containers and cups in all its Irish restaurants. The food containers will degrade into the earth in just six to eight weeks with only organic matter left behind. The new forks, spoons, knives and straws are also made from eco-friendly vegetable starches that decompose quickly. Freshii will provide compost bins in store so every item can be disposed of correctly. In addition to introducing compostable packaging in all its Irish outlets, Freshii is encouraging customers to bring reusable cups when either purchasing coffee or tea at Freshii and will offer 20 cents discount as an incentive. Freshii is also planning to sell reusable cups in its restaurants. Freshii Ireland master franchisee and chief executive Dave O’Donoghue said: “We are committed to being kind to the earth by eliminating traditional fast food practices. We are making efforts to decrease our carbon footprint and ensure we are operating an environmentally-friendly business from using compostable packaging, natural eco-friendly cleaning products to our simple food preparation setup and cleaning that does not require energy-hungry dishwashers or ovens.” Freshii has 11 sites in Ireland.
Pure Gym to occupy JD Wetherspoon site: A JD Wetherspoon pub in Thornton Heath, south London, is to be replaced by a 24-hour Pure Gym venue. The Flora Sandes pub will make way for an all-hours gym despite efforts to spare the pub, which closed earlier this month. Locals had campaigned against the closure of the Wetherspoon pub in Brigstock Road, opposite Thornton Heath station. A petition demanding the pub be saved gathered more than 3,000 signatures and was presented to Croydon Council.
Plans lodged for £20m hotel in Bath: Plans have been lodged for a £20m, 202-bedroom, hotel in the centre of Bath. Developer Dominvs Project Company said the “premium lifestyle” hotel would also include a cafe bar and restaurant at ground-floor level as well as a delicatessen and a gym at lower ground-floor level. The gym will benefit from its own independent access/reception at street level. The six-storey hotel would be built on what is currently Bath College’s Allen Building in James Street West, built in 1991 within the city’s conservation area as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The application said the hotel would provide up to £4.27m benefit to the local economy and create up to 100 jobs, reports Insider Media.
CH&Co Group retains business certifications: CH&Co has retained its business certifications in quality management, environmental standards, energy management and health and safety. The business holds ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications. The company was praised for the way it complies operationally with its management systems and also received recognition for the detailed training provided to staff. In addition, CH&Co continues to hold “Safe Systems in Procurement” status. This umbrella organisation facilitates mutual recognition between health and safety pre-qualification schemes and allows buyers to verify that a contractor holds valid safety certification. Emma Hill, CH&Co head of food, health, safety and environment, said: “We’ve worked hard to make compliance part of CH&Co’s culture, and it’s great the auditor praised the understanding of both the leadership team and our employees. We will maintain this strong focus and ensure continued excellence operationally, environmentally and from a health and safety perspective, to benefit our business, our clients and our employees.”