Gordon Ramsay to launch third Street Pizza site: Gordon Ramsay has announced he will open a third site in London under his £15 all-you-can-eat Street Pizza brand next month, in Southwark. The new site will open on Thursday (5 November) under the chef’s Union Street Cafe site in Great Suffolk Street. He also operates Street Pizza sites in St Paul’s and at his York & Albany site in Camden. Ramsay said: “This project has been in the pipeline for the past 12 months. You may think it is crazy to open a restaurant across these torrid times, but we are going to bounce back, and we have to get this economy kick-started and back to where it was.” In August, accounts for Ramsay’s restaurant business showed it made a profit of more than £15m last year and was still planning to open 50 venues across the UK. The chef is also planning a major expansion into Asia with 200 sites in the next five years. His ambitions to “create a billion-dollar dining proposition” are unaffected by the covid-19 pandemic. Ramsay believes the restaurants will create around 2,000 jobs in the UK including some in head office. “We have big dreams, big plans and a global strategy so ambitious it takes my breath away,” he told The Daily Mail.
Brindisa founder Ratnesh Bagdai and chef Steve Ellis acquire first pub for new venture: Ratnesh Bagdai, the founder and co-owner of the Brindisa Restaurant Group, and award-winning chef Steve Ellis have secured the first pub for their new venture Dining Etc Ltd. Propel has learned that the pair have acquired The Bailiwick Englefield Green in Surrey, which used to be operated by Brunning & Price, through property advisers Davis Coffer Lyons (DCL). Bagdai, is the founder and co-owner of the Brindisa Restaurant Group, which operates six sites across central London, while Ellis was previously chef-patron of The Oxford Blue, Windsor, and was a protege of Gordon Ramsay and Clare Smyth. Dining Etc Ltd has taken a new 20-year, free-of-tie lease with a rent of £80,000, which includes the Bailiwick Pub and adjacent Cheeseman’s Cottage manager’s accommodation, which dates back to the 1790s. Once a Victorian shop, The Bailiwick comprises substantial accommodation and includes a terraced beer garden overlooking the neighbouring woodland. The menu on offer at The Bailiwick will be the “finest of British cuisine with the best of locally sourced produce including the Windsor Great Park and local suppliers”. DCL acted on behalf of the landlord, Havenchoice Limited. Paul Tallentyre, head of Pubs and Bars at DCL, said: “The Bailiwick is in an exceptionally popular rural location in an idyllic setting, with immediate access to the park. The new tenants know the location well and intend to carry out a full refit and provide all day service to a high standard.”
Gideon Joffe acquires two Laurel Canyon Ventures sites out of administration:Gideon Joffe has acquired out of administration two of the sites previously operated by his family’s Laurel Canyon Ventures business, Propel has learned. Asher Miller and Henry Lan, of David Rubin & Partners, were appointed joint administrators of the four-strong business, which operates the Chez Bob, Bob’s Cafe and Monkeynuts concepts, earlier this summer. The company operated Chez Bob in Belsize Park, Monkeynuts in Crouch End, and sites under the Bob’s Cafe name in Muswell Hill, and Salusbury Road in NW6. The business was run by Gideon Joffe, son of Giraffe co-founder Russell Joffe, who sadly passed away earlier this year aged 62. Propel understands that Gideon Joffe has acquired back and reopened the sites under the all-day bistro concept, Bob’s Cafe.
Papa John’s franchisee adds seating after alleged Eat Out To Help Out scam investigation: A Papa John’s takeaway pizza boss under investigation for an alleged Eat Out To Help Out scam has suddenly added extra seating in his stores. Millionaire Raheel Choudhary, who owns 61 UK Papa John’s franchises, made the changes after the Daily Mail exposed how he claimed taxpayers’ cash on thousands of eat-in meals despite most of his stores being collection and delivery only. He has also switched Google review searches to say “dining in” is available in most of his stores. Previously, this was listed as forbidden in all but one of his franchises. Papa John’s head office, which had told him not to take part in the Eat Out To Help Out initiative, said: “We are conducting a thorough investigation into all allegations made. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time but, clearly, any attempt to distort or obstruct the truth would be unacceptable.” Under the government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme, which ran on Mondays to Wednesdays from 3 August until the end of the month, diners got up to half their meal free up to £10 per customer if they ate at participating restaurants. Takeaways and deliveries were excluded. Mr Choudhary has confirmed he claimed £185,000 in the offer, but says all were from customers who ate in at 40 of his stores that took part in it. Papa John’s head office had told franchisees not to sign up for the scheme because most stores were collection and delivery only and, therefore, ineligible. To stop the spread of coronavirus, the company had also instructed Mr Choudhary to only allow one customer at a time to enter his stores and to make them wait outside for collections. Mr Choudhary told the Daily Mail he is “co-operating fully” with the Papa John’s investigation but has abruptly made a number of changes since being told of the allegations on 5 October. In his branch in Norbury, south London, where there was previously a single chair and small table, there are now five extra chairs.
Deliveroo teams up with Pret and others to feed thousands of poorer families:Deliveroo has teamed up with Co-op, Pret A Manger, FareShare and the Felix Project to deliver food to thousands of families in need this Christmas. The campaign will see hundreds of thousands of healthy snacks, pieces of fresh fruit and vegetables – via companies such as Sheringhams – sandwiches and supermarket items delivered to poorer families in the coming weeks and months, with the first deliveries taking place during this half term school holiday. Deliveroo’s “family food delivery unit” signals the company’s long-term commitment to supporting families in need. The business has joined charity FareShare and Co-op as members of the Marcus Rashford Child Food Poverty Taskforce, supporting his campaign to end child food poverty. Food will be distributed through front-line charities, food banks and families. Deliveroo has been collecting unsold food from Co-op stores, unsold sandwiches from Pret and delivering them to the Felix Project. This will expand across London and other parts of the country in the coming weeks. Felix Project is delivering this food to schools, holiday clubs, youth organisations, food banks, local charities, and covid-19 emergency food hubs across London. Deliveroo chief executive and founder Will Shu said: “We want to play our part in supporting families in need and are committed to working with our partners to provide food to families between now and Christmas, and beyond.” Pret A Manger UK managing director Clare Clough added: “No family should ever go hungry, which is why we’re pleased to join Deliveroo in this new scheme. Every day, unsold food is distributed to those who need it most and we are pleased that through our new delivery partnership with Deliveroo and the Felix Project, we can extend this to even more families and vulnerable children.”
Dutch restaurant brand looks to make UK debut in Edinburgh: A Dutch restaurant brand is set to take over the former site of the Wee Restaurant on Frederick Street in Edinburgh city centre to make its UK debut. The plans also include a mock-up of the building exterior, with the Greenwoods branding and the tagline Amsterdam – Edinburgh. Greenwoods is a popular tearoom on the Singel canal in Amsterdam that serves classic breakfast menu items like full English breakfasts, Eggs Benedict and their speciality Eggs Greenwoods: two poached eggs on soda bread with cottage cheese and almonds – as well as a three-pancake banoffee stack. Lunch options include a shredded duck burger, and a cajun melt with cheese and bacon and an “Angus burger”.
Indian restaurant boss launches spice business: The restaurateur behind one of the only Indian restaurants in Yorkshire last year to receive a Michelin Plate is behind a new business that is aiming to turn up the heat in the spice market and meet the rising demand from top chefs and ambitious amateurs who are tackling covid-19 by cooking at home. The team behind Tapasya Spices said it is drawing on its contacts throughout India to import around 50 varieties of spices plus basmati rice, lentils and other pulses to support the rise in home cooking and demand in other areas, while creating 50 jobs, with the potential to increase that to 200 roles in the longer term. Mukesh Tirkoti, chief executive of Tapasya Spices, said: “Indian spices are in demand at fine-dining restaurants for various cuisines, not just Indian. They are also important to other sectors, such as the expanding craft gin market, but it is not easy to source the best quality and that is what we will bring. Tirkoti has a long history of running Indian fine-dining restaurants including launching the award-winning Tapasya in Hull in 2013 and Tapasya@Marina in 2016. The new business, Tapasya Spices, is a separate venture and sees Tirkoti joined by lifelong friends and fellow directors Meghdut (Bobby) Biswas and Soumen Hajra, both based in Chelmsford. The team is completed by renowned chef KK Anand, whose career started at the five-star hotel Sofitel in Delhi before he progressed to similarly luxurious establishments in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the US and London. Anand will lead the drive to showcase the products of Tapasya Spices with cooking demonstrations online and on social media. He said: “Every product has been carefully selected to bring something new and different to the UK market, all tested and endorsed by some of the most celebrated Indian chefs in the world.”
Hakkasan Group to open 11th Hakkasan site, this time in Muscat: Hakkasan Group is opening a Hakkasan restaurant in Oman’s capital of Muscat, making it the Cantonese restaurant’s 11th location around the world. The new restaurant will sit inside the St Regis Al Mouj Muscat, and will officially open its doors at the same time as the hotel does in 2022. There are currently two Hakkasan sites, one in UAE restaurants, one in Dubai and the other in Abu Dhabi. The Hakkasan Group will also open a new concept called Kamasaka. The restaurant aims to channel Japanese ceremonial cuisine and create contemporary Japanese food. “Between the arrival of our flagship restaurant, Hakkasan, and the grand opening of our newest culinary masterpiece, Kamasaka, the possibilities to treat yourself at the exquisite St Regis hotel are endless,” said Angela Lester, executive vice-president of business development for Hakkasan Group.
Giant gym to open in Staffordshire: The biggest gym, spa and fitness centre to be built in Staffordshire opens its doors in Stoke-on-Trent this weekend. The three-storey gym, M Club, is housed in a 70,000 square foot expansion of the Waterworld leisure resort at Festival Park in Stoke-on-Trent. The centre has more than 300 pieces of equipment and will open its doors at 8am on Saturday. “I can confidently say that this gym boasts the biggest range of fitness equipment you’ll find in any other gym in the UK,” said M Club owner and founder Mo Chaudry. The spa area includes a swimming pool, plus sauna, steam room, plunge pool, hydrotherapy pool and heated seating. There are also two rooms for physiotherapy and sports massage, a large yoga studio, ladies-only gym area, spinning studio and another large studio area that will be used for fitness classes. The opening of the new M Club comes just days after the official launch of a new 36-hole indoor Adventure Mini Golf attraction at Waterworld leisure resort. The water park has also been expanded, and is now home to some of the largest and fastest water rides in the UK.