San Carlo Group reports turnover boost: San Carlo Group has reported turnover increased 0.5% to £46,105,602 for the year ending 30 September 2016, compared with £45,866,927 the year before. Pre-tax profit fell to £1,151,386 compared with £2,587,986 the previous year, according to accounts filed at Companies House. The company stated: “The increase in turnover was due to organic growth across the business. The opening of two new restaurants (one at the end of 2016 and one in 2017) – Fumo in London and Pizza Madre in Manchester – should further increase turnover. Gross margin has increased as the systems introduced in previous years have resulted in more efficient procurement with less wastage. The directors believe further improvements in gross margin will be made in the short to medium term. The directors are extremely pleased with how successful the Cicchetti and Fumo brand restaurants have become, while the other brands within the company continue to maintain core growth of the company. The directors expect to continually develop the San Carlo brand. One of the concession operations in Selfridges, Manchester, was rebranded as ‘Gran Cafe’ in 2015 and has exceeded the directors’ expectations. New restaurants are being considered in Manchester and Liverpool to build on the success of the Fumo brand. Further franchises in Bahrain are due to open in 2017, as the company seeks to develop a global brand. At the year-end, the group had shareholders’ funds of £7,399,881, including distributable reserves of £6,584,881. Given the company spent about £1,600,000 on the developments at Fumo London – along with refurbishment costs in House of Fraser in Manchester – the directors believe the company’s position to be satisfactory.”
We Are Bar Group reports Ebitda boost as losses narrow: We Are Bar Group, owner of London-based Jamies and Smollensky’s-branded bars and restaurants and formerly known as Kornicis, has reported turnover increased to £14,491,835 for the year ending 1 October 2016, compared with £14,313,059 the year before. Ebitda was up £0.1m to £0.8m, according to accounts filed at Companies House. Pre-tax losses narrowed to £1,858,634, compared with a loss of £2,382,218 the previous year. The company stated: “These results included the impact of closing two sites for refurbishment in the second half of the financial year. Despite these part-closures the turnover grew from last year’s £14.3m turnover and the Ebitda increased £0.1m compared with last year’s underlying Ebitda of £0.7m (after adjusting for £0.2m of exceptional income). The core business consists of an estate of 17 bars and Smollenskys restaurants in central London. During the period we disposed of Jamies Groveland Court, refurbished Brodies in Canary Wharf and converted our Jamies Wine Bar site at Bishopsgate to our We Are Bar brand.” Last month, the company promoted Ian Banks to chief executive following the departure of Richard Stringer in May. Following a management buyout last October, Banks and Stringer acquired We Are Bar Group with backing from Isfield Investments.

Burning Night Group to open fifth Potting Shed site next month, in former Northallerton hospital: Burning Night Group is to open a fifth site for its “truly home-grown Yorkshire brand” The Potting Shed, this time in Northallerton, near Thirsk. The new venue will open in a former hospital in High Street on Friday, 11 August following a multimillion-pound investment and creating 50 jobs. Rutson Hospital has been transformed into a garden-themed pub that will specialise in craft beer, cocktails and artisan spirits, alongside homemade food. The new venue will feature the brand’s quirky outdoors theme, with brightly coloured sheds in the garden offering private bench seating, and an indoor “lawn”. Closed as a hospital since 2008, Burning Night Group acquired the freehold of the building with the support of investment from Downing LLP. Potting Shed Trading chief executive Allan Harper said: “A landmark building like this was exactly what we wanted. It gives us great potential to create something with character right in the centre of town.” Steven Kenee, partner at Downing LLP, added: “Our investment into the Northallerton site is a perfect example of what we do best, building long-term partnerships with quality operators who we can back to grow. As soon as I saw the site I was convinced of its potential.” The other Potting Sheds are in Beverley, Bingley, Guiseley and Leeds, while the company has signed to open a sixth site, in Harrogate.

D&D London launches Manhattan-style rooftop bar and grill for fourth Leeds site: Restaurant group D&D London has launched its fourth Leeds restaurant, East 59th. The Manhattan-style rooftop bar and grill, named after the address of D&D’s New York venue Guastavino’s, is at the £165m Victoria Gate development. The 5,400 square foot venue offers a US-inspired menu by executive chef Lee Murdoch and panoramic views of the city. Dishes include slow-braised beef short rib with sweet mustard barbecue sauce, Orkney and Aberdeen Angus steaks, and native lobster with garlic butter and charred lime. Weekend brunch dishes consist of stacked pancakes, bagels, and eggs royale, alongside bottomless bloody marys and prosecco. A late-night grazing menu is available at the bar from 10pm to 1am, including burger sliders and nachos. East 59th has opened next door to D&D London’s Japanese concept Issho. Senior general manager Paul Rogers said: “Leeds’ nightlife scene is incredibly diverse and we’re excited to add something different to the offering with a New York-inspired rooftop bar and grill. East 59th comes hot on the heels of the launch for our stunning Japanese bar and restaurant Issho, and the two distinct venues are unique in their own way, offering something for everyone.” D&D London’s other Leeds sites are Angelica and Crafthouse, while it operates 28 venues in London, with Fiume, its latest partnership with chef Francesco Mazzei, set to open in Battersea later this summer. The company also operates four restaurants outside the UK.

Krispy Kreme UK appoints new chief financial officer: Krispy Kreme UK has appointed Josh Charlesworth as its new chief financial officer, Propel has learned. Charlesworth replaces Robert Ledger, who stood down last month. Charlesworth previously worked for Mars in a number of positions, where he was most recently chief financial officer and vice-president global chocolate. Ledger joined Krispy Kreme in February 2013 having previously worked as a consultant to small and medium-sized enterprises. Prior to that, he was finance director at Kent-based golf equipment manufacturer and distributor PowaKaddy.

London-based chef and restaurateur James Cochran to open second site, at Angel Central: London-based chef and restaurateur James Cochran is to open his second site, this time at Angel Central in Islington. Cochran has agreed a deal with CBRE Global Investors to open the 2,111 square foot venue this summer. The restaurant will offer a carefully curated modern British menu with produce sourced locally from English suppliers as well as wild foraged ingredients. The menu will incorporate his signature dish of Caribbean jerk chicken, as a nod to his heritage. The interior will include an open plan kitchen, cocktail and wine bar, DJ booth and stage table and will provide space for about 60 covers inside and a further 20 covers on the terrace space. Angel Central will be Cochran’s first north London location, following the opening of his debut site at Bevis Marks in east London last year. Cochran said: “This prime north London location is perfect for the next stage of our expansion. Angel Central offers a diverse and vibrant mix of retail and leisure and we are thrilled to share our food with the people of Islington.” CBRE Global Investors director Laura Wilson-Brown added: “The signing of a talented chef like James Cochran cements our vision of creating a great retail and dining destination that complements the vibrancy, dynamism and quality of Islington.” The 150,000 square foot Angel Central is anchored by H&M with Vue’s ten-screen cinema and the O2 Academy leading the leisure offer, which is complemented by a range of restaurants, such as Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Wagamama.

Former Hawksmoor and Mahiki head bartender to open tea house, bar and delicatessen in Stoke Newington this week: Former Hawksmoor and Mahiki head bartender Richard Hunt is to open a tea house, bar and delicatessen in Stoke Newington, east London, this week. Hunt is launching Mint Gun Club in Brooke Road on Friday (21 July) and will specialise in aperitifs, globally inspired cocktails, fine teas and exotic delicacies. The space will combine modern European and Scandinavian elegance with rustic furnishing and splashes of exotic detail, including Moroccan tiling, Polynesian artefacts and Indonesian house boards and palms fronds. Alongside the untraditional house tea – a blend of mint, gunpowder green, brunch club tea – the menu will also showcase underused Tisane with a wide selection of herbal infusions. The pantry-style food offering at the Mint Gun Club will draw ingredients from Middle Eastern, Asian and Mediterranean larders and will include almond hummus, rose harissa with flatbread, tabbouleh and chargrilled aubergine; and club labneh with zhoug on sesame flapjack with fruit wine melon. The drinks menu features Penzance Gimlet consisting of English gin, chamomile and honeysuckle, Cornish manuka and bronze fennel; and White Tiger’s Milk, which is made up of cider aperitif, almond kefir and peach “milk”. Accompanying the alcoholic drinks will be a selection of tonics, club sodas, juices and lassis. Hunt, who won International Bartender of the Year from 2007 to 2009, has also worked at Milk & Honey and was also eastern European brand ambassador for Bacardi.

BrewDog to close Equity for Punks USA fund-raise in two weeks: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has two weeks remaining on its $50m Equity for Punks USA fund-raise. So far, more than 7,000 investors have pledged in excess of $6m, with the campaign on Bankroll closing on Friday, 28 July. The company is aiming to raise up to $50m by selling 1,052,632 shares. Shares cost $47.50 each, with a minimum investment of two shares. BrewDog’s US home state of Ohio has the most investors, with the cities of Canal Winchester (341) and Columbus (311) leading the way. Six states have between 150 and 499 investors. BrewDog stated: “When we launched Equity for Punks USA in 2016, our Columbus operations were just taking shape. The building was a shell and our fermentation tanks were steaming their way across the Atlantic. Fast-forward a year and our brewhouse is now complete, DogTap is open (and has welcomed thousands of guests) and last week our amazing crew in Columbus passed the biggest milestone of them all – kegs of US-brewed Punk IPA hit the taps of 30 Ohio-area craft beer bars! Our new-generation business model Equity for Punks exists to bring our flagship IPA and many other beers to life in the most exciting and dynamic market for craft beer on earth. Equity for Punks USA is your front seat to that charge and a chance to be part of the biggest adventure yet seen on Planet BrewDog.”

Living Ventures makes second bid to bring Alchemist to Nottingham: Living Ventures has made a second bid to bring its Alchemist brand to Nottingham. The company had an application to open a venue in Pelham Street on the site of the All Saints clothing store turned down by the city council in April. Now as it looks to open its first Alchemist in the East Midlands, Living Ventures has applied for a licence for a bar in King Street on the site of the former Tropeiro restaurant, which shut in April last year. The Alchemist would be open from 9am to 1.30am Monday to Saturday and 9am to 12.30am on Sundays, reports the Nottingham Post. Mexican restaurant brand Wahaca had shown interest in moving into the premises having submitted a planning application to the city council in September last year but it was later withdrawn. Living Ventures operates Alchemist sites in Alderley Edge, Birmingham, Leeds (two venues), Liverpool, London, Manchester (two venues), and Newcastle.

Gusto opens £1m York city centre restaurant for 17th site: Gusto, the Italian restaurant brand operated by Living Ventures, has launched its £1m York city centre site. The restaurant has opened in Little Stonegate at a site previously occupied by Mulberry Hall household store, creating more than 60 jobs. The 4,000 square foot venue seats up to 120 diners and includes separate bar and dining areas, while many original features of the building have been maintained and restored such as brickwork, windows and doors. Gusto managing director Sue Crimes told BDaily: “York is a perfect location for our clientele, who want delicious food, fantastic drinks and a glamorous atmosphere. Our restaurants in Leeds have proved extremely popular with locals and tourists and we hope for the same success in York.” Gusto has 17 restaurants in the UK with the York site part of the company’s ongoing plans for growth. Further sites are due to open in Chislehurst, south east London, in August and in Mere, near Birmingham, at Christmas.

M&B opens All Bar One in Worcester: Mitchells & Butlers has opened a site for its All Bar One brand in Worcester. The food, wine and cocktail venue has opened at the city’s new £20m Cathedral Square development, creating 20 jobs. The restaurant is located in a first-floor unit overlooking the square. All Bar One Worcester offers an all-day menu featuring dishes from around the world, sharing plates, hand-crafted burgers and bottomless brunch on Sundays. DJs will feature on Friday and Saturday nights. General manager Krystian Znojek told the Worcester News: “We are delighted to be part of Cathedral Plaza and hope to become the new go-to-bar for brunch, lunch, sharing plates and evening cocktails. The bar looks fantastic.” All Bar One joins a number of other brands at Cathedral Square, including Mitchells & Butlers’ steakhouse brand Miller & Carter, Azzurri Group-owned ASK Italian, better burger brand Byron, Loungers brand Cosy Club, and YO! Sushi.

Leeds-based operators Mojo Bar to open fourth site at end of month, in Nottingham: Leeds-based operator Mojo Bar will open its fourth site at the end of the month, in Nottingham. The company is opening in the former Jongleurs Comedy Club in Thurland Street. The grade II-listed former Corn Exchange was built in 1850. Combining an American dive bar vibe with liquor, food and rock ‘n’ roll music from the past six decades – Mojo bar offers a “slick, high-octane environment for everyone”. Its venue in Nottingham will signify a new era for the concept, being the most ambitious of the four sites, reports The Business Desk. Mojo opened its first bar in Leeds in 1996, with subsequent bars in Manchester and Liverpool – the latter opening in 2008.

Former Noma chef launches permanent site in St James’s Market for Nigerian pop-up Ikoyi: Former Noma chef Jeremy Chan has opened a permanent site in London for his Nigerian pop-up Ikoyi. Chan and business partner Iré Hassan-Odukale have opened the restaurant in the St James’s Market development, off Regent Street. Ikoyi is named after an affluent neighbourhood in Lagos, Nigeria, which is often referred to as “Africa’s most valuable real estate”. Starters include rarebreed lamb ribs with relish, and octopus pepper soup with coastal herbs, while main courses showcase dishes such as wild Nigerian tiger prawn with banga bisque and corn grits. Chan and Hassan-Odukale also source a breed of four-horned lamb and line-caught fish, which is cured and smoked. The drinks menu includes Nigerian Guinness. Other restaurants at St James’s Market include contemporary Nordic restaurant Aquavit, Salt Yard Group’s Veneta, Anzu from Japanese restaurant group Tonkotsu, and Duck & Waffle’s “local” concept.

Molson Coors abandons ‘Dead Brewer’s Society’ bid: Molson Coors has been forced to mothball plans for a new brand after accidentally choosing the name used by a group of beer enthusiasts for their club. An application to register the name “Dead Brewer’s Society” was sent by the US company’s UK subsidiary to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) last month. But the Dead Brewers Club – whose name isn’t registered with the IPO – hit out on Twitter claiming its name was being “hijacked” by the Carling, Cobra and Coors Light maker. Dead Brewers Club, whose members brew beers using historic recipes, said its website had stopped working and so it had been forced to launch a new one, which is presently under construction. The club claimed the move by Molson Coors was “pure cynical opportunism”, but the brewer has withdrawn the application, according to the IPO website. A Molson Coors spokesman told the Sunday Telegraph: “Molson Coors is an innovative company that is continually exploring hundreds of potential branding concepts and trademarks including those in the craft arena, with only a small percentage of those being developed. Despite recent speculation, Dead Brewer’s Society is not one of those we will be progressing.” Molson Coors is now the third largest brewer globally after it bought out its North American joint venture with SABMiller last year. Regulators forced Anheuser-Busch InBev to dispose of the stake so the Belgian brewer’s £72bn takeover of SABMiller could be waved through.

Former Brunning & Price pub manager to launch first solo venture: Matt Andrews, former pub manager at The Restaurant Group-owned Brunning & Price, is to launch his first solo venture. Andrews will reopen The Kicking Donkey pub in the West Lancashire village of Scarisbrick at the end of the month. He told the Southport Visiter: “We will be serving local, seasonal food all freshly prepared, as well as having some real ale and lager, wine and a back bar crammed full of spirits.” Andrews, who was pub manager at Brunning & Price’s The Sparrowhawk in Formby, has also worked as a chef in a Michelin-starred kitchen in Derbyshire.

Signature Living bids to turn country house near Liverpool into ‘Hansel and Gretel’ hotel: Signature Living has submitted plans to Liverpool City Council to operate Croxteth Hall, a grade-II listed building within Croxteth Country Park. The company wants to turn the hall into a premier hotel and wedding venue and create a hospitality training centre. The park and building were bequeathed to the city by the Earls of Sefton but the council has said it can no longer afford to pay for running costs. Signature Living founder Lawrence Kenwright told the Liverpool Echo: “We like the idea of glamping and a Hansel and Gretel-type treehouse approach to the hotel rooms. You can’t just open and say ‘we are here’, its got to be something different. Weddings are a huge part of the plan, we would like to see it go from 20 to 200-plus a year. At the moment there is nowhere to stay so a lot of people go home earlier and spend less in the bar.” Regarding the hospitality centre, he added: “There are a lot of unemployed people in Croxteth, we have just taken on 30 people from there in the last six months and some of them are our best workers. This means people from Croxteth could work in our sites in Cardiff, Glasgow, Belfast and all these great cities. They can move up the chain to be anything they want to be, anywhere they want to be.” The council is set to begin a procurement process.

Bristol-based Burger Theory to launch first bricks and mortar site: Bristol-based Burger Theory is to launch its first bricks and mortar site. The burger brand has residencies in Kongs Bar venues in Bristol and Cardiff, while operating at music festivals and food fairs. The company will take over the former Europa Italian site in St Stephen’s Street, which closed after operating for almost 30 years. Burger Theory hopes to open in August following a major refurbishment. A spokesman told the Bristol Post: “After years of serving our creative burgers to our many wonderful customers at music festivals, food fairs, pop-ups and resident kitchens, we are finally opening our very own restaurant – slap bang in the middle of our beloved home town of Bristol. We will serve all our classic burgers, as well as craft beer, cocktails, fresh juice, dirty fries, epic cheesecakes and more – all to be savoured in the lovingly decorated, shiny new restaurant. There will be events throughout the year such as The Bottomless Burger Club, craft beer-paired taster menus and more.”

New water park launches in Scarborough: The first phase of a new water park in Scarborough has opened. Dawnay Estates has launched AquaPark, an inflatable obstacle course, which is part of the Dawnay Estates’ new North Yorkshire Water Park at Wykeham Lakes. North Yorkshire Water Park also offers paddle-boarding, team-building events, sailing, windsurfing, open water swimming and canoeing during the summer months. Plans have also been submitted to further develop the site at Wykeham Lakes into a visitor attraction during the next two years, including expansion of the cafe, changing rooms and showers, with additional water sports. There will also be a cycle track through the woodland and around the lake, reports Yorkshire Coast Radio.

Macellaio RC to launch fourth London restaurant: London-based Italian restaurant Macellaio RC is to launch its fourth restaurant in the capital, this time in Clapham. The 60-cover venue will open in Northcote Road on Friday (21 July) opening daily from midday to 11.30pm. The Clapham venue will differ from its sister sites by putting an emphasis on Italian wine, hand-picked by founder Roberto Costa. Featuring more than 100 labels, the list will showcase “wines of character”, paying homage to the produce of Italy and highlighting the distinctive differences between regions. As with the other Macellaio RC restaurants, the Clapham site will butcher and dry-age its Fassona beef on-site. The kitchen will be led by head chef Matteo Riganelli. Costa opened the first Macellaio RC in South Kensington in 2012, followed by Exmouth Market in 2015 and Union Street last October.