D&D London makes management changes and board appointments as it gears up for expansion: Restaurant operator D&D London has made a number of management changes and new appointments to its board as it gears up for expansion. David Loewi, who was previously managing director, has taken up a new role as deputy chairman with responsibility for all qualitative aspects of the business and new projects. Toby Harris, previously chief financial officer, has been promoted to chief operating officer, while Tiffany Robinson has been promoted from head of marketing to marketing director. Chairman and chief executive Des Gunewardena said: “These, and further senior appointments to follow, are being made in order to strengthen the D&D board ahead of some significant expansion planned in the years ahead. Despite the economic uncertainties surrounding Brexit and the cost pressures faced by UK restaurants, we remain very positive about the prospects for D&D’s business, both in the UK and overseas.” D&D London owns and operates restaurants in London, Leeds, Paris, New York and Tokyo and the 80-bedroom South Place Hotel in London.
Mowgli gets its own Dulux colour range: Indian street food restaurant Mowgli now has its own colour range available at Dulux. Nisha Katona, founder of the restaurant, which has sites in Bold Street, Liverpool, and Manchester’s Corn Exchange, was approached by the paint manufacturer on social media and asked if she would like to collaborate. Colours found on Mowgli’s walls have been carefully mixed and blended by Katona, who wanted to achieve a “neutral” tone stripped of stereotypical “ethnic jewel hues”. Now Dulux customers can achieve the same look, while colour cards will be available in Mowgli restaurants. Katona told the Liverpool Echo: “It’s like being knighted or something – it’s ridiculous! For a massive company like Dulux to recognise us – just a family-run business – is unbelievable.” Dulux regional director Martin Sagar added: “Dulux is not just about colour but about painting lifestyle into beautiful living spaces. Mowgli does this in their restaurant and is the main reason why we have created the colour range.” Katona, who opened the first Mowgli in Bold Street in 2014, is set to open a second Liverpool site. The barrister turned restaurateur and food writer will open Mowgli Street Food in Water Street in the city centre during the second week of December. There are also plans to open a restaurant in Leeds.
Hart brothers to launch Mexican taqueira concept El Pastór in Southwark next month: Sam and Eddie Hart, who operate Michelin-starred tapas bar Barrafina and Soho restaurant and members’ club Quo Vadis, will launch Mexican taqueira concept El Pastór in Southwark next month. The new venue in Stoney Street, just off Borough Market, is due to open on Monday, 12 December. The concept is named after the “al pastor”, a Mexico City staple with origins in the Arab shawarma. The name roughly translates to “shepherd style”. The El Pastór team has been working on an in-house pastor marinade and has dedicated the entire mezzanine floor to a tortilla factory, The Handbook reports. The restaurant will also offer a large range of Mexican dishes. The Hart brothers are set to relocate Barrafina Soho from Frith Street to the ground floor of the recently refurbished Quo Vadis – where they transformed the interior to include a new members’ restaurant on the first floor and merged rooms on the second floor to create a library bar – because of a redevelopment plan. The Harts operate two other Barrafina sites in London – in Drury Lane and Adelaide Street, both in Covent Garden. Barrafina Soho opened in 2007 and was awarded a Michelin star in 2014.
Lincolnshire bakery chain Cooplands enters administration: Cooplands, the high-street bakery that has 24 outlets throughout Lincolnshire, has entered administration. It’s not the first time Cooplands has collapsed and its parent company, Alison’s Coffee Shops, has been operating under a company voluntary arrangement since April. The Doncaster-based business, which was founded in 1932, first went into administration in 2015 when it was taken over by business restructuring specialist Resolve, which acquired Cooplands’ 41 stores and its van delivery service. Meanwhile, in Lincoln at the end of September, Cooplands closed two of its stores without notice, making staff redundant with immediate effect. The Cooplands bakeries in Bailgate and the Carlton Centre were shut overnight, with the company claiming in a letter to staff that the decision was made because of rising operational costs. The company has fallen into difficulties again, and on 3 November it appointed Opus Restructuring of London as administrators, reports The Business Desk.
Cottons Caribbean owner to launch pan-Asian bar and restaurant concept Miusan in Camden: Cottons Caribbean owner Chris Singam is set to launch pan-Asian bar and restaurant concept Miusan in Camden. Miusan, which means “new temple” in Cantonese, will open in Inverness Street before the end of the year. It will be playfully modelled on the “chic and opulent 1940s opium dens of New York and Paris”. The 2,245 square foot, three-storey venue will feature a ground-floor bar and dining area, sub-basement dance floor and a mezzanine VIP area available for private hire. Interiors will include dark velvet seating and thick and heavy brocade curtains, while staff will be dressed in traditional Cantonese cheongsams. Highlight dishes will include king prawn and squid tempura with tamarind guava dressing; Jasmine tea-smoked barbecued pork ribs with toasted sesame seeds and honey; and griddled vegetable Buddha dumplings with soy and wasabi dip. Asian-inspired cocktails will include Lau’s Den (Absolut vodka, sake, coconut cream, passion-fruit and lychee juice), while DJs will perform on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Cottons Caribbean has restaurants in Notting Hill Gate, Camden and Boxpark Shoreditch.
Dodo Pub Co to open third site and first outside Oxford next week, in Cheltenham: Oxford-based operator Dodo Pub Co is to open its third site and first outside the city on Monday (21 November), in Cheltenham. The company, run by Chris Manners and Leo Johnson, is reopening The Quaich in St James Street as The Bottle of Sauce. The pub, owned by Arkell’s Brewery, has undergone a £500,000 refurbishment, which includes quirky features such as a wall made out of Arkell beer crates with a DJ booth in front, reports Gloucestershire Live. The bar, which will feature soft seating, high tables and bar stools, will serve craft ale, cider and cocktails. The 40-cover restaurant will have a menu featuring burgers, wood-fired pizzas and wings. Customers will be able to play ping pong and table football as well as watch live sports in the games room. There will also be a seated, outdoor area and a heated, see-through walkway between the bar and restaurant.
Inamo to open third site next month, in Camden: London-based futuristic restaurant brand Inamo is to open its third site next month, in Camden. The oriental fusion brand, where guests order from illustrated menus projected on to their tables, will open the 72-seat venue opposite Mornington Crescent tube station. Set over two floors, the restaurant, which will feature a garden and heated roof terrace, will serve pan-Asian food as well as a street food-style bar menu. New additions to the menu will include dishes crafted on an outdoor, Japanese-inspired robata grill. State-of-the-art ordering systems will allow diners to instantly rate their dishes, change their interactive tablecloths, play games such as pong and memory, and also colour and draw directly on the table surface with “inadoodle”. Inamo’s other restaurants are in Wardour Street, Soho, and Hanover Place in Covent Garden.
Innis & Gunn crowdfunding campaign attracts more than 1,000 investors as it nears £1.5m mark: Scottish brewer and retailer Innis & Gunn has seen its campaign on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube attract more than 1,000 investors as it nears the £1.5m mark. The company, founded by Dougal Sharp, is offering a 2% equity stake in return for the investment. Last week, it hit its £1m target and so far, 1,002 investors have pledged £1,347,860 as the campaign continues to “overfund” with 20 days remaining. The largest investment to date is £100,000. Innis & Gunn intends to double its turnover to £25m during the next three years and the capital raised through the Adventure Capital campaign will be used to accelerate its immediate growth priorities. Earlier this month, Sharp told Propel the primary aim of the fund-raise was to allow Innis & Gunn to roll-out The Beer Kitchen bar and restaurant brand, which it launched in Edinburgh in July 2015. It has since opened a second site, in Dundee, while bars will follow in St Andrews later this month and then Glasgow, which will house the company’s first micro-brewery, before its first international venue in Toronto, Canada. The company also plans to expand beer production at the Inveralmond Brewery in Perth, Scotland, which it acquired earlier this year and is now to be named the Innis & Gunn Brewery. Production volume is forecast to triple in the next two years to 30,000HL. The company will also install a barrel-ageing hall and new filtration technology that will expand the development, giving it the capacity and capability to “brew some of the beers we’ve not been able to”.
Novus Leisure launches Leadership Development Programme: Bar, nightclub and restaurant operator Novus Leisure has launched its Leadership Development Programme. The year-long programme aims to challenge managers, by giving them valuable insight into themselves, which will include assessing strengths and current limitations, with the end goal of them developing their managerial skills to drive their teams and the business to continued success. The programme consists of five stages – purpose and culture, personal growth, people, performance, and leadership in action. Stages three and four will involve a two-day residential in the New Forest, covering a combination of theory and activity-led challenges and scenarios. The company said each module has been meticulously thought through to ensure the learning process is layered for maximum benefit and self-assessment, while action plans ensure the programme is tailored to the needs of each individual. HR manager Gina Fleming said: “We’ve launched our Leadership Development Programme to really challenge our managers to become the great leaders we know they can be. They are at the heart of our culture and business and, as such, we are absolutely committed to nurturing their skills to ensure they lead their teams by example while continuing to grow our successful business model. The decisions we make as a business always have our customers at the core. We know our new programme will greatly enhance the experience and fun they already enjoy with us. This is a great opportunity for our managers to learn more about themselves while also becoming ambassadors of best practice for the industry.”
Fuller’s names The Hydrant as its pub of the year: London brewer and premium pub company Fuller’s has named The Hydrant in Monument as its “pub of the year”. The pub, run by Alison Ross, won the top prize, The Griffin Trophy, ahead of 400 other Fuller’s pubs for its commitment to building the pub’s reputation as one of London’s leading craft beer bars, championed by in-house beer experts and mixologists, and for its menus. Following an extensive selection process, the 13 Griffin Trophy finalists were visited by chairman Michael Turner, chief executive Simon Emeny, and corporate affairs director Richard Fuller, who chose the winner between them. The Hydrant also took first prize in the Best City/London Pub category. Turner said: “I am delighted to present The Griffin Trophy to Alison and the team at The Hydrant who imbue this pub with a great fun atmosphere. Following The Hydrant’s refurbishment and repositioning in 2015, this pub has gone from strength to strength. The creativity and leadership in the team has established the pub as an exciting craft beer bar, famous for its beer and food evenings. It also has one of the most interesting breakfast menus to be found in the City of London. Ross added: “This is a fantastic surprise. A pub is nothing without its people so I would like to thank all my customers who have supported the pub since its reopening and my wonderful staff, who make the pub what it is.” The prize for the winning pub comprises a £5,000 holiday, a staff party, an engraved plaque and The Griffin Trophy itself.
Burger King to open third UK 20/20 Garden Grill-styled restaurant, in Boscombe: Burger King is set to bring its 20/20 Garden Grill-styled restaurant to Boscombe in Dorset. The company is looking to open the venue – its third in the UK – at the Sovereign Centre. The 20/20 Garden Grill is styled like a 1970s diner and brings an outdoor barbecue atmosphere to Burger King’s stores. The brand is celebrated through a wall collage reflecting its heritage, with all natural copper, brick, reclaimed wood and bamboo. The design also incorporates a red brick heritage wall, with historic photos highlighting the early days of the brand. A variety of seating options are available for guests, including booths, community tables and banquet-style dining. Incorporating natural materials with a bright colour palette, the new decor aims to create a rustic and inviting ambiance highlighted by complementary lighting. The shopping centre’s owner, NewRiver Retail, has lodged plans with Bournemouth Council to convert three units in the complex into the restaurant – at sites formerly occupied by New Look and Mayor’s Emporium and a unit currently used by a pop-up clothes shop. A NewRiver retail spokesman told the Bournemouth Echo: “People are looking for their local centre to become a destination and somewhere they can go shopping but also grab lunch or dinner with a friend afterwards. In attracting a fantastic brand like Burger King, we are simply pushing forward with our strategic lettings, attracting more food operators to Boscombe to give the shoppers much more choice.”
Whitbread gets go-ahead to build Premier Inn on Isle of Wight’s Sandown seafront: Whitbread has had its plans to build a Premier Inn on Sandown Esplanade approved by the Isle of Wight Council. The new hotel will be the third Premier Inn on the island and the largest. It will feature a Brewers Fayre restaurant on the ground floor. Concerns had been raised about possible flood risk, parking and the impact on the character of the area but the plans were approved after officers said they were satisfied these concerns had been properly addressed in the application, which received support from Sandown residents and the town council. The Carlton Hotel will be demolished early next year and replaced with the 100-bedroom Premier Inn. Construction work on the hotel is expected to begin no later than November 2019, with the work expected to take about 12 months. The work will cost £9.1m, with the opening creating 65 full-time jobs and bringing £1.62m a year to the economy of the town, which is in the east of the island. Derek Griffin, head of acquisitions London and south for Premier Inn, told Isle of Wight Radio: “Through jobs, quality new bedrooms and guest accommodation, and the full package of benefits we expect our investment will help to deliver, we’re looking forward to coming to Sandown and playing our part in the town and its future success.”
Giggling Squid to open Wokingham restaurant this month, first in Berkshire: Giggling Squid, the Thai restaurant group backed by Business Growth Fund, will open a site in Wokingham this month, its first in Berkshire. The company, founded and majority owned by husband-and-wife team Andrew and Pranee Laurillard, will open its 19th restaurant in The Plaza, off Denmark Street, on Wednesday, 30 November. It is converting the former Cleaver site, the American-style grill specialising in steaks, ribs and burgers owned by Prezzo, into the 135-cover venue. Last month, Giggling Squid, which was established in 2002, reported sales increased 55% in its most recent year to £11.8m, while Ebitda was up 53% to £1.9m. The company said previously it expected to be trading from 25 sites by the middle of 2017.
Atomic Burger to start expansion of pizza concept with Bristol opening: Better burger brand Atomic Burger, which operates venues in Bristol and Oxford, is set to start expansion of its pizza concept. The company launched Atomic Pizza in Oxford and will now open another site in Bristol, so it will have a burger and pizza restaurant in each city. The new Atomic Pizza will open in Union Street in late December or early January at the former Riproar’s cafe bar. Pizzas include the Steve Martin (jerk barbecue sauce, pineapple, chicken and red onions), Ziggy Stardust (prosciutto crudo, rocket, sun-dried tomato and parmesan), and Pacman (cheese and tomato). The 110-cover venue will also open for breakfast and offer burgers from its sister site, while the decor will include a huge Dalek and a bar decorated with 1,000 video cassettes, alongside arcade games and pinball. Atomic Burger director James Reilly told the Bristol Post: “After starting in Oxford we opened up in Bristol about four or five years ago and the people made us feel so welcome. We are really looking forward to our new chapter. We’ve had an overwhelming number of job applications. We want people to come in here and see something they want to talk about. The one thing I never want is a quiet restaurant with no conversation.” Atomic Burger and Atomic Pizza in Oxford are both in Cowley Road. Atomic Burger offers burgers named after celebrities such as Chuck Norris, Dolly Parton and Audrey Hepburn, and features Star Wars and Doctor Who decor.
Plans revealed to regenerate Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens, including restaurants and coffee shop: Plans have been revealed to regenerate Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester city centre as part of a £10m investment by Legal & General, which include restaurants and a new coffee outlet. The proposals include replacing the pavilion and wall with two buildings linked by a covered area of public space. They would be targeted at restaurants and coffee shops. The scheme, in partnership with Manchester City Council, also includes more public space, seating and relaying pedestrian thoroughfares. Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese told Insider Media: “For all the debate it has generated in recent years, Piccadilly Gardens remains an incredibly well-used public space. But we recognise there are aspects that have proved unpopular and others where there is scope for improvement, including design improvements to deter antisocial behaviour and enhancing our own ongoing maintenance of the space. These proposals will provide real and sustainable improvements that are compatible with Piccadilly Gardens’ role as a major thoroughfare used by hundreds of thousands of people a week, as well as a destination where people can meet and relax.” Bill Hughes, head of real assets at Legal & General Investment Management, added: “We see the partnership with Manchester City Council and the proposal for Piccadilly Gardens as an opportunity to regenerate a prominent and well-used space in central Manchester that is also a thoroughfare to other parts of the city.”
Greene King eyes second new-build Hungry Horse in Gloucester, third site in city: Greene King has submitted plans for a new-build Hungry Horse pub restaurant in Gloucester, only weeks after getting the go-ahead for a similar site in the city. In late October, Greene King had plans approved for a 235-capacity, new-build pub in Triangle Park. The latest plan is for a site in Kingsway Business Park, off Naas Lane, which would bring the number of Hungry Horse venues in Gloucester and the surrounding area to three. The two-storey building would include a large, decked area with outdoor seating and a children’s play area. The pub would sit on former RAF Quedgeley land, with a 73-space car park and new access road included in the plans, reports Gloucestershire Live. The Hungry Horse would have a total floor space of 420 square metres, with a restaurant and bar on the ground floor and two flats for staff accommodation on the first floor, along with extra storage rooms. In the planning application submitted to Gloucester City Council, the opening hours for the new pub are suggested as 7.30am until midnight, Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 11pm on Sundays. Greene King’s existing Hungry Horse site in Gloucester is the Royal Oak, near Hucclecote.
Provenance Inns offers to pay towards taxi bills to tackle drink-driving: Provenance Inns is offering to pay up to £20 towards customers’ taxi bills at three of its North Yorkshire gastro-pubs in a move to tackle drink-driving. The company, led by Chris Blundell, is offering to deduct the cash from restaurant bills at The Carpenters Arms in Felixkirk, The Cleveland Tontine in Staddlebridge, and the Black Bull in Moulton on production of a valid taxi receipt. The move follows the success of a similar promotion at the company’s West Park Hotel in Harrogate. Provenance Inns director Michael Ibbotson told The Press: “Our inns are in small villages meaning many people have to drive to us. We know the great majority of people take a responsible attitude to drink-driving and, as a leader in the North Yorkshire hospitality sector, responsible drinking is important to us. But equally we know from our customers that sometimes it is hard to choose who should be the ‘designated driver’, particularly when they are coming to dine for a family celebration or wedding anniversary and want to enjoy some champagne or wine with their meal. Finding alternatives to driving can be a problem in rural areas so we wanted to make a contribution.” The other sites in Provenance Inns’ portfolio are West Acre Lodge in Boltby, Welburn’s The Crown and Cushion, The Durham Ox in Crayke, The Oak Tree in Helperby, and The Punch Bowl in Marton cum Grafton, which was once under the control of Men Behaving Badly star Neil Morrissey.
American-themed bar and restaurant concept Stockyard to start expansion with second Cheshire site: Bar operator Dominic Clancy is set to start expansion of his American-themed bar and restaurant concept The Stockyard by opening a second site in Cheshire. Clancy also owns and manages Morley Cheek’s in Chorlton, which offers “juicy pink burgers, cold frothing beers, explosive cocktails and really long wieners, topped off with the tunes you want to hear”. He is the son of Aidan Clancy, co-founder of Hale Leisure, which brought Jabez Clegg, Barca, Prague V, Reform and Dry Bar among others to Manchester. The Stockyard made its debut in London Road, Hale, in February and specialises in barbecue food and bourbon. Work is currently under way on a sister venue in Stockton Heath, on the site of a former post office. It will offer burgers, hotdogs, wings, gumbo, chowder, ribs, pulled pork, steak and lobster. There will also be a breakfast and brunch menu, including pancakes, bagels and egg dishes, while desserts will include key lime and Mississippi mud pie. Drinks will include shakes, draught and bottled beer, wine, cocktails and a large selection of bourbons. The opening is expected before Christmas.
Kaspa’s opens Hull site: US-style dessert parlour brand Kaspa’s Desserts has opened a site in Hull city centre, creating 30 jobs. The company has opened the 88-cover venue in Paragon Square at a site formerly occupied by Go Dutch Pancake House, which closed earlier this year. Kaspa’s offers a menu featuring shakes, smoothies, cakes and crepes. Dishes, which are also available to take away, include bubblelicious sundaes, mango mania sundaes, white choc indulgence waffles, strawberry indulge crepes and After Eight milkshakes. For healthier options, it also offers protein shakes and gluten-free desserts. Hannah Foster, operations manager of Kaspa’s Yorkshire operations, told The Business Desk: “We are proud of our product and restaurant and hope to open another in Hull next year, along with more in other Yorkshire cities.” Kaspa’s currently operates 31 sites in the UK, with another 18 listed on its website as “coming soon”.
New Indian street food concept Indico to launch in Solihull: A new Indian street food concept is set to launch in Solihull, West Midlands. Indico Street Kitchen will feature decor that “captures the vibrancy of the hustle and bustle of an Indian bazaar” when it opens at Parkgate shopping centre on Wednesday, 16 November. The 120-cover restaurant will be set over two floors and feature an open kitchen and walls adorned with murals and Bollywood-style pop art. The menu will offer a variety of Indian street food dishes, including Goan fish curry, Raos omelette and Mumbai-style pav bhaji. There will also be curries, kathi rolls and biryani. The drinks menu will feature Indian beer, wine, mocktails, cocktails and masala chai. Jonathan Cox, head of Parkgate Shopping Centre, told the Birmingham Mail: “Visitors will be amazed to see how they have transformed the 1,500 square foot unit. It’s a great addition to the centre and it’s sure to attract visitors from far and wide.”
New Mexican bar and grill concept Los Banditos to launch in former Sutton Coldfield bank: “Bandits” will take over a bank when new concept Los Banditos Mexican Bar and Grill launches in a former HSBC branch in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham. The new restaurant, which will feature an outdoor dining area, is set to open in Boldmere Road at the end of this month or the first week in December, with the concept the brainchild of Ross Hawkesford and Steve Floyd. Hawkesford told the Royal Sutton Coldfield Observer: “There are some great features in the bank. It took three weeks to get rid of the old vault. You can just come in for a drink but it is a restaurant. We will have Mexican and Spanish beers. The name is a little bit of fun. We have a good-sized menu but we have kept the number of dishes down so we can produce the right quality.”
Good Life Group offers free cheeseburgers to US customers at The Diner sites in London: Good Life Group offered customers with a US passport a free cheeseburger at its nine The Diner sites in London in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential victory. The offer was available today (Wednesday, 9 November) at The Diners in Camden, Covent Garden, Islington, Soho, Shoreditch, Gloucester Road, Spitalfields, Dalston and The Strand, as long as customers presented their passport as proof of citizenship, reports the Evening Standard. Billionaire Trump will become the 45th US president after victory over Hillary Clinton.
Town and Country Inns sold out of administration: Birmingham-based bar group Town and Country Inns, which appointed administrators after being hit by long-running roadworks in the city, has been bought by an unnamed buyer. Town and Country Inns operates Fleet Street Kitchen, Apres, Lexicon and Mechu. Three of its five sites are in Summer Row and Fleet Street, which join the A457 in Birmingham city centre that has been subject to major diversions since redevelopment work began. The deal has secured nearly 100 jobs, although 17 jobs have been lost by the closure of the Apres bar in Cheltenham, the group’s only site outside the West Midlands. Its other four sites – Mechu Bar and Grill Club and Apres in Summer Row, and Fleet Street Kitchens in Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield – will continue to trade. Joint administrators Gareth Prince, Joanne Hammond and Gareth Rusling, of Begbies Traynor, handled the administration and sale. Prince said: “The business has been hit primarily by the long-running roadworks in Summer Row and also in Cheltenham, which has resulted in massively decreased footfall across the venues. As a result, the business had been struggling financially, but we were able to advise that administration and a subsequent sale was the best course of action.”
New Turkish restaurant concept to open in Hull: A new Turkish restaurant concept is opening in Hull. Cinar Turgan is launching Efes in Holderness Road on the site of the former New World restaurant, which closed last year. Turgan, who came to Hull from his native Turkey in 2003, said he felt there was a gap in the market for Turkish cuisine in the area. He told the Hull Daily Mail: “Opening a restaurant has always been my dream. We’re about ten days away from opening – we just need to put the finishing touches to it. We’ll be employing about ten staff and people can come and have their own private parties here as well.”
New nightclub, Truth, to launch in Leven: A new nightclub – Truth – is set to launch in Leven, Fife, in February. The 600-capacity club will open in North Street at the site of the Ambassador snooker club, which closed in 2006 and has lain dormant since. Owner Lee Murray, who also operates McPhail’s bar and the Base restaurant in Fife, said work would start on a £500,000 refit this week. He told Fife Today: “The layout will be really cool with an industrial feel and exposed brickwork on the ground floor, like in the 1920s American prohibition era. Upstairs, there will be a chill-out zone in an art deco style in keeping with the building.” He said the opening would create about 20 jobs but that figure could rise to 50. He aims to make Truth the number one club in Leven. He said: “It’s right in the centre of town, the perfect location.”