Paul to open 36th UK site, in Earls Court: French artisan bakery and patisserie Paul is set to open a site in Earls Court, west London, in December, which will take its total number of UK shops to 36. The 1,405 square foot cafe, which will be opposite Earls Court tube station, will have 48 covers. It will offer Paul’s range of bread and selection of patisserie, viennoiserie, special occasion cakes, gourmet salads and sandwiches alongside freshly brewed coffee and a variety of hot seasonal products, including soups and croques. Paul UK chief executive Jean-Michel Orieux said: “We are very excited to bring Paul to Earls Court. We have a fantastic site located outside one of the best-connected tube stations in terms of tourist attractions, and believe we will be well received in this part of town. We look forward to welcoming locals and tourists alike to enjoy our exclusive range of traditional French handcrafted bakery and fine patisserie products.”
Carluccio’s rolls out virtual dining as it marks most significant menu change: Carluccio’s will be the first nationwide major restaurant group to offer diners virtual reality as it marks the arrival of the brand’s most significant menu change since it launched in 1999. More than 50,000 pairs of virtual reality glasses will be given away across the group’s 100-strong UK estate next month. Diners trying updated dishes such as the Carluccio’s seafood linguine – now with bottarga – will find themselves instantly transported to Taormina, Sicily, for an al fresco dining experience overlooking the island’s coastline. The new menu, developed alongside founder Antonio Carluccio, features more than 50 changes reflecting the evolving tastes of consumers and complementing the roll-out of the “new generation” stores and updated brand signatures, announced earlier this year. The first restaurant to be made-over was Spitalfields in May followed this month with a £500,000 refurbishment of the brand’s flagship store in Covent Garden. Two “new generation” stores will open in Derby’s Intu Centre and Southampton’s West Quay early next month with a further ten existing sites being transformed within the next 12 months. Chief executive Neil Wickers said: “The introduction of a significant menu change, the launch of new generation stores and updated brand signatures are a monumental step in Carluccio’s evolution. Our approach to eating out has changed dramatically since the inception of the brand 17 years ago and is no longer just about the food. Today, diners are looking for an experience above all else and by embracing new technologies such as virtual reality, we are confident that Carluccio’s will remain as relevant today as the brand was in 1999.”
Great Northern Inns adds £1m restaurant to portfolio: Nottingham-based pub company Great Northern Inns has added a £1m restaurant to its portfolio. The company has taken a 20-year lease on the contemporary bar and grill Saltbox, in Bolero Square, which was opened in April this year by the Iacovitti family. It offers seating for up to 120 diners with a total capacity of more than 400. Great Northern Inns director David Williams told the Nottingham Post: “As a business, we are always on the lookout for the next opportunity and, with Saltbox’s location, we knew it would be the ideal addition to our list of popular venues. While we plan to keep much of the layout and decor the same, we will be making some changes to put our mark on it.” Earlier this year, the company opened The Old Flower Shop in Mapperley and refurbished and rebranded The Approach to create the second Southbank Bar, a sports bar and live music venue in Friar Lane. Great Northern Inns, which has been operating venues in Nottingham for 28 years, also owns Trent Navigation Inn, Copper City Centre, Copper West Bridgford, Copper Mapperley and Navigation Brewery.
Mayfair restaurant Sumosan unites with former Formula 1 chief to bring Japanese and Italian crossover concept to UK: Former Formula One chief Flavio Briatore, who began his career in restaurant management, and Janina Wolkow, owner of Mayfair restaurant Sumosan, are uniting to bring their Japanese and Italian crossover concept to the UK. The pair will open Sumosan Twiga in Sloane Street in Knightsbridge next month, having launched the concept in Dubai. Japanese restaurant Sumosan, which opened in Albemarle Street in 2002, is relocating from Mayfair to unite with Briatore’s Twiga restaurant to provide the “best Italian and Japanese cuisine under one roof”. Sumosan Twiga will be set across three floors, with a separate lounge, bar and restaurant. The kitchen will have two head chefs at its helm – Ferdinando Palomba looking after Italian fare and Sumosan head chef Konstantin Tskhay serving Japanese cuisine. The menu will see established favourites and new creations from Sumosan sit alongside “timeless Italian classics”. The venue will also offer an “unrivalled” saké list and an extensive selection of Japanese whiskies. The wider wine list will feature the best of old and new world wines. The upstairs bar will offer cocktails, traditional Japanese spirits and Italian liqueurs and aperitifs. The interior is being designed by Michele Bonan, “incorporating a subtle amalgamation of Asian and European design references”.
Neville and Giggs to take Cafe Football brand to Singapore as part of Far East expansion plans: GG Hospitality, which is co-owned by former Manchester United footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, is taking its Cafe Football brand abroad for the first time – to the home turf of Singaporean backer Peter Lim. Cafe Football, which has branches in London and Manchester, will open in Singapore in 2017. More cafe and hotel sites are planned for China, Thailand, and India as the company ramps up its expansion plans. Neville told Bloomberg: “We’ve had fantastic reviews in Manchester, and we are looking for a UK, Europe and Asian expansion over the next 12 to 18 months to add multiple properties.” A third Cafe Football in the UK is due to open this year at Manchester’s National Football Museum. GG Hospitality runs a hotel close to Manchester United’s Old Trafford football ground and a second site is planned for the city’s old stock exchange. Neville and Giggs are also reportedly keen to bring London nightclub Mahiki to Manchester.
BrewDog completes open share auction on Asset Match with indicative price of £47.50: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has completed its auction on Asset Match, the platform that provides liquidity in private company shares, with an indicative price of £47.50. The day represented an opportunity to test the market value of the company with a five-hour period of buying and selling the shares permitted. According to Asset Match, a total of 28,567 shares were bought while 28,285 were sold. Sellers who offloaded their shares below the indicative price will receive £47.50 per share, while buyers who bought above the indicative price will also pay that amount. The indicative price was the same as when BrewDog sold shares in its Equity for Punks IV fund-raising round, valuing the company at circa £300m. BrewDog was forced to reschedule its first trading day in two years after the Asset Match website crashed because of the volume of interest. BrewDog was admitted to trading on Asset Match on 5 November 2014.
Spanish restaurant Duende to rebrand as Encant as owner prepares to open second site: Victor Garvey, chef-patron of modern Spanish restaurant Duende, is to rebrand the Covent Garden venue as Encant from next month as he prepares to start expanding the concept. Meaning “charm” or “spell” in Catalan, Encant will not only be the new name for Duende but also for Garvey’s already funded second central London site, due to open in early 2017, as well as any subsequent locations and associated activities. The menu at the new site will feature a number of dishes familiar at Duende but will focus additionally on Catalan cuisine, the food of Garvey’s youth. He said: “When I opened Duende in March this year, I could never have hoped or imagined that within our first year we’d be in a position to even think about opening a second site, let alone actually do it. I didn’t really think through finding a name that could grow with us, in terms of trademarks and licensing, so now we’re expanding it feels like we’ve got a golden opportunity to get it right this time! Encant has similar connotations to duende, which is literally an imp or sprite but can also mean magic or charm, the same as encant. The new name won’t change the spirit of the restaurant one bit, in fact it really embraces what we want the feeling of our enlarged business to be now and in the future.” The existing site in Maiden Lane will officially be rebranded as Encant from Tuesday, 1 November.
Shikumen and VQ sign for sites at new Aldgate hotel: High-end Chinese and Japanese restaurant concept Shikumen and VQ, the London-based cafe and diner, have agreed deals to open at Dorsett Hospitality’s second property in the capital. Both brands will launch venues at Dorsett City, which is opening in 2017 next to Aldgate underground station. Shikumen, which is one of a number of brands owned by John Woo’s JRC Group, will be opening its fourth site. It has restaurants at the O2 in Ealing as well as Dorsett’s other hotel in Shepherd’s Bush. VQ will also be launching its fourth venue having previously opened in Bloomsbury, Chelsea and Notting Hill. Dorsett City is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2017 and will feature 267 rooms and suites, a rooftop bar and 1,600 square metres of meeting space, reports Business Traveller. The group owns and manages 30 hotels in China, Singapore, Malaysia and the UK, with eight hotels set to open in Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong and the UK “in the next couple of years”.
Bloomsbury Club Bar to host some of world’s greatest bars during residency project: The Bloomsbury Club Bar in London is launching a “Club Residencies Project”, which will see it host some of the world’s greatest bars. Initiated by bar manager Brian Calleja, the first two award-winning bars to be welcomed to the Great Russell Street venue will be Athens’ world-renowned cocktail bar The Clumsies, from Wednesday, 2 November to Friday, 4 November. This will be followed by New York’s Black Tail – from the team behind The Dead Rabbit – making its first residency in early 2017. The Clumsies, which opened in late 2014, will bring its laid-back atmosphere and decor to The Bloomsbury Club Bar with a selection of artwork and curios from its Athens home and serving a menu of innovative and experimental drinks. Following this, The Bloomsbury Club Bar will kick off 2017 by hosting New York City’s Black Tail. Inspired by the American bars that sprang up in Havana during US prohibition, Black Tail was opened in August by the team behind Dead Rabbit, which is currently listed as best bar in the world. The Bloomsbury Club Bar, which opened in June, is split into two areas – the main bar and outer terrace bar. The walls in the main bar area are adorned with artwork and books synonymous with the Bloomsbury Set, with a subtle English colonial influence. The secluded outside bar resembles a relaxed Bohemian space, with heated booths lining the exposed brickwork and a canvas of fairy lights covering the ceiling. Calleja said: “I am thrilled to be welcoming and hosting bars from all over the world as part of The Bloomsbury Club Bar Residencies Project and am looking forward to collaborating with the bartenders and creating a bespoke offering for our guests.”
Taco Bell to open Southampton city centre restaurant next month, 13th UK site: Mexican restaurant brand Taco Bell is set to open its 13th UK site next month, this time in Southampton city centre. The 67-cover restaurant will open across two floors in the Hanover Buildings at a site formerly occupied by Dolphin Bathrooms, Southern Daily Echo reports. Last month, the company opened a restaurant in Colchester, Essex, its fourth site with franchisee Dart Taco. In July, Taco Bell opened its first UK drive-thru site – in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire. As well as the drive-thru, the 50-seat venue features an open kitchen and mobile phone charging points.
Chipotle third-quarter like-for-like sales fall 21.9%, slight improvement on previous quarter: Chipotle Mexican Grill’s third-quarter like-for-like sales fell 21.9% in the period ending 30 September, improving slightly from a 23.6% decline in the second quarter, the company said. The fall included a 0.8% revenue deferral related to unredeemed awards from the brand’s Chiptopia loyalty programme. Net income fell to $7.8m, compared with $144.9m in the same quarter last year. The company took a $14.5m pre-tax impairment charge related to ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen and a $11.5m pre-tax revenue deferral related to the Chiptopia programme. Revenue in the third quarter fell 14.8% to $1bn, from $1.2bn in the prior-year period. Chipotle said monthly like-for-like sales declines had improved since January, when they were down 36.4%. In guidance for the fourth quarter, management said it expected like-for-like declines in the “low single digits”. Chipotle co-chief executive Monty Moran said: “Our restaurant teams are very excited to see more customers return to their restaurants and are working hard to reward them with an excellent guest experience. After successfully implementing an industry-leading food safety programme and, as our marketing efforts are driving more people to our restaurants, it is critical we are prepared to delight customers on every visit.” Chipotle operates 2,178 restaurants in the US and 27 abroad, as well as 15 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants.
Sussex-based Bedlam passes 50% mark in £330,000 crowdfunding campaign to build brewery: Sussex-based craft brewer Bedlam has passed the 50% mark in its £330,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube as it aims to build a brewery. The company is offering an 18.66% equity stake in return for the investment, which is being raised to supplement the £170,000 recently invested by shareholders and associates. So far, 133 investors have pledged £173,750 with six days remaining. The largest investment to date is £20,000. A new brewhouse would increase capacity by up to 600%, Bedlam said, with the new site commanding stunning views across the South Downs National Park and accommodating tours, tasting rooms and a retail store. Since relaunching as a commercial brewery in 2015, Bedlam has seen turnover increase by more than 85% in the past year, including securing its first export order, while gross profit has risen 123% in the same period. The pitch states: “For the current period (to end March 2017), we are forecasting a rise in sales of over 90% to about £350,000 as we see the benefit from a wider distribution network driving growth. The funds we are seeking from this raise will be utilised to facilitate the relocation of the brewery from its current site to a new one that will enable a significant increase in production capacity. With regards to a potential exit, those of you that have followed the craft beer industry in the UK will be aware that some breweries that have been successful in creating a strong brand and meaningful sales have been acquired by larger groups. Camden Town was acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev for a suggested £85m in late 2015. At Bedlam, we don’t really believe in giving a specific exit timeline but will instead continue to focus on brewing great beer and driving sales through increased distribution. We will, of course, act in the best interests of our shareholders and so, if an exit opportunity were to arise, we would consider it accordingly.”
Mac & Wild to operate pop-up game restaurant at John Lewis rooftop winter wonderland: Game experts Mac & Wild will operate a pop-up restaurant in the “midst of a winter forest” at The Gardening Society, John Lewis’ rooftop space in Oxford Street. The “winter wonderland” will launch on Monday, 7 November, with Mac & Wild creating a menu of exclusive Highland-style dishes peppered with favourites from its Great Titchfield Street restaurant. Dishes include John Lewis Christmas burger (fried confit turkey leg with venison stuffing, brie, cranberry and truffled bread sauce in a demi brioche bun), alongside Mac & Wild’s award-winning Veni-Moo burger (beef patty and venison patty with cheese, béarnaise and caramelised onions in a sweet brioche bun). Pop-up experts Background Bars will operate the drinks offering, with festive cocktails ranging from a homemade pine liqueur to a mulled eight-spice Negroni. Individually designed private lodges can be booked for up to four people and come with their own key and sound system, board games and a “hot toddy bell” to ring for service. “The Lodge” will be an “ultimate dining experience”, seating eight people around a chef’s table. The winter wonderland will run until Friday, 30 December.
Enterprise reveals new ‘Menu Builder’ tool for publicans: Enterprise Inns, together with Booker Wholesale, has created a new “Menu Builder” tool that will enable publicans to introduce or improve their food offering. The “Menu Builder” gives publicans access to a range of menu packages that have been created to work with its segmentation tool to suit the requirements of different segments in the estate. The complete food development support package offers publicans the tools needed to build menus and create a bespoke food offer by selecting dishes from different modules to suit different times of day and week. Each dish comes with a fully-costed recipe using Booker ingredients and a calculator tool that allows publicans to set selling prices and generate cash margin figures. The dish recipes can also be downloaded to create a bespoke cookbook for pub kitchens. The “Menu Builder” also includes a full list of kitchen equipment and sundries needed to deliver the dishes, all of which can be sourced from a range of suppliers available through Enterprise’s e-market supplier directory. Allergen information for all dishes is available for publicans to download from a bespoke online database supported by Catercost. Enterprise publicans can also access a menu design and print service, where they can select from a range of menu templates or design their own. The online tool will initially be available to value and mid-market outlets. Enterprise sales and marketing director James Armitage said: “We know that many of our publicans would like to enhance their profitability by introducing or improving their food offering but are put off by lack of kitchen skills and food offer expertise, so with ‘Menu Builder’ we are helping our publicans to overcome these barriers. The menu packages are simple to put together and, with support from Booker, publicans and kitchen staff will have all the equipment, guidance and ingredients to compile a highly desirable, quality food offering.”
Nines Global Buffet starts expansion with Swansea site: Nines Global Buffet has started expansion by opening a second UK site, this time in Swansea. The company’s first restaurant launched in Cambridge at the start of the year and offers “cuisine from around the world”. Its new 230-cover buffet restaurant is in Castle Street at a site formerly occupied by Cosmos. It features live cooking stations, with chefs preparing and cooking food to order in front of customers. Diners can enjoy hundreds of dishes, from freshly made sushi to Spanish paella, Wales Online reports. There is a dedicated grill bar and barbecue station for meat-lovers, alongside a selection of vegetarian dishes. The dessert menu includes creme brulee, tiramisu, cheesecake, gateaux, profiteroles and chocolate fountains. Nines Global Buffet general manager Alice Yi said: “We hope our great choice, quality, and affordability will make Nines a popular spot for the residents of Swansea.”
Chef launches new pizzeria concept in Greenock: A Scottish chef has launched new pizza concept Tonino’s in Greenock, near Glasgow. Tony Bonatti has opened the pizzeria in Grey Place and hails from a family that has operated Italian venues since he was a small boy. He told the Greenock Telegraph: “It sounds extra cheesy but this is my dream. I love everything about pizza, the history of it. It’s such an easy dish but it tastes so good. I’m passionate about coffee as well and stock Portioli, from a small family business in Milan, and I have a nice selection of wine. At the moment we offer sit-in and takeaway orders but I’m going to add to that by taking on delivery drivers.” Bonatti’s father Stefano operates Cafe Bongio in the town.
Greene King gets go-ahead for new-build Hungry Horse in Gloucester: Greene King has been given the go-ahead for a new-build Hungry Horse pub restaurant in Gloucester. The company has been granted permission by Gloucester City Council to build the venue on more than an acre of land at the Railway Triangle site, off Metz Way. The pub will have seating for 235 people and a beer garden and children’s play area, reports Gloucestershire Live. It will be opposite the Morrisons supermarket at the site, which has also seen the opening of a Costa drive-thru coffee shop and Rygor Mercedes-Benz centre.
New World Trading Company to launch 11th Botanist site, in York city centre next month: New World Trading Company, the Graphite Capital-backed pub restaurant group, will open its latest site for The Botanist next month, this time in York city centre. The new venue will be the 11th Botanist when it opens on Monday, 21 November in Stonegate, creating 60 jobs. Part of the Mulberry Hall building, the pub and restaurant will cover 5,000 square feet, with 80 covers across the ground floor. Dishes will include deli-inspired boards and a changing lunch and dinner menu focusing on rotisserie and barbecue-style dishes. The Botanist York will offer a wide range of botanical cocktails, including a cinnamon and oregano old fashioned, alongside beer, ale and wine. There will also be a selection of gins, all locally sourced and hand-picked. General manager Ciara Appleton told BDaily: “York has such a wide range of bars and restaurants. The Botanist, myself and the team are so excited to now be part of this amazing York family and community.” Established in 2012, The Botanist’s other sites are in Manchester, Chester, Alderley Edge, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Marlow, Farnham, Knutsford and Sheffield.
St Austell Brewery to host 18th annual Celtic Beer Festival next month: Cornwall-based St Austell Brewery will host its 18th annual Celtic Beer Festival on Saturday, 26 November. The historic Victorian cellars below the brewery will have four bars serving more than 130 different ales, stouts and lagers. As well as St Austell Brewery’s own award-winning range, an array of limited edition beers will also be on offer. Following the company’s acquisition of Bath Ales this summer, a selection of its brands will also be available. The event also helps raise funds for St Austell Brewery’s Charitable Trust to help worthy causes across the south west.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen opens restaurant in £14m Bolton redevelopment: Gourmet Burger Kitchen has opened its latest site, this time in the £14m Market Place Shopping Centre redevelopment in Bolton. It has been a busy month for the better burger brand – it submitted a licensing application for a restaurant in Maidstone, Kent, and also signed for the new £45m Redrock Stockport development in Greater Manchester. The company also launched its first site in Devon last month, at the £12m Queen Street dining quarter in Exeter city centre. Gourmet Burger Kitchen was founded in 2001 in Battersea, south London, and now operates almost 80 restaurants in the UK. The £14m vaults scheme in Bolton is part of a wider £19m redevelopment that will also see the creation of a nine-screen cinema. Gourmet Burger Kitchen joins Nando’s, Pepe’s Piri Piri and Prezzo at the scheme.
CPL Online shortlisted for award: CPL Online, the provider of e-learning courses and online business system solutions for the licensed retail hospitality sector, has been shortlisted in the Learning Awards 2017. The company will compete for the “Learning Provider of the Year” accolade. It’s the first time CPL has applied for the awards, which include submissions from emerging technology providers and some of the world’s leading brands. In the past year, CPL Online has launched the company’s LMS mobile app and the “Next Generation” of e-learning series. It was also accredited by the Learning & Performance Institute and the CPD Standards Office as well as being named an “Award Honouree” at the Computerworld Data+ Editors’ Choice Awards. CPL Online managing director David Dasher said: “We are thrilled to be announced as finalists in the Learning Provider of the Year award. The Learning Awards represent the best performers in learning and development from around the globe, so it is testament to what we’ve achieved in the past 12 months. We look forward to the next stage of the competition.” The Learning Awards ceremony takes place at the Dorchester hotel in London’s Park Lane on Thursday, 2 February.
Restaurant, bar and private lounge plan for Yorkshire country hotel: The owners of grade II-listed country house and hotel Grantley Hall have submitted plans to Harrogate Borough Council for a second phase of development, which includes building a venue to house an independent restaurant, bar and luxurious private lounge, alongside a function space to host weddings, parties and corporate events. The first planning proposal, which included renovation and refurbishment of the main house and outbuildings, as well the development of a new spa and fitness centre with more bedrooms, was approved in June. Built in the 17th century, the property near Ripon underwent expansion projects in the 18th and 19th centuries to add new wings. The property has 32,000 square feet of floor space and sits in 30 acres of land. Grantley Hall Limited, a company owned by Valeria Sykes, purchased the property in 2015. A company spokesperson said: “The new space will allow us to cater to a wider market and provide a unique proposition to the luxury hotel market in this part of the UK.”
Heineken reports ‘robust’ third quarter: Heineken has reported a “robust” third quarter as consolidated beer volume grew 2.0% organically with growth in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe offsetting weaker volume in Africa, the Middle East and eastern Europe. Volume in the premium segment was up 3.5%. Chairman of the executive board and chief executive Jean-François van Boxmeer, who will be nominated for reappointment at the 2017 annual meeting, said: “Performance in the third quarter was robust despite strong comparatives in Americas and Europe, and a tough environment in Africa, the Middle East and eastern Europe. Strong performance continued in key markets such as Vietnam and Mexico, with Europe also showing further positive momentum. Our full-year margin expectations remain unchanged despite continued adverse economic conditions in some developing markets, as well as increasing currency headwinds.”
Dalata acquires Cardiff hotel for £24m: Irish hotel group Dalata has acquired Rush (Central), which holds the freehold interest of the Clayton Hotel Cardiff, for £24m. The four-star hotel, based in St Mary Street, has 216 air-conditioned bedrooms, a bar and restaurant, a fitness suite and extensive meeting room facilities. Dalata currently holds a leasehold on the property until 2046, at an annual rent of £1.511m per annum subject to upward only rent reviews at five-year intervals. Rush also owns a restaurant on the ground floor of the building, which is leased to Viva Brazil on a 20-year lease, expiring in 2032. Dermot Crowley, Dalata deputy chief executive business development and finance, said: “Clayton Hotel Cardiff has performed very strongly this year. We are delighted to be able to purchase the freehold interest of the hotel. This transaction is consistent with our stated strategy of buying out the freehold interests of those leased properties with future unpredictable rent reviews.”