Oakman wins planning consent for £5.2m project: Oakman Inns and Restaurants has won planning consent from Bracknell Forest Council to restore The Royal Foresters in London Road. The £5.2m project to restore the Berkshire landmark and meeting place will take about eight months to complete. Oakman Inns chief executive Peter Borg-Neal said: “We are delighted with the outcome and would like to thank the very many members of the public who gave us their unwavering support. I think it’s appropriate to commend the officers of Bracknell Forest Council, who conducted a robust and professional process as well as delivering a determination within a few days of the original target. This is the biggest project Oakman Inns has ever done and is incredibly important to us. Getting planning permission is a significant step in what will be a lengthy and extensive project and we will commence work immediately. The first stage will be to rehouse the bats living within the buildings and we will then need to satisfy a number of pre-commencement conditions before starting work on the demolition of the annexe buildings and the modern extensions behind the main building. We have already started work on putting together the detailed information required. If all goes to plan and Bracknell Forest Council is able to discharge these pre-commencement conditions quickly, we will start the demolitions within a few weeks and be open by spring 2018.” In the meantime, Oakman Inns has recently added a second Berkshire pub to its Collection – the 19th century Walter Arms in the heart of Sindlesham, near Wokingham. The Walter Arms is open and trading but the expectation is that Oakman will apply for permission to renovate and extend the building after going through a pre-application consultation with Wokingham Borough Council.
YO! Sushi to open flagship site in Tottenham Court Road: YO! Sushi is to open a flagship London restaurant at 106 Tottenham Court Road. YO! Sushi has bought the existing lease from former tenants Italian cafe brand Ca’Puccino, which agent Shelley Sandzer acted for. The 1,900 square foot restaurant will have space for more than 70 covers on the ground floor space. Due to open at the end of the summer, the restaurant will feature YO! Sushi’s latest branding that was launched earlier this year in New York. Shelley Sandzer partner Leo Feldman said: “We’re pleased to have sold Ca’Puccino’s lease on to YO! Sushi, who will be a great addition to the constantly improving food offer in Tottenham Court Road.” Shelley Sandzer said it has a long-standing relationship with YO! Sushi, carrying out rent reviews across the brand’s entire UK portfolio. YO! Sushi opened its latest site, in Canterbury Kent, this week. The company, which is backed by Mayfair Private Equity, currently has 77 restaurants in the UK, four in the US and 17 franchised operations in the Middle East and in other international airports around the globe. In the year to 29 November 2015, the company had turnover of £84m with Ebitda of £11m.
Wagamama opens Seaport site in Boston, Massachusetts, serving cocktails: Wagamama has opened its latest Boston restaurant, in the thriving Seaport neighbourhood, overlooking Boston harbour. The new location at 100 Northern Avenue joins Wagamama’s other Boston restaurants at the Prudential Center and Faneuil Hall. Boston was the first and only city in the US to have a Wagamama until the first New York City location opened in 2016. Seaport will be the only Wagamama in Boston to serve cocktails, a new addition the brand created especially for the US. Drinks are Asian-inspired takes on classic cocktails, such as the whisky sawa with Iwai Japanese whiskey and lapsang souchong liqueur, and the yuzu mojito with Tanduay rum and yuzu liqueur, in addition to an extensive Asian craft beer range. “We’re delighted to bring Wagamama to the beautiful Seaport neighbourhood and the growing harbour area,” said Wagamama chief executive Jane Holbrook. “Boston holds a special place in our hearts. The city welcomed us with open arms when we brought the first US Wagamama here a decade ago, and we look forward to introducing our noodles, teppanyaki, curries and cocktails to even more Bostonians.”
Thwaites welcomes first guests to £5m lodge in Hampshire: North west brewer and retailer Daniel Thwaites has welcomed the first guests to its £5m lodge in Fareham, Hampshire. The 54 bedroom lodge, which adjoins the Parsons Collar pub, is an expansion of the company’s four-star Solent Hotel & Spa. The company said the new facilities were “tailor-made for leisure and business customers on a budget looking for a premium guest experience”. Thwaites Hotels chief executive Rick Bailey said: “It’s fantastic to see these major developments at Solent Hotel & Spa coming to fruition. We’ve made a huge investment in Fareham because it enjoys a fantastic location and is a big hit among business people and leisure visitors alike. The lodge is a fantastic alternative to our luxurious spa accommodation since it offers everything you’d expect from the most modern guest rooms at prices to please every pocket.” General manager Steve Woodrow added: “The design of the lodge is modern and fresh with some quirky features to not only make our guests smile but also make the best use of the space. It has been inspired by ‘beach and city life’ and, alongside the stylish guest rooms, there are some other striking features including sculptures and funky street furniture.” Thwaites Hotels is currently AA Hotel Group of the Year.
US-based vegan brand By Chloe has more international openings in the pipeline: US-based vegan brand By Chloe has said there are two further international openings in the pipeline as it prepares to open its first site outside the US. The plant-based, fast casual brand will open its first overseas restaurant in Russell Street, Covent Garden, in the autumn, which will seat 70 guests and offer a takeaway service. By Chloe has partnered with TGP International to bring the brand to the UK, Europe and the Middle East. The companies said there are two further sites in the pipeline, while partners are being sought for expansion across all regions. The brand opened its debut site in New York City in 2015 and has grown to four locations in New York, one in Los Angeles and two in Boston, as well as a standalone bakery, Sweets by Chloe. There are further US openings planned this year in New York and New England. TGP International managing director Simon Wright said: “Plant-based and healthy eating are the buzzwords in the food world at the moment and By Chloe encompasses this ethos so well. With the brand being so established in New York, we saw London as the perfect market for its expansion.” By Chloe is an operating partner of New York-based group ESquared Hospitality.
Krispy Kreme to open 100th UK store: Krispy Kreme is to open its 100th UK store when it launches a site in Nottingham later this month. The company will open its first site in the city, in the Intu Victoria shopping centre’s Clocktower dining area, on Wednesday, 23 August. The venue, which is at the former site of men’s clothing shop Xplicit and an empty unit next door, will seat 24 people and offer coffee, milkshakes and 16 varieties of doughnut. As it will be the 100th store, there will be lucky dip prizes for the first 100 customers through the doors on launch day. Krispy Kreme UK operations director Neil Williamson told the Nottingham Post: “2017 is very special for us at Krispy Kreme as it’s our 80th birthday year. It’s about to be made even more special as we reach our 100th UK store milestone with the opening of our new Nottingham outlet.” Intu general manager Nigel Wheatley added: “Our Clocktower dining area is the perfect city centre destination for Krispy Kreme to attract customers in Nottingham for the first time.”
Mixologist Mr Lyan and Silo co-founder to launch Cub restaurant in Hoxton next month: Award-winning mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr Lyan, and Doug McMaster, co-founder of Brighton’s zero-waste restaurant Silo, are to launch their joint venture Cub next month. The 35-cover restaurant will open on Thursday, 7 September at Chetiyawardana’s former White Lyan site in Hoxton Street. Sitting above his basement bar Super Lyan, Cub will be Chetiyawardana’s first full foray into the world of dining and McMaster’s first venture in the capital. They are working with former Noma scientist Dr Arielle Johnson to create the venue’s own “ecosystem”, with experimental ingredients grown on-site. Chetiyawardana said: “We want to keep pushing boundaries – and keep things weird – but in a way that feels accessible and honest as well as exciting and modern. Cub will be the continuation of these conversations but taking them in a new direction – looking at how we can rejoin the worlds of food and drink, and showcase the importance of innovation and sustainability to a wider public.” McMaster added: “Cub is an exciting collaboration that allows us to explore how our industries can come together to make a unique experience. There’s always been a synergy between our businesses, and this allows us to explore how that can develop.”
Just Eat passes 1,000-order milestone by robot: Just Eat said it has passed the milestone of 1,000 deliveries by autonomous robot during a trial in London in partnership with Finland-based robotics company Starship Technologies. The trial has seen a fleet of ten self-driving robots unleashed on to busy London streets this year. Customers in select areas have been given the option to have their delivery carried out by one of Starship’s robots and the companies are celebrating after the 1,000th delivery was carried out by one of the robots in Southwark. Autonomous robot technology has been touted as a viable alternative to drone deliveries. Just Eat UK managing director Graham Corfield said the robots had slotted into urban life and the trial could lead to a wider roll-out. He told BDaily: “We continuously look for ways to use technology to make our customers and restaurant partners’ lives easier, and delivery robots are one of the many industry-first initiatives we’ve introduced to enhance the Just Eat experience. We can’t wait for more food-lovers to enjoy their favourite takeaway, fresh from a robot.”
Nisha Katona – Mowgli’s ‘edgy offer’ perfect for Birmingham: Nisha Katona has said her Indian street food brand Mowgli’s “edgy offer” is perfect for Birmingham. Mowgli, which operates two sites in Liverpool and one in Manchester, has signed to open a site this autumn at the Grand Central shopping centre. The 364 square metre restaurant will be in the casual dining area of Grand Central alongside Vietnamese street food restaurant group Pho and celebrity chef Omar Allibhoy’s Tapas Revolution. Former barrister Katona told the Birmingham Mail: “I am very excited about taking Mowgli to Birmingham and particularly to Grand Central. Mowgli is about the smash-and-grab zing of honest, home-style, fresh food. It strikes me Grand Central clients are all about this kind of edgy offer.” Sarah Fox, head of restaurants and leisure at Hammerson, which runs Grand Central, added: “With the addition of Mowgli we are enhancing the dining offer to match, delivering a greater choice for customers throughout the day and into the evening.” Last month, Mowgli secured £3.45m in expansion funding from Foresight Group, the independent infrastructure, private equity and investment manager.
Go Ape lines up Leeds site: High ropes adventure course provider Go Ape has lodged plans for a new Leeds site in the grounds of a listed building following a period of consultation. The new development is earmarked for an area of woodland adjacent and to the north east of the main car park of Temple Newsam, known as Menagerie Wood. The Go Ape course would cover less than a quarter of one per cent of the park’s 1,500 acres and, according to the business’ design and access statement, people at the park would “only notice the course in its immediate vicinity”.
Las Iguanas to launch Birmingham restaurant this month: Casual Dining brand Las Iguanas is to launch its Birmingham restaurant this month. The venue will open in Temple Street on Monday, 28 August with the decor reflecting the Las Iguanas team’s recent travels to South America, including comfortable booths against a backdrop of sunshine shades of yellow, sky-blue and turquoise, and bold graphics inspired by Buenos Aires street art. New additions to the menu include Bolinhos de Caranguejo (crab, prawn and potato croquettes), and a Cuban sandwich consisting of roasted pork belly, pulled pork, cheese, ham and relish. New seafood dishes include Sea Bass A Lo Macho (fillet of bass with mussels, crayfish and prawns in a white wine sauce). A new dish on the dessert menu is the Brazilian Flip Flop (dulche de leche ice cream topped with chocolate brigadeiro and crushed peanut brittle). The revamped Las Iguanas drinks list includes a chilli paloma alongside a new “hot list”, which features four monthly-changing seasonal cocktails.
Malhotra Group completes £1.2m Newcastle investment: Work has been completed on a £1.2m redevelopment project at Newcastle’s Grey Street Hotel. The grade II-listed venue has come to the end of an 18-month phased refurbishment period, which was instigated by Malhotra Group in a bid to make it one of the city’s most prominent locations for corporate, leisure and spa visitors. Each of the hotel’s 49 bedrooms has been individually styled to combine luxury with unique tributes to the city’s heritage. There have also been changes to the hotel’s layout, including relocation of the entrance and the creation of “urban beauty retreat” All About You in the upper basement. The Monument Suite has also been extended to hold up to 100 guests and can be divided into smaller spaces, while a smaller meeting room, The Snug, has been created for private events. “This development goes way beyond cosmetic,” said Atul Malhotra, operations director at The Malhotra Group. “We’ve taken an entirely fresh look at the space to widen its appeal to residents and non-residents alike and to ensure it is as attractive to the city’s business community and spa-goers as it is to those visiting from outside the region.”
Marston’s starts work on new-build pub in High Wycombe: Marston’s has started work on a new-build family pub in High Wycombe as part of a major regeneration project in the Buckinghamshire town. The Spindle and Thread will open in October at the Hughenden Quarter, which is being redeveloped as part of Wycombe District Council’s “Investing in Wycombe” initiative, the Bucks Free Press reports. Marston’s has started recruiting for 45 full and part-time jobs at the new pub, which will cater for 150 diners and feature a terrace, children’s play area and beer garden. Meanwhile, the company has opened its new-build pub in Skegness, Lincolnshire. The Twelve Oars has launched on the site of Skegness Town’s former football stadium. The venue in Burgh Road is part of a retail park due to fully open in the autumn.
Oxford Wine Company to open third site: Oxford Wine Company will open its third site in the city, Sandy’s Piano and Wine Bar, this month. The venue in King Edward Street, off High Street, will focus on “quality wines and cocktails with live music every night”. Oxford Wine Company managing director George Sandbach said the venue would fill a niche in Oxford’s night-time scene. He added: “With a late licence into the night, Sandy’s will accommodate the drinkers and party-goers who don’t want to go to a student bar or nightclub. At Sandy’s, they can still get a quality bottle of wine or well-made cocktail without shouting over the music. Situated right in the middle of town, we hope to have a beneficial influence on Oxford and bring back a lively music scene, something that towns around us already enjoy.” Oxford Wine Company opened the first Oxford Wine Cafe in South Parade, Summertown, in July 2013. The second, on the corner of Little Clarendon Street and Walton Street, opened in 2015. The company announced in December it had acquired former Oxford shoe shop Ducker & Son in Turl Street for its second off-licence.
JD Wetherspoon to open £2.7m pub and hotel in Biggleswade next week: JD Wetherspoon is to open its £2.7m pub and hotel in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, next week. The Crown Hotel will open in High Street on Tuesday (8 August) creating 75 jobs. The grade II-listed section of the building has been refurbished, while a single-storey extension housing a new bar and kitchen has been added to the rear. The Crown Inn dates to about 1672, while the “Great Fire of Biggleswade” started at the venue in June 1785, spreading to destroy a third of the old town – including the pub and more than 100 houses. The Crown was rebuilt as a coaching inn in 1793. The new-look pub features a courtyard beer garden that runs from the front to the rear of the property through a centuries-old coaching arch. The venue will specialise in craft and world beers, while the hotel will offer nine rooms on the first and second floors. Manager Bogdan Huica told The Comet: “Myself and my team are looking forward to welcoming customers into the pub as well as hotel guests. We’re confident it will be a great addition to the Biggleswade community.”
Nando’s opens Altrincham restaurant at former McDonald’s site: Nando’s has opened a restaurant in Altrincham, the company’s 14th site in Greater Manchester. The company has opened the 2,315 square foot venue on the corner of Cross Street and Stamford New Road at a former McDonald’s site. The building, which housed McDonald’s for 23 years before its closure in 2007, had been undergoing a major renovation since October. Lunar, the site’s owner, made a significant investment in its refurbishment, reports Altrincham Today. Nando’s operates more than 1,000 restaurants across the globe, with almost 300 in the UK and Ireland. The closest Nando’s restaurant to Altrincham is in Manchester’s Trafford Centre. The company’s next UK site to open will be at the £30m Bell Court complex in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, on Wednesday, 23 August.
Manchester-based healthy eating concept Kettlebell Kitchen to open second site in city: Manchester-based healthy eating concept Kettlebell Kitchen is to begin expansion by opening a second site in the city. The company, which operates its debut site in Ancoats, will open this summer at the First Street development alongside other recent signings Junkyard Golf Club and MasterChef winner Simon Wood’s new restaurant. Kettlebell’s signing means all 32,000 square feet of the retail, leisure, food and beverage units in phase one of First Street’s development scheme has been taken. Kettlebell Kitchen’s motto is “eat clean, cheat clean” with an aim to satisfy the appetites of hundreds of office staff based at First Street, alongside a growing student population in the area. The 20-acre First Street estate launched two years ago and was acquired by real estate company Patrizia in 2015. Mike Tyler, head of asset management at Patrizia UK, told The Business Desk: “We’re delighted to welcome Kettlebell Kitchen. It is another independent operator that will bring a complementary food and drink offering to First Street. First Street’s completed line-up means it has all the right ingredients to be one of the city’s most popular leisure destinations.”
Former flagship Red Hot World Buffet site could be turned into trampoline park: The former flagship Red Hot World Buffet site in Nottingham’s Cornerhouse could be turned into a trampoline park if Nottingham city councillors approve plans that have been drawn up. The Cornerhouse unit, currently occupied by World Cuisine Buffet and before that Red Hot World Buffet, could be transformed into a 26,350 square foot facility complete with Bear Grylls fitness classes. World Cuisine Buffet said it would surrender the lease to the unit should planning permission be granted, with trampoline park operator Oxygen Freejumping taking over. A letter from chartered surveyors Montagu Evans to Nottingham City Council states: “The proposed change of use from restaurant to a trampoline centre, with ancillary restaurant/cafe, would deliver a high-quality leisure facility in the heart of Nottingham city centre that would complement the existing range of town centre uses in as a whole and those included in Cornerhouse itself. The proposals would result in the reoccupation of a vacant unit, thereby creating additional activity, and would contribute to the vitality and viability of the city centre. In land-use terms, the proposals are considered to be consistent with the policy objectives of the Development Plan.” Earlier this week, Oxygen Freejumping expanded with the acquisition of Air Space Trampoline in a multimillion-pound deal. The deal brings Oxygen Freejumping’s total number of trampoline parks to ten and is in line with its strategy of reaching 20 parks by the end of 2018. Air Space Trampoline, a subsidiary of Go Ape, operates three trampoline parks in East Kilbride, Stevenage and Wolverhampton.
Yorkshire-based pub company Hexagon Inns eyes expansion: Yorkshire-based pub group Hexagon Inns has said it is gearing up to expand its portfolio during the next two years. The group said all the newly acquired pubs would be located within 50 miles of Harrogate. Wetherby-based Hexagon Inns is aiming to replicate the success of its refurbished Hare & Hounds pub in the village of Burton Leonard, which it acquired in October and has just reopened featuring a new restaurant area and creating 13 jobs. Hexagon Inns managing director Andrew Rickard told BDaily: “Following the reopening of the Hare & Hounds, we have seen real potential in breathing new life into old pubs with a contemporary decor and a locally sourced menu. We want pubs to become the heart of the community again.” Jac Dalton, deputy manager of the Hare & Hounds, added: “Whether it’s fish, meat, game or wine, we take great pride in working with local producers from the Harrogate area to source the very best produce for our menus.”
R&B to open Isle of Raasay’s first whisky distillery: R&B Distillers is to open the first whisky distillery on the Hebridean island of Raasay next month, with the first single-blend scotch ready to drink in 2020. ABIR architects has transformed a disused hotel on the island into the Isle of Raasay Distillery, a visitors’ centre and accommodation for members of the company’s whisky-drinking club Na Tùsairean. The distillery will feature two copper stills sourced from Tuscany and produce about 150,000 bottles of scotch a year. The independently owned and operated distillery is expected to generate employment for up to 10% of island residents. Raasay local Norman Gillies has been appointed distillery manager. R&B, which stands for Raasay and Borders, was founded by Alasdair Day and Bill Dobbie. Day said: “It is the location – an island off an island with complex geology, water and climate with probably the best views of any distillery in Scotland – that makes Raasay ideal for our innovative distillery.”
Archie’s relaunches Birmingham site for fourth restaurant: North west-based burgers, shakes and waffles concept Archie’s has expanded into Birmingham for its fourth site. The venue opened in Selfridges at the Bullring as a milkshake and ice cream parlour but has now expanded to take in Archie’s full range of burgers, waffles, hotdogs and nachos as an eat-in restaurant. Archie’s, which has two sites in Manchester and one in Liverpool, is offering exclusive dishes at its Birmingham site, including mini slider burgers and a Peaky Blinders shake. Archie’s was founded in 2010 by brothers Amer, Imran, Asim and Irfan Rafiq, who told the Birmingham Mail: “After making a strong presence in the north west, we felt it was time to venture to the Midlands. When the collaboration with Selfridges became available we were thrilled to take the opportunity. We have been overwhelmed with the reception we received when we announced we were opening in Birmingham. We initially decided to only serve shakes and waffles. However, customers were disappointed to find out we weren’t serving burgers so we have created a custom menu especially for Birmingham.”
Pentahotels to enter Russian market: Hotel group Pentahotels is to enter the Russian market by opening a site in Moscow next year. Pentahotels, which has offices in Frankfurt and Hong Kong, said it was finalising definitive agreements with Russian property developers Capital Group to open Pentahotel Moscow – Arabat in time for the June 2018 Fifa World Cup. The hotel will be in Novy Arbat, about one mile from Red Square, and will showcase Pentahotels’ trademark Pentalounge alongside 228 bedrooms, meeting space and a gym. Pentahotels’ sites offer lifestyle features such as billiards tables and digital entertainment. Pentahotels vice-president acquisitions and development Puneet Kanuga said: “Each Pentahotel incorporates not only the cultural characteristics of the country it is in but also the unique attributes of its location. That will create a dynamic space to attract a new generation of active urban residents and visitors to the Russian capital.” Pentahotels operates 28 hotels, including six in the UK.
East London bar Queen of Hoxton to bring ‘splendour of Marrakesh’ to Shoreditch: Shoreditch bar the Queen of Hoxton is to bring the “romantic splendour of Marrakesh” to east London at its winter rooftop space. Launching on Thursday, 26 October and running until the end of March 2018, the garden will be a “hideaway inspired by the far-flung desert realms” featuring Babush slippers, ceramic tiles, lanterns, cushions and drapes within a “rooftop wigwam”. Dishes from the kitchen will include halloumi fries, lamb and apricot tagine, and a rainbow vegan mezze board. There will also be sweet cardamom-spiced coffee and pots of fragrant mint tea with rose (available with or without alcohol). A programme of arts and culture events at the venue in Curtain Road will include fireside storytelling alongside henna tattoo and jewellery workshops