Gourmet Burger Kitchen opens Beverley site: Gourmet Burger Kitchen has opened its site in Beverley, East Yorkshire, creating more than 30 jobs. The restaurant’s first 100 customers received a free cheeseburger to celebrate the launch of the venue in Flemingate shopping centre, which opened in November. The 106-cover, 3,756 square foot restaurant is adjacent to the six-screen, 1,000-seat Parkway Cinema. The venue’s decor has been inspired by Beverley’s cobbled streets, with rich oak timbers mixed with mid-century design pieces, colours and textures, reflecting the “celebrated culture” of the town, the Hull Daily Mail reports. Gourmet Burger Kitchen chief operating officer Keith Bird said: “With the opening of Flemingate the town of Beverley is thriving, so the time seemed right to open a restaurant in the area. As a new destination in town Flemingate is attracting a lot of attention, so when it came to location the centre stood out for us. The presence of Debenhams and the cinema, together with Flemingate’s proximity to the Minster, helped to seal our decision.” Gourmet Burger Kitchen was founded 15 years ago in Battersea and now operates more than 70 restaurants across the UK.
New cocktail bar and pan-Asian restaurant concept Hyde Kensington launches in London: New cocktail bar and pan-Asian restaurant concept Hyde Kensington has launched in London. The venue in Kensington High Street is a warmly lit space adorned with eclectic art pieces by acclaimed British artist JJ Adams, The Handbook reports. It also features plush sofas and high bar seats. Signature cocktails include Mad Hatter (Bombay Sapphire gin with Hyde ginger brew and fresh lemon juice served in a smoking glass teapot) and Shell Shock (Bacardi Negra, Bacardi Superior, Hyde’s own caramel and coconut mix, and pineapple juice served in a ceramic seashell to share). The food menu features Pan-Asian dishes such as mixed bubbling and smoking sashimi, and sirloin beef bulgogi with lotus root crisps. Hyde Kensington is open from 4pm to 1am on Wednesdays and until 3am, Thursday to Saturday.
Yorkshire-based multi-site operator opens Bird & Beer concept in Beverley: Yorkshire-based multi-site operator Alonzo Goulbourne has launched “California-style” concept Bird & Beer in Beverley. Goulbourne said inspiration for the new restaurant and bar came from California-style chicken restaurants in the US. The restaurateur, who operates six venues in East Yorkshire, including Caribbean restaurant Roots in Beverley, told the Hull Daily Mail: “We wanted to open a really good chicken restaurant with a California style. They’re all around San Francisco and LA. Bird & Beer is a chicken restaurant with craft beers in a really relaxed environment.” The venue in North Bar offers 70 different beers, including 17 on draught. There is space for 80 diners inside, with booths as well as open tables. A spacious outdoor area has more tables, with wicker seating and outdoor heaters. Former Arsenal and Hull City footballer John Hawley, co-owner of the property, added: “It’s a new concept for this area and, from what I have seen, it should be a big success.” Goulbourne’s portfolio consists of the first Roots restaurant in Hull, along with Mexican-themed El Chupitos, Fish and Chip Kitchen, and Aunt Bibby’s Smokehouse, all in Hull.
Bitters ‘n’ Twisted opens Bodega Cantina in Leicester, third Midlands site: Birmingham-based multiple operator Bitters ‘n’ Twisted has opened a third Bodega Cantina, this time in Leicester – the company’s first site in the East Midlands. The company has invested £200,000 in the South American-themed bar and restaurant in St Martin’s Square. Bitters ‘n’ Twisted, founded by Matt Scriven in 2006, has nine other bars and restaurants in the West Midlands, including two other Bodega Cantinas, in Birmingham and Worcester. The concept sees street food favourites such as burritos, nachos and tacos alongside Peruvian and Ecuadorian-inspired mains. There is also a dedicated vegan menu, while drinks include hand-made cocktails. Scriven told the Leicester Mercury: “We are proudly independent – this is our tenth year in business and Bodega Leicester is our tenth venue. People come to us because they don’t want the uniformity and charmless atmosphere of a chain. They want something authentic and niche where they can step into the vibrancy, colour and carnival atmosphere associated with South America.” Last month, Bitters ‘n’ Twisted reported an increase in turnover for the year ending 31 August 2015 of 21% to £6.9m. Overall pre-tax profits increased by 17.7% to £1.15m. Like-for-like sales in the period increased 6.4% to £6.1m, with like-for-like pre-tax profits increasing 18.5% to £1.16m.
Tommi’s Burger Joint to open Soho restaurant this summer, third London site: Tommi’s Burger Joint, which has restaurants in Marylebone and King’s Road, is set to open a third venue in London, this time in Soho, later this summer. The new restaurant in Berwick Street will offer Tommi’s regular favourites – burger, steak burger or chicken burger – with lots of sauces, fries or sweet potato fries and regular specials, with some new dishes added. Tommi’s popular shakes, including coffee shake and coconut shake, will also be on offer, Hot Dinners reports. The Tommi’s Burger Joint concept was launched in Iceland in 1981 by Tomas Tómasson, who brought the brand to the UK in August 2012, opening at a temporary site in Marylebone Street. There is also a Tommi’s Burger Joint in Berlin and another in Copenhagen.
Banwell House Pub Company opens second Bath site: Banwell House Pub Company, led by Toby Brett, has reopened the New Inn at Monmouth Place in Bath after a two-month refurbishment – the company also operates Victoria Pub & Kitchen in Upper Bristol Road. The New Inn’s two bars have been knocked into one, with a new bar, parquet flooring and decoration throughout. A new staircase has been put in to access the “sunniest” roof terrace in Bath and a private meeting room that can be booked for meetings and small parties. The beer offer is six real ales, craft ales, and local cider. There is also a good-quality wine selection from Great Western Wine. The pub’s food offering is simple but quality, featuring “doorstep” sandwiches made with Bath Bakery bread, homemade scotch eggs, local pork pies, and craft burgers. Banwell operate four sites in total.
Peyton and Byrne to open fifth outlet at Kew’s Royal Botanic Gardens: Contract caterer and cafe operator Peyton and Byrne will open its fifth catering outlet at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. The 130-cover, 3,300 square foot restaurant will be the company’s first at Kew to feature all-day table service when it opens in mid-August. The venue will also include an 80-cover dining terrace, as well as a bar and private dining room, and feature original museum artefacts and archives alongside Edwardian and colonial-style furniture. The predominantly plant-based British menu has been created by executive chef Lawrence Keogh, with an emphasis on natural, seasonal ingredients. Keogh’s passion for pickling and preserving will also be in evidence, with some ingredients grown at Kew. The bar will specialise in gin and vermouth, with home-made, plant-infused spirits and Kew-inspired botanical cocktails. Artisan and craft beers will also be available. Peyton and Byrne founder Oliver Peyton said: “This is a really exciting new project and we look forward to working closely with Kew to grow the ‘Why Plants Matter’ concept through the dishes we serve and the ambient restaurant space we will create.” Peyton and Byrne also operates the Orangery Restaurant, Victoria Plaza Café, White Peaks Café and The Pavilion at Kew.
Greene King seeks partner for Newcastle city centre ‘speakeasy’: Brewer and retailer Greene King is looking to transform its Newcastle city centre pub The Northumberland Arms into a Prohibition era-style “speakeasy”. Greene King promises a lavish new interior, with cocktails served in teapots and a “hidden” entrance and is looking for an entrepreneur to join forces with to drive the project. The Northumberland Street bar is tucked into a side entrance to neighbouring Intu Eldon Square, leading visitors underground. Greene King said it would construct a “bookshop” frontage to disguise the pub entrance, giving the venue a distinctive selling point, with 1920s styling throughout. Greene King said a refit would take as little as a month, but the plans would not move forward until an entrepreneur took on the project and licence. Anyone seeking to be involved in the partnership would need to make a minimum investment of £30,000. Greene King Pub Partners managing director Clive Chesser told Chronicle Live: “The new bar would benefit from an experienced operator with a proven track record in developing and growing the night-time drink and food trade.”
Indian restaurateurs to start Tapasya expansion with £1m venue at Hull marina: The owners of high-end Indian restaurant Tapasya in Hull will start expansion by opening their second site in the city. Mukesh Tirkoti and Tapan Mahapatra have invested £1m in the new restaurant – Tapasya at Marina – which will open in the city’s Fruit Market area in September. Overlooking Hull Marina, the restaurant will offer Tapasya’s signature cuisine using farm-to-table seasonal ingredients. The restaurant will be at the heart of a new waterside urban village. Mahapatra told Hull Daily Mail: “We’re excited by the vision for the renewal of the Fruit Market and the substantial investments being made to make the area a thriving place of culture, creativity and commercial activity.” As well as the new village, the £80m regeneration of the Fruit Market will include independent shops and restaurants. Tirkoti said: “The new restaurant will bring 30 new jobs to Hull. We will also offer a takeaway menu for boat owners in the marina, which will be the first of its kind in the area.” The first Tapasya opened in Beverley Road in 2013.
Burning Night Group confirmed for Birmingham opening: Burning Night Group has confirmed its intention to open a bierkeller and sports bar in Birmingham’s Broad Street after agreeing a lease deal on the former Brannigan’s site. The company, which operates venues in Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Cardiff under the Bierkeller, Around the World, and Shooters Sports Bar brands, has taken a 15-year lease on the 22,000 square foot property. The Broad Street venue will comprise all three of Burning Night Group’s brands and the company is investing in a significant refurbishment, with an opening scheduled for later this year. The premises has been vacant since Brannigan’s closed in 2013 and was acquired by Addington Capital and a fund advised by Tristan Capital Partners in 2014. Alex Wagstaff, partner at Addington Capital, said: “We are very pleased to welcome The Burning Night Group to Birmingham. It is a superb venue for any ambitious leisure group and it promises to provide something new and vibrant to the already busy Broad Street nightlife experience. We have worked hard to provide an attractive site to this exciting new company, which is making its first investment in the city.” The lease deal was completed by agents Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) and Fleurets and the Burning Night Group will pay an annual rent of £190,000. Richard Jones, head of retail and leisure (Midlands) at LSH in Birmingham, added: “This is a premium venue in a very popular nightspot in the city centre and it is great news we have helped to attract The Burning Night Group here. The night-time economy is vital and with the footfall in the area calculated at many millions of people each year, opening a new venue of this calibre is a major boost to the leisure offering in Broad Street.”
James Strawbridge to head St Austell Brewery restaurant launching in Cornwall next week: Celebrity chef James Strawbridge will head up the kitchen of a quayside restaurant in Cornwall when it launches next week. Havener’s Bar and Grill will open in Fowey Town on Monday, 18 July following a £1m makeover of the building by owners St Austell Brewery. The Cornwall-based brewer bought the premises in November, with the grade II-listed building comprehensively renovated to create a 150-cover restaurant inside with further seating for 100 outside and takeaway facilities on the quay. The menu, which features gumbo, crab claws and oysters alongside burgers and fish and chips, has been designed to show the best of local produce at family-friendly prices. Strawbridge, of Hungry Sailors and Saturday Farm fame, told West Briton: “We want people to come to Fowey and have their first experience of truly luxurious seafood but we also want to inspire people to go home and try out our menus for themselves. We want to engage with people through masterclasses and workshops and get them to ask questions about the menu. It’s all about confirming Fowey as a true destination for great food.”
Marcus Samuelsson to bring New York restaurant Red Rooster to Shoreditch hotel: Renowned New York City chef Marcus Samuelsson is set to bring his Harlem restaurant Red Rooster to London. The new venue will be part of the Curtain hotel in Shoreditch, which is due to open in late 2016 or early 2017. The hotel’s owner Michael Achenbaum, who also operates the Gansevoort hotel in New York, said the Curtain would feature a private members’ club and a retractable ceiling over the rooftop bar and cafe. Samuelson confirmed to The Observer his legendary yardbird fried chicken and Helga’s meatballs would be on the menu, with the chicken marinated in buttermilk and coconut milk, coated in spices including Ethiopian spice berbere, and fried. Samuelson told Jay Rayner: “Some of the dishes are going to be interpretations of east London, of the dishes of the Jewish community that used to be there and of the Bangladeshi community that’s there now. I’ve always been a fan of the restaurant scene in London so I’m really excited to bring something really fun, social, and delicious.”
Byron secures £12m facility: Better burger brand Byron has secured a £12m banking facility to fund its national expansion plans – it has 65 restaurants in the UK at the moment. The business plans to reach 100 eateries in the next three years. The new agreement has been funded jointly by Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland’s corporate transactions team until 2021. Tom Byng, founder and chief executive of Byron, said: “Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland have proved to be supportive partners over the past two and a half years, during which time the business has nearly doubled in size. We are delighted to continue this partnership with a new funding package ,which will support our ambitious growth plans.” Gary Nutley, head of corporate transactions London and South at Royal Bank of Scotland, added that the bank would “remain committed” to supporting Byron’s growth ambitions. “This is an exciting period for the business and we are pleased to work in partnership with them,” he said. Andrew Tully, head of structured finance, financial sponsors, London at Santander, added: “This deal represents an increase in funding levels and reinforces Santander’s commitment to the branded casual dining sector. We look forward to working with the management team in this next phase of growth.”
Stew & Oyster lines up Otley opening: Leeds bar group Stew & Oyster has submitted plans to convert a listed former school in Otley. Stew & Oyster operates from venues in central Leeds, Oakwood and Boston Spa, serving real ale alongside a selection of the food it is named after. The business, which is owned by partners from eco-friendly development group Citu, has now advanced its plans for a new establishment in Otley’s Manor Square. A planning application has been lodged seeking permission to redevelop the ground and first floor of the Old Grammar School from professional offices and an art gallery into a restaurant and wine bar. According to a heritage statement drawn up by Ethical Planning on behalf of Citu, the applicant recognises it has a “responsibility to champion good design, appropriate methods and materials”. Only minor extensions or modifications are proposed to the 2,450 square foot space and substantial sub-divisions to the historic floor plan have been avoided. Stew & Oyster opened its first venue, off The Calls, in 2009 with further sites opening in 2012 and 2014. The business is currently seeking permission for a floating beer garden to the rear of its Calls Landing operation.
Four Sisters team opens second London site: The team behind The Four Sisters Bar in Islington, north London, has opened its second site in the capital. Simon Bastable and Andrew Green have launched The Four Sisters Townhouse in Bow Lane in the City. The venue offers cocktails, wine and beer as well as artisan bar snacks, sharing dishes and a light food menu. The 54-cover, 720 square foot venue is themed around a Victorian townhouse, including a collection of “eclectic curiosities” salvaged from yards around London. A raised seating area imitates the Four Sisters-style “study”, with a library wall, leather wingback chairs and banquette seating. The mixed drinks menu changes weekly, while a selection of wine and champagne, as well as Camden Town Brewery beer on draught, also feature. Bastable said: “Although adding elements such as an artisan food menu to our original concept, we will retain The Four Sisters Bar’s ethos of contrasting the dedication and professionalism of the bar team with the personality and tone of the venue itself, which is elegant yet mischievous with a wicked sense of humour.”
Plans for mixed-use scheme with restaurants submitted for Haverfordwest: A new mixed-use development, featuring retail and restaurant units, a hotel and a five-screen cinema could be built in Haverfordwest under newly submitted plans. The Conygar Investment Company has submitted two applications covering a retail-led development and cinema and restaurant scheme on two adjoining sites off Slade Lane South. Sainsbury’s had previously been granted consent for a 95,000 square foot superstore and petrol station on the land, but elected not to proceed with its plans last year. Following the decision, Conygar reacquired the 9.6-acre site for about £3m and has now brought forward its own application. Its proposals for the mixed-use scheme include ten retail units, ranging from an 1,800 square foot drive-thru cafe up to a 20,000 square foot variety store and a 60-bedroom hotel. It would also include 434 parking spaces