YO! Sushi drops sushi from its logo: YO! Sushi has dropped the “Sushi” from its logo and introduced a new typeface and graphic patterns inspired by Tokyo iconography. The rebrand is the first time YO! Sushi has made a significant change to its logo since it launched in 1997. The company’s official name is still YO! Sushi, but the word has been removed from its logo, and the word YO! will now appear alongside Kanji script on signage and fascias. Martin Brown, creative director of design agency Paul Belford, said: “We felt that while the atmosphere and dining experience at a YO! restaurant continues to have a unique energy and buzz, the logo should also better reflect the high-quality healthy food on offer. This led to a simplified, slightly gentler mark with a Japanese influence.” The company has also introduced new menu covers, chopstick packaging, signage and noren curtain graphics for restaurants. The branding is being rolled out by YO!’s in-house design team and will start to appear in refits and new restaurants from this month. In April, YO! Sushi unveiled new staff uniforms, wall graphics, menu designs and A-Boards, which featured black-and-white patterns and illustrations based loosely on anime and manga art. Branding agency &Smith told Propel the graphics aimed to reposition YO! Sushi as offering a “true taste of modern Tokyo” – newspaper-style menus introduced Kanji script and featured articles on Tokyo music and culture.
Geronimo Inns saw 2.1% decline in like-for-likes in most recent year: Geronimo Inns, the gastro-pub division of London pub retailer Young’s, saw a 2.1% decline in like-for-like sales in the year to 28 March 2016, newly filed Companies House accounts reveal. The division saw total turnover rise 8.4% to £47.5m, £547,000 due to the acquisition of four new sites – the Fellow (King’s Cross), The Owl & Pussycat (Shoreditch), The Grocer (Spitalfields) and Leman Street Tavern (Aldgate). The company also benefited from operating two new sites, The Guardhouse (Woolwich) and the Trafalgar Arms (Tooting). Like-for-like sales declined by 2.1%, “driven more by a decrease in food sales than drink sales” – the previous year had seen a rise in like-for-like sales of 3.8%. Adjusted profit before tax was £5,552,000, compared with £5,333,000 the year before. Ebitda rose to £8,520,000 from £8,180,000 in the previous year.
Young’s to open first managed pub in Cambridge: Developer Brookgate has reported that a premium Young’s pub is set to open its doors to the community at CB1, its new development in Cambridge. The pub, which will be Young’s first in Cambridge, will operate as a Young’s managed pub. Due to open in spring 2017, the as-yet-unnamed pub will be positioned near the station, among retail and leisure amenities, and will feature a terrace. Young’s chief executive Patrick Dardis said: “We are delighted to be opening our first pub in Cambridge, in the midst of this vibrant and exciting city quarter. Our pubs are carefully designed to be a venue for every occasion – be it a family meal or a catch up with old friends over a few beers – and we are sure this will be the perfect location for our premium offer.” Sven Töpel, chief executive of Brookgate, added: “CB1 is a hugely exciting new quarter for Cambridge and is undergoing a huge transformation. The addition of this premium pub completes the retail and leisure offer for the development, which now provides quality and choice to its residents, workers and visitors. Now offering a range of dining options, cafes, shops and convenience stores, CB1 has all the elements of a thriving community with a strong sense of place.” Young’s joins a host of leading retail operators that will be situated around the new Station Square, including Sainsbury’s, Pret A Manger and Caffé Nero.
North Yorkshire pub named Enterprise Community Hero of the Year: The Cleveland Bay in Redcar, North Yorkshire, has been crowned overall winner of the coveted Enterprise Community Hero Awards, recognised for its “incredible contribution to the lives of so many people in the area”. Publicans Russell and Sarah Clark impressed the judges with their “tireless efforts to make the pub a true hub of the community, with various groups meeting there almost every night of the week, and the great lengths they had gone to, to ensure the pub is fully accessible to those less able”. The couple were awarded the top prize of £6,000 at a ceremony for all finalists at the Chesford Grange Hotel in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, last night (Monday 17 October). They earned the top spot after judges reviewed a record 535 entries put forward by publicans across the UK. After the first round, judges selected 54 finalists from Enterprise’s 18 regions. A further 17 regional winners were announced at the awards ceremony on Monday night, with each receiving £3,000 prize money. The Clarks won the North East Community Hero Award in 2015, and put their £3,000 prize money towards a £5,000 project to make the pub fully accessible for their disabled and elderly customers. Russell Clark said: “We like to make everyone feel welcome. We are currently looking into providing free transport for our less abled customers. This will enable them to get out a bit more and socialise, especially in the dark winter months. We intend to provide a free door-to-door service with a seven-seated vehicle free of charge. The bus route that runs past the pub is under threat at the moment, which could isolate a lot of the elderly people who rely on public transport.” Enterprise sales and marketing director James Armitage added: “Judging the Enterprise Community Heroes Awards is never easy. The stories we hear from our talented publicans are truly heart-warming and reaffirm the vital role pubs play in communities across the UK. We are incredibly proud of all of our finalists and, in particular, Russell and Sarah, who are the epitome of great publicans.”
KFC reveals Mad Men heart-throb as new, younger Colonel: The face of KFC, Colonel Sanders, has been staring down over great swathes of the western world for decades – his white beard, glasses and string tie recognisable to millions. Harland Sanders first franchised the Kentucky Fried Chicken name in 1952, aged 62. It was another 12 years until his secret recipe was on offer from more than one site and, as the face of the brand, he has generally been represented in advanced years. For its latest ad campaign, however, KFC is portraying the Colonel as a younger man, who is a “bit of a rebel”. Stepping into the Colonel’s white suit for the campaign is Vincent Kartheiser, best known for playing Pete Campbell in Mad Men. He will portray “heart-throb Nashville Hot Colonel” to promote KFC’s Nashville Hot Chicken. The company said it cast Kartheiser following a search for a “young actor with lots of hair and flair”. It added: “Vincent’s vintage good looks and piercing blue eyes made him perfect for the role.” A press release quotes Kartheiser as saying: “Like KFC’s Nashville Hot Chicken, I’m a bit of a rebel decked out in authentic Nashville flavour – a perfect combination of classic and cool.”
Nando’s adds new burger to menu: Nando’s has added a new burger to its menu this week. The Sunset Burger features two chicken thighs covered in peri-peri seasoning grilled over flames and topped with red pepper chutney and melted cheddar. Served on a bed of baby spinach leaves, it is served inside a new soft, sweet roll, the Bolo do Caco. It replaces the Churrasco thigh burger. Another addition is a peri-peri inspired chocolate dessert.
Goodman Restaurants to open late-night London bar under Zelman name: Goodman Restaurants, which owns the Zelman Meats concept, is set to open a late-night London bar under the brand name. Zelman Drinks will open in Station Place in Finsbury Park, north London, on the former site of live music venue The Silver Bullet. The bar, which has a 4am licence and will feature live music and DJ sets, will launch at the end of this month. Goodman Restaurants operations director Dave Strauss said the concept was aimed at people in the restaurant industry. The venue is also opposite Finsbury Park Station, a late-night tube station that is used by thousands of football fans attending matches at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. Strauss told Hot Dinners: “It’s for all the restaurant folk who, like myself, finish work at 11.30pm or midnight and are looking for somewhere to go. This is a great spot because it’s right by a well-lit station that is one of the late-night tube stops. I won’t have to worry about my staff getting home after.” Customers can order-in pizza from nearby Yard Sale, but there are plans to build an on-site kitchen at a later date. In August, Zelman Meats opened a restaurant at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge. Zelman opened its first site in Soho at the end of 2015, with a “simple approach to great meat, wine and cocktails”.
Sugar Hut reopens following rebrand and refurbishment ahead of expansion plans: Sugar Hut Restaurant and Cafe Bar in Brentwood, made famous by television show The Only Way Is Essex (Towie), has reopened following rebranding and major refurbishment. The new-look, 60-cover restaurant has been extensively remodelled to incorporate intimate banquette seating and free-standing tables. The new menu now includes lobster, steak, chicken and superfoods. The refurbished lounge bar offers cocktails prepared by Sugar Hut’s own mixologists, as well as fine wine, champagne and a vast range of spirits and liqueurs. The venue in High Street, renowned for its iconic Thai Buddhas, closed for the fit-out on 5 September. At the time, owner Mick Norcross told Essex Live: “We are rebranding because we believe it is time to move the Sugar Hut brand and its look and logo forward to its next phase. We are moving away from the Far Eastern theme. I think we were giving out mixed messages.” Norcross is also expanding the Sugar Hut concept, with a new venue opening in Liverpool city centre at the end of this month following a £1.5m fit-out. The new venue will include a restaurant, cocktail bar and club room, while additional sites are set to open in Cardiff and Newcastle next year. Norcross said that while Towie gave him global recognition and enabled the expansion, the influx meant Brentwood’s locals had become “alienated”. He added: “The Towie thing is drifting away now and less than 20% of our customers travel to us from outside the area. But, that said, Sugar Hut is recognised on the national, if not international, stage and I want to bring it to other cities.”
US diner concept Steak ’n Shake to open first UK site, in Chester: US diner concept Steak ’n Shake is set to open its first UK franchise, in Chester. Steak ’n Shake, which offers freshly cooked gourmet steak burgers, hand-dipped milkshakes, and hand-cut fries, has a cult following in the US and is now expanding into Europe. The first UK site will open in Frodsham Street, Chester, on Tuesday, 13 December after husband-and-wife team Barry and Sarah Bellamy invested in the venture. They recently returned from training in Ibiza and will operate at a building formerly occupied by a Marks & Spencer menswear store. The Bellamys told The Chester Chronicle they were excited to be pioneers, promising a “wow” interior, with all meals cooked to order using fresh ingredients and at a price that “won’t break the bank”. Steak ’n Shake was founded in 1934 by Gus Belt, who converted a gas station and chicken restaurant in Normal, Illinois, into a hamburger stand. Today the company employs 20,000 people at more than 500 restaurants, of which the majority are company-operated but with a number of franchises. The major shareholder is entrepreneur Sardar Biglari, who owns Maxim magazine. The company has an international development team headquartered in Monaco that is masterminding expansion across Europe and the Middle East, with Steak ’n Shake restaurants now open in France and Italy.
Ziferblat launches pay-what-you-feel coffee concept at new Liverpool site: Ziferblat, the coffee shop concept that charges by the minute, has launched a new feel-good initiative – honesty box coffee – at its new venue in Liverpool. The St Paul’s Square site, Ziferblat’s fourth in the UK, is asking customers to pay what they believe the takeaway coffee is worth, putting donations into an honesty box. The coffee has been created in collaboration with local independent roasters 92 Degrees Coffee. Ben Davies, of Ziferblat, told the Liverpool Echo: “There is no minimum spend, we are trying to build trust with our guests. So far it has been really popular and people are giving around £1.50 on average per cup.” The new venue is divided in a different way to other Ziferblat sites, with a greater emphasis on the co-working space and meeting rooms. There are five private meeting rooms, decorated as miniature homes, which are available for hire at a 25% discounted rate of six pence per person per minute, which includes the Ziferkitchen, projection and stationary. The main public area is split between the raised “deck” workspace, the softly furnished sitting room, and the self-service kitchen filled with free drinks, cakes and snacks for guests. Ziferblat was founded in 2011 by a group of Moscow poets led by Ivan Meetin. Its “tree house for adults” developed into a pay-per-minute concept that now exists in branches around Europe. Ziferblat has another site in Liverpool, at Albert Docks, with its other UK venues in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and Old Street, Shoreditch.
Icebar team to launch south Asian restaurant concept Yuu Kitchen in London next week: The team behind Icebar London, where the walls, bar, tables and glasses are made from Swedish river ice, will launch a vastly different concept in the capital next week. South Asian restaurant Yuu Kitchen will open in Commercial Street, Aldgate East, on Wednesday, 26 October, offering a menu with pan-Asian and Australian influences from head chef Jon de Villa, formerly of Nobu, Nobu Berkeley and Zafferano. The menu will feature bao buns, including twice-cooked 7up braised pork belly and crispy soft-shell crab, while tostadas will include salmon jalapeño and spicy tuna. Other dishes include poke with tuna, salmon, whitefish and octopus and, on the grill and wok, peanut chicken with wok-fried eggplant and grilled octopus, Hot Dinners reports. Beer and wine will be on tap, alongside seasonal cocktails and a sake menu. The decor will have a manga feel, as the team has collaborated with Hong Kong artist Lunatic.
Mowgli to open second Liverpool site: Indian street food restaurant Mowgli will open its second site in Liverpool in December, its third venue in total. Barrister turned restaurateur and food writer Nisha Katona, who opened the first Mowgli in Bold Street in October 2014, will open Mowgli Street Food in Water Street in the city centre during the second week of December. Work on the site, which formerly housed Optimax Laser Eye Surgery, began earlier this year. The building was constructed in the 1860s and an elaborate east doorway was added in 1883 for the Manchester and Liverpool District Bank. Restoration work revealed beautiful mouldings and cornices hidden behind modern panels. When announcing she was looking for another venue in the city, Katona said: “Bold Street is a tiny gem and the non-booking policy and long queues that flow from this mean we are looking for a second Liverpool site.” Mowgli’s other restaurant opened a year ago in Manchester’s Corn Exchange, with additional plans for a venue in Leeds. Mowgli’s menu is built around the idea of “chat”, small plates with explosive flavours. In June, the Bold Street site was voted the best new restaurant opening in the city during the past five years by readers of the Liverpool Echo.
Vivek Singh reopens Cinnamon Soho: Cinnamon Soho, the casual modern Indian restaurant from Vivek Singh, has reopened following a refurbishment and now features new food and cocktail menus. The restaurant in Kingly Street, Soho, has been transformed into an “urban cool spot that will transport guests to India” and includes an all-day menu and “cocktail hour”. The new decor features hand-painted walls, Indian vendor carts, and “tangled wire” light installations typically found on the streets of Mumbai. Fifties-style bar stools and vintage chairs add to the “laid-back vibe”. The restaurant offers a dining room available to hire for up to 35 guests seated or up to 50 standing. The new breakfast menu features parathas – homemade flatbread with a choice of fillings – alongside kedgeree and spicy masala omelettes. For lunch and dinner there are savoury sharing plates, while for afternoon tea diners can opt for “high chai” – featuring a selection of Jing teas or Indian masala chai, alongside lamb sliders and vegetarian favourites such as paneer naan pizza and Bengal beetroot burger. Desserts include plum cake and Shrikhand tartlet. The cocktail menu at the new bar includes Spiced Plum Saketini (Bombay Sapphire, plum wine, sake and ginger), while there are also spiced shots and lassi. Earlier this month The Cinnamon Collection, which was acquired by Boparan Restaurants this year, announced a new concept – Cinnamon Bazaar – that will launch in Covent Garden in November. It will span two floors and have a much bigger bar than sister restaurants The Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Kitchen and Cinnamon Soho.
Byron opens Chelmsford site: Better burger brand Byron has opened a restaurant at the new Bond Street development in Chelmsford, Essex. Byron joins Azzurri Group-owned ASK Italian, Casual Dining Group brand Las Iguanas, The Restaurant Group-owned Coast to Coast and Bill’s Restaurant at the £150m complex, which also features a John Lewis store. In July, Byron secured a £12m banking facility to fund its national expansion plans. The business plans to reach 100 eateries in the next three years, with the Chelmsford restaurant its 67th site. The new agreement was funded jointly by Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland’s corporate transactions team until 2021. Tom Byng founded Byron in 2007, with the first restaurant opening in London’s Kensington High Street. Byng told Chelmsford Weekly News: “We can’t think of a better location than the exciting new development in Bond Street to open a new restaurant.”
Alton Towers founder gets consent for new leisure park in Cornwall: The founder of Alton Towers is set to secure approval to build a Cornwall holiday and leisure park that will include more than 200 “six-star” holiday villas, as well as a pool, spa, restaurant, retail units and a convention centre. John Broome has submitted an application for a development on land at Trevibban Deer Farm in Wadebridge, adjacent to Crealy Great Adventure Park. The land for the new resort, together with the nearby theme park, was acquired last year by Broome, who took control of Alton Towers in the 1970s and established the theme park on the site. The proposed Camel Creek Resort would include 236 holiday properties, comprising 106 villas of five and six bedrooms, 46 tree houses along the eastern boundary, and 84 courtyard properties. A total of 16 resort facility buildings would be built, the largest of which would be the tropical pool and spa followed by the activities centre and the convention centre. Other facilities would include restaurants, retail units, a pet grooming centre and a Cornwall discovery exhibition.
Draft House opens tenth site, first outside London, in Milton Keynes: Draft House, the craft beer concept led by Charlie McVeigh and backed by sector investor Luke Johnson, has opened its tenth pub, and its first outside London, in Milton Keynes. McVeigh has opened the site in a former JD Wetherspoon pub at the entrance to Milton Keynes’ Hub district, where Caribbean restaurant Turtle Bay, Casual Dining Group brand Las Iguanas and other major brands are located. He previously said: “Our concept for the site is inspired by the environment, history and contemporary culture of Milton Keynes – with the original plans for the new town aligning Midsummer Boulevard to the summer solstice. We want to embrace the cosmic personality of Milton Keynes as ‘The little Los Angeles in Buckinghamshire’ by bringing LA-sized structures into the pub through projecting billboards, super-sized neons and airport-style floor graphics. Milton Keynes is home to 500 corporate HQs and the longest shopping centre in the country but lacks a great craft beer pub.”
New Caribbean cuisine and cocktails concept Rootys to open in Newport: A new Caribbean cuisine concept Rootys, offering relaxed dining and creative cocktails, is set to launch in Newport, South Wales. The restaurant is due to open “in the next few weeks” in Cambrian Road at a site previously occupied by hair salon Christopher Neil. There will be a set menu of eight to ten dishes, featuring traditional Caribbean street food such as jerk chicken, curry, dumplings and plantain. The dessert menu will consist of a range of set cocktails in glasses, while a Caribbean-flavour cocktail menu will also be on offer. The decor will feature giant wall murals by local artists, including a piece depicting the faces of reggae legends Bob Marley, Marcia Griffiths, Rita Marley and Lee “Scratch” Perry, reports Wales Online. With some construction work and staff training still under way, Rootys is expected to open around “Halloween weekend”, owner Iftekhar Haris said. Haris, who owns nightclubs in Newport and two Caribbean restaurants in Cardiff, said the restaurant would be a “relaxed place to chill out”. Haris recently described Rootys on Facebook as a rum bar and kitchen with dishes you would “expect in a carnival”. The venue will open until 1.30am.
ASK Italian opens restaurant at new £25m dining quarter in Newcastle: Azzurri Group-owned ASK Italian has opened a restaurant at the new £25m dining quarter at the Intu Eldon Square shopping centre in Newcastle. ASK Italian, which also has a restaurant at the revamped Qube II dining space at the Intu Metrocentre in nearby Gateshead, joins George’s Great British Kitchen as one of the first brands to open in Grey’s Quarter. They are due to be joined by, among others, Smashburger, The Restaurant Group-owned Chiquitos and Frankie & Benny’s, Tapas Revolution, Handmade Burger Co, TGI Fridays, Reds True Barbecue and Casual Dining Group-owned Bella Italia. ASK Italian operations manager Adam Lindop told Chronicle Live: “Our general manager, Scott, is managing a team of more than 30, who are raring to go having just been trained on our new autumn menu, which launched last week.” The new menu features four added antipasti boards, beef and gorgonzola prima pizza, and a Chocolate Etna dessert. ASK Italian is set to open its next site in a large, glass-fronted restaurant in Chelmsford’s Bond Street development. The company operates more than 110 restaurants in the UK.
New craft beer and burger concept opens in Oxford: A new craft beer and burger concept has opened in Oxford. Craft Burger, which offers gourmet burgers and craft beer, has opened the 50-cover venue in the suburb of Headington in Windmill Road, creating 15 jobs. The independent business uses fresh ingredients, grinding meat and making sauces daily on-site. As well as offering craft beer on tap and in bottles, the venue also sells shakes and other non-alcoholic drinks. There is also a takeaway service, while there are plans to add delivery at a later date. A company spokesman previously told Propel: “We are trying to create some fresh ideas in Headington and hopefully draw more people to the area. We hope to make Craft Burger a success and open other sites in the future.”
Just Eat hires Roisin Donnelly as non-executive director: Just Eat, the leading market place for online food delivery, has hired Roisin Donnelly as an independent non-executive director of the company with effect from Monday, 17 October. She has extensive international experience in executive roles with major consumer brands following a 30-year career with Procter & Gamble. Most recently, she held the role of chief marketing officer, Northern Europe, where she was responsible for marketing leading brands in six countries. She also has significant digital expertise in e-commerce, search, social and programmatic advertising. Donnelly serves on the board of the Advertising Standards Authority, where she is chairman of the performance review committee, and is a former member of Facebook’s client council. She is a non-executive director of Bourne Leisure and a patron of the Market Research Society and is the former chairman of Cosmetic Executive Women. She holds an MA (Hons) in English with Maths and Economics from the University of Glasgow. John Hughes, Just Eat chairman, said: “I am delighted to welcome Roisin to the board of Just Eat. Her track record of success in building brands, coupled with extensive international marketing and digital experience, will be invaluable to Just Eat as we continue to develop our offering to consumers and restaurants and grow our industry-leading business.”
Gin distiller launches £35,000 crowdfunding bid: Sibling Gin has launched a £35,000 crowdfunding bid to support plans for a new distillery on the outskirts of Cheltenham. Felix Elliott-Berry, along with his sisters Clarice and Cicely and younger brother Digby, have until Tuesday, 25 October to raise the funds for the new development through a pitch on the Crowdfunder website. Since launching two years ago, Sibling has operated from a makeshift distillery at Battledown Brewery, owned by the founders’ parents. In order to expand and step up their production, the business now needs to move home so it can house extra fermenting tanks, a new boiler and still. A planning application for the development was recently submitted to Cheltenham Borough Council. Felix Elliott-Berry said: “We are a very young company, so we do not have the cash reserves to fund a new distillery entirely by ourselves. By crowdfunding, others will have the unique chance to be part of a very special project. If we reach our £35,000 target, the new distillery will be created, along with a tasting room – enabling us to host distillery tours and private parties. We may even be able to create a bespoke new bottle too.”