Rosa’s Thai Cafe secures Brixton site for eighth venue: Rosa’s Thai Cafe, which aims to combine “modern London with modern Bangkok”, has secured a site in Brixton for its eighth venue. The company, founded by Alex and Saiphin Moore in Brick Lane in 2006, will open the two-storey, 74-cover restaurant and bar in Atlantic Road in November. The site’s decor will take a slightly different direction for the brand, with new design team Moreno Masey taking inspiration from Brixton’s “history and character”. The Brixton site will deliver Rosa’s authentic Thai food with a contemporary twist, with ingredients sourced as locally as possible, from British beef and lamb to Thai basil grown in London. Dishes will include seasonal curries, salads, soups, and noodle stir-fries, alongside rotating seasonal specials. The drinks menu will offer Thai beer and bottled cocktails, as well as a selection of aromatic loose-leaf teas from Comins Tea House. The site was acquired by Shelley Sandzer partner Casey Phillips, who said: “When we first inspected this site with Saiphin Moore, she had just gone vegetable shopping at the local Brixton market and was thrilled at the quality of the produce. From that moment, I knew this location would be perfect.” The other Rosa’s Thai Cafés are in Carnaby Street, Chelsea, Islington, Soho, Spitalfields, Victoria, and Westfield Stratford.
Entrepreneur launches Australia-inspired coffee shop concept Laneway & Co in Newcastle city centre: Entrepreneur Nick Birss has launched coffee shop concept Laneway & Co in Newcastle city centre, taking inspiration from Australia, where coffee shops are often located in small side streets known as “laneways”. The venue serves the Allpress Redchurch blend and single origin coffee from London roasters Square Mile that change seasonally to showcase the world’s best growing regions from as far afield as Malawi and Sumatra. Birss told BDaily: “Although we are all about the coffee, we’ve started to serve lunches with deals, including homemade sandwiches, fresh savoury bites and cakes. We get everyone – from those grabbing something between meetings to those who like to linger with their laptop or a magazine to enjoy the coffee shop experience throughout the afternoon. We open at 8am to capture passing trade as people make their way to work and are now opening on a Sunday. Our location in High Bridge is ideal. It’s a real gem in the city, a thriving home to other independent and unique businesses, and being underneath Motel One means we see a set of new faces each day.”
Hotels and nightclub in grade I-listed Bath terrace to merge to create single boutique hotel: InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) will open a Hotel Indigo in Bath on the site of two other hotels and a nightclub housed within a grade I-listed Georgian terrace. The hotel will operate under a franchise agreement with St James’ Hotels Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Somerston Group, a long-standing IHG partner. This will be Somerston’s first Hotel Indigo property and forms part of a larger portfolio of Hotel Indigos being developed by the group. The new 121-room hotel in South Parade is expected to open towards the end of 2016 and will feature a restaurant, bar and gym. Every Hotel Indigo is designed to reflect its setting and offers locally inspired menus. Anna Corkill, IHG development director for the UK, said: “The boutique hotel market is the fastest-growing segment in the industry and our pioneering Hotel Indigo brand is leading the field in Europe. We’re thrilled to have found such a perfect site in Bath and we’re looking forward to working with St James’ Hotels Group.” There are eight Hotel Indigos in the UK, with a further seven signed into IHG’s development pipeline.
Healthy living restaurant concept Pure Cabin to launch in Liverpool city centre this week: New healthy living restaurant concept Pure Cabin will launch in Liverpool city centre this week offering “guilt-free” food. The restaurant in Queen Square will offer breakfast, lunch and three-course dinner menus, with a nutrition guide and calorie counter on each. Food will be available to eat in or take away, with breakfast options including raw buckwheat and almond porridge, protein pancakes, and fruit and protein shakes. The lunch and dinner menus include asparagus wrapped in prosciutto with coconut oil, protein pesto pizza pot, chicken skewers marinated in lemon and coconut oil, and venison burger in a protein bun. There will also be a separate vegan menu and home delivery service. Pure Cabin marketing manager Paul McGee told the Liverpool Echo: “Our food is not just for people who go the gym but for anyone who is looking to eat healthily or is keeping an eye on their weight. We’re serving real fitness food using fresh ingredients, cooked in the healthiest way. There is nothing like this in Liverpool so we’ll be listening to our customers and their feedback too.”
Wagamama lines up first Italy opening: Wagamama will open in Milan this year after finalising a multi-restaurant deal with Percassi Food & Beverage. The new restaurant means Wagamama has more than 150 operations in 19 countries, including Sweden, New Zealand and Greece. Wagamama international managing director Brian Johnston said: “Over the last few years, young Italians have been embracing many different types of cuisine so it’s the perfect time to bring Wagamama into this fantastic foodie country. We’ve found an exciting franchise partner in Percassi, whose track record speaks for itself.” Percassi has partnerships with businesses including Benetton, Nike, Gucci, Levi’s, Zara, Victoria’s Secret and Lego Group. Matteo Percassi, chief executive of Percassi Food & Beverage, added: “For us, this is an important partnership. The Wagamama family stands for great quality food and outstanding customer service and we have no doubt the Italian people will take Wagamama to their hearts.”
Pacific/Antipodean restaurant Bronte opens in The Strand: Bronte, a new restaurant with a Pacific/Antipodean-style menu created by Andrew Lassetter, has opened at The Strand. The new venue has taken over the space formerly occupied by The Strand Dining Rooms, with the name Bronte a reference to Lord Nelson, the first Duke Of Bronte, who towers over neighbouring Trafalgar Square. Private diners can have the mezzanine to themselves and there is also some outside seating, Hot Dinners reports. Head chef Jonathan Villar previously worked under New Zealand-born chef and author Peter Gordon. Dishes at the all-day restaurant include hot smoked salmon with scrambled duck eggs on brioche; grilled sea bass with watermelon, wild garlic, samphire salad and rhubarb ketchup; pomelo grapefruit with dragon fruit, teardrop radish and smoked bulgur wheat; and roast rare beef with paw paw. The interior has been designed by Tom Dixon (Craft and Sea Containers) taking inspiration from Nelson’s naval career. Each room has custom-made elements such as a pink concrete bar, green granite feature kitchen, pewter cocktail bar, black wood tables with brass-rimmed accents, and blush-pink scoop chairs.
Food Ink to offer 3D-printed dishes at Spitalfields pop-up: Netherlands-based, 3D-printed food concept Food Ink will launch a pop-up restaurant in Spitalfields this month. Food Ink, which operates a restaurant in Venlo, will operate its pop-up outside the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, serving nine-course dinners for three days from Monday, 25 July. Ingredient-filled cartridges will be loaded into a Focus 3D printer – manufactured by technology company byFlow – which will pump out edible, layered structures. Traditional cooking techniques, such as baking or blowtorching can be used afterwards. A full menu has yet to be revealed but “air caviar”, fish and chips, “Caesar’s flower of life”, “mystic prawns”, steak tartar, “love bites” and “3D Boscana” will definitely feature, Gizmodo reports.
Multimillion-pound plans for complex in Beverley to include supermarket, pub and coffee shop: Multimillion-pound plans have been submitted for a Lidl supermarket, pub and coffee shop in Beverley, East Yorkshire. If approved the scheme, put forward by Lidl and developers Cookridge Estates for land north of Beverley’s new Minster Way bypass, would create more than 100 jobs. A new access road would be created off the Minster Way/Hull Road roundabout. Jonathan Wallace, of planning consultants Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners and spokesman for Cookridge Estates, told the Hull Daily Mail: “The new Lidl store would enhance consumer choice for residents of Beverley in a highly accessible location.” Ward councillor Kerri Harold added: “In principle, it looks like a good scheme and something that will enhance the area, which has been an eyesore for years.”
North east restaurateur opens second site on Tyneside beach: Howard Wilson, who operates Crusoe’s restaurant at Tynemouth Longsands, has opened breakfast and brunch bar The View at the opposite end of the beach. The View has opened at the north end of the North Tyneside beach, while Crusoe’s is at the south end. Wilson describes The View as a breakfast and brunch cafe, bar and restaurant serving local, fresh produce as well as a range of beers and wines, and prosecco on tap. The venue opens daily, from 8am to 11pm, with panoramic views of the sea. Wilson and his family joined forces with North Tyneside Council to bring the new restaurant to fruition, with work starting on the building in 2014. A seaside theme features throughout the venue, with seating booths resembling beach huts. Wilson told Chronicle Live: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with North Tyneside Council, which has great plans to improve the area and attract more visitors.”
Papa John’s franchisee opens third South Wales site, eyes two more this autumn: Franchisee Clif Roberson has opened his third Papa John’s site in South Wales, this time in Pontypridd, and is eyeing two further openings this autumn. Roberson is one of a trio of school friends who also recently opened Papa John’s sites in Merthyr Tydfil and Cwmbran. Roberson said: “So far, we have all been surprised and delighted by the popularity of our new stores, both of which have already doubled original forecasts, seeing strong repeat business. Hot on the heels of Cwmbran and Merthyr, we are now looking forward to introducing Papa John’s to Pontypridd, plus opening two further stores in Wales this autumn. Pontypridd is a superb location for us. We have acquired a former KFC site, adjacent to the university, so we anticipate lots of passing trade. Staff have already been trained in our other stores.” Papa John’s was founded in the US in 1984 and has more than 4,800 stores in 40 international markets and territories, including 300-plus stores in the UK.
Chef to open vegan fine dining restaurant in Stockport: Chef Matthew Nutter will open The Allotment Vegan Restaurant in Stockport next month. The venue in Vernon Street will be the first permanent project by Nutter, who has run a pop-up vegan restaurant in Liverpool for the past few years. Nutter said almost 60% of his customers were meat-eaters looking for something different. The Allotment Vegan Restaurant, which will open on Thursday, 18 August, will feature fresh herbs growing in pallets and oak flooring. All meals will come with a hummus and raw vegetable pre-starter, amuse bouche and pre-dessert as standard, meaning most people will enjoy a six-course vegan meal. Nutter told the Manchester Evening News: “People seem to think of vegan food as just falafel and salad but you restrict yourself – there’s a massive world out there. It’s a chance to really show off the cuisine and the potential the ingredients have. I can make aubergine taste better than steak and cauliflower taste better than chicken.”
Halifax operator starts expansion of tapas restaurant and cocktail bar concepts with double Leeds opening: Entrepreneur Michael Ricci has begun expansion of his Ricci’s Tapas and Cicchetti restaurant and 53 Degrees North cocktail bar concepts with a double opening in Leeds. The tapas restaurant and adjoining cocktail bar are at grade II-listed Goodbard House in the heart of the city’s financial district. The former Allied Irish Bank site has been split in two, with both venues offering access to secret basement gin bar The Vault – while the restaurant also has a private space for ten diners. 53 Degrees North has a late lounge feel and showcases artists and DJs from around the world. It features plush furnishings, with white leather and a marble bar. Ricci’s menu includes a twist on traditional tapas, while Ricci and executive chef Mark Kemp have also created dishes such as goats cheese churros with truffle honey, and poached hake in beer with cockles, asparagus and nduja. Ricci told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “We want to bring something fresh and new to the table that will surprise and excite the people of Leeds – and we will do just that.” Ricci operates Ricci’s Tapas and Cicchetti and 53 Degrees North venues in Halifax, as well as Mediterranean restaurant Ricci’s Place.
Mellors Catering Services enjoys 70% growth in past two years, plans to double turnover: Contract caterer Mellors Catering Services, which operates across the north of England, said its number of catering units had grown by 70% in the past 24 months to almost 200, while it revealed plans to double turnover in the next five years. Mellors chief operating officer Tony Trainor told Propel: “We are at a record number of contracts and plan to double our turnover to £40m in the next five years. What is paramount, however, is the way in which we deliver this growth, ensuring our teams and our customers continue to receive the best-value contract catering available in the industry. Our growth has been a result of a well executed plan. Recruitment, retention and development of people has been at the centre of this plan, including the appointment of several specialist positions to help move the company forward. The talent within our business is exceptional, we were recently nominated for a national Cost Sector Catering award and one of our catering managers has just progressed to the final of the national school baking competition in September – The Big School Bake Off – run by Unilever Food Solutions. This is not only great publicity for Mellors Catering Services but a great demonstration of the talented staff we have working here.” Mellors Catering Services was founded by father-and-son team Tim and Mark Timmerman in 1995.
St Agnes pub doubles takings on country market days: A pub in St Agnes, Cornwall, has set up a monthly country market in its car park with the help of rural pub champions Pub is The Hub – and has seen takings double on market days. David and Ann Marie Napthine, landlord and landlady of the Peterville Inn, came up with the idea to create a regular community event that showcased local suppliers and artistic talent. The couple took over the Punch tenancy in February this year and have been looking at different ways to diversify their business to improve local services. They heard about the work of Pub is The Hub from their Punch business manager Lisa Smart and have been working with Reg Clarke, advisor for the South West, to put the scheme together. Ann Marie said: “We started at the end of May with a Victorian-themed market to attract some attention and it went down extremely well. Our takings easily doubled that day. We have a wide range of traders selling everything from clothes, plants, jewellery, wood-turning, cakes and food. There’s a barbecue and some live entertainment at each one too. The Pub is The Hub initiative fits closely with our plans for the pub. We’re minding the pub for the community; it’s there for their use and enjoyment and we want it to become a place where people know they will be welcomed, looked after and offered activities and events which fit their need. We were grateful we were able to benefit from Pub is The Hub funding and now have a waiting list of people wanting to be involved with the market.”
Staycity Aparthotels commits to Europe expansion despite Brexit: Staycity Aparthotels will continue to forge ahead with its European expansion plans, which will take the company from its current 2,700 apartments, including operating and pipeline properties, to 4,000 apartments by the end of 2016. “We remain committed to expanding in Europe and the UK, where we are actively looking for further sites that will allow us to grow further in line with projections in our five-year business plan,” said Staycity chief executive Tom Walsh. “While the UK’s exit from Europe is likely to cause some uncertainty in both the property and the hotel sectors, particularly when it comes to investment, the UK is strategically an important destination for us to operate within so I can see no reason to change our plans.” Speaking as the Serviced Apartment Summit Europe began in London [12-13 July], Walsh revealed Staycity’s trading results saw an impressive hike last year. He said: “Our turnover reached €40m last year and is expected to grow to €50m this year. A strong performance with higher margins saw our Ebitda rise from €3.85m in 2014 to €5.65m in 2015, up 46%, despite significant additional investment in growth. This was well ahead of our budget for the year and was achieved on notable results across many of our cities. We have achieved this through high levels of customer service, attention to guest feedback, and improved customer understanding of the aparthotel offer.” On Thursday (14 July) Staycity opens the doors to its latest premises in York, following a 12-month building project by construction firm Bowmer & Kirkland. Dublin-based Staycity now operates apartments across eight European cities, including Birmingham, Dublin, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London Heathrow, London Greenwich, Manchester, Paris and York. Another site is due to open later this year in Marseille and further openings next year will be in Covent Garden, Lyon, Liverpool and Manchester. The company is on target to expand to 15,000 apartments by 2021.