Filmore & Union appoints finance director as company gears up for expansion in 2017: Healthy eating cafe and restaurant company Filmore & Union is gearing up for expansion in 2017 with the appointment of Mike Kendall-Smith as finance director. The ten-strong company is set to add five sites next year and has brought in the former Philpotts finance director to strengthen its senior team. Kendall-Smith joined sandwich business Philpotts as commercial and financial director in 2007 and was instrumental in its growth from 13 to 21 sites, with a combined turnover of £10.4m. Filmore & Union forecasts turnover of £7.8m across its ten sites, which is projected to rise to £12.5m once it reaches 15 outlets. Founder Adele Ashley said: “The appointment of industry expert Mike Kendall-Smith to such a relatively young brand goes to prove the support and traction we have behind us. Mike is an instrumental addition to the senior team, which is gearing up for an impressive roll-out plan. Bring on 2017.” Filmore & Union, which raised nearly £1m on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube in 2015, expects to reach 30 sites, with projected turnover in excess of £25m, in its five-year forecast and targets an ambitious exit multiple. Filmore & Union opened its first site in York in March 2012 and has since invested heavily in growth infrastructure, such as a central production unit. It recently became coeliac-accredited across the group after committing to 100% gluten-free produce and practices.

200 Degrees secures fifth site, in Leicester: Nottingham-based coffee roaster and retailer 200 Degrees has secured its fifth site, in Leicester. The company, founded by Rob Darby and Tom Vincent in 2012, will open the outlet in Market Street on the site of the former Lumbers Jewellers. 200 Degrees is advertising for staff including a general manager to run the venue, reports The Business Desk. The company recently opened its fourth coffee shop, in Leeds, to add to its existing two in Nottingham and one in Birmingham. Earlier this year, Darby said the company was looking to grow regionally.

Gusto to start expansion into East Midlands early next year with £1m opening: Gusto, the Italian restaurant brand operated by Living Ventures, will open its first site in the East Midlands in February. The 4,300 square foot restaurant and bar in West Bridgford, near Nottingham, is on the site of the former Monkey Tree bar, which closed in February this year. Living Ventures, which is backed by Palatine Private Equity, has invested more than £1m in the venue, creating 60 jobs. The refurbishment will see the building transformed, complete with an outside terrace. The opening is part of an ambitious expansion that will see Gusto grow from its current 16 sites to a target portfolio of 26 in the next four to five years. Gusto managing director Sue Crimes told The Wire: “This is a very exciting time for Gusto – we are delighted to be opening in the scenic town of West Bridgford. Our restaurant ethos meets with the demographics of the town and surrounding areas, appealing to a variety of clientele. The stylish restaurant will be packed with aspirational touches and beautiful decor, a place where you can feel welcome and special. We’re counting down the days to the launch in February and can’t wait for people to experience our fantastic food and dining experience.” Gusto was created in 2007 when Living Ventures rebranded the Est Est Est restaurant chain.

Wagamama signs deal to open restaurant at new Edinburgh development: Wagamama has signed a deal to open a restaurant at the new St Andrew Square development in Edinburgh. The company will begin fitting out the site in the new year, with the venue expected to open by the summer. Wagamama will join Dishoom and Drake & Morgan, which have both just opened their first outlets outside London, and Spanish restaurant group Ibérica, which is due to open its restaurant in June. David Stewart, fund manager of joint developer Standard Life Investments, told the Edinburgh Evening News: “London restaurants have a growing appetite for Edinburgh city centre and these openings demonstrate the strong appeal of St Andrew Square. The development is set to become the prime location for some of the best dining experiences in the city and we welcome Wagamama to the square.” Standard Life Investments and joint venture partners Peveril Securities started work on the 185,000 square foot development in 2014. The main works were completed in November, with fit-out work ongoing until summer 2017, to create a mixed-use scheme with 110,000 square feet of office space, plus 75,000 square feet of shops, restaurants and apartments.

Wasabi opens Camden outlet on former EAT site: London-based sushi and bento business Wasabi has opened a site in Camden. The company has opened the outlet in High Street at a former EAT site. Wasabi opened its first site in 2003 on London’s Embankment and now operates 42 outlets across London, seven outside the capital, and two in New York. In October, the company secured a package worth £25m from HSBC to help fund its expansion plans in the UK and US. The funding primarily consists of a £20m, three-year revolving credit facility that will be used to fund the roll-out of 20 sites. In addition, HSBC has provided £4m of asset finance to develop Wasabi’s 65,000 square foot warehouse, which houses the new central processing unit.

Bone Daddies to open two new sites at start of 2017: Japanese ramen bar concept Bone Daddies is to continue expansion by opening two new sites at the start of 2017. The company, founded by Ross Shonhan, will launch restaurants in James Street, Marylebone, and within the Nova complex in Victoria. Both venues will feature Bone Daddies’ popular ramen in addition to new signature dishes unique to each site. Bone Daddies currently has four sites – all in London – in Bermondsey, Kensington, Old Street and Soho. Shonhan also operates Asian fusion restaurant Shackfuyu in Soho and Japanese pub concept Flesh & Buns in Covent Garden.

Tasty to open Wildwood site in Hinckley: Tasty is set to continue expansion of its Wildwood brand by opening a restaurant in Hinckley, Leicestershire. The company is looking to open the site, which would feature a cinema, at The Crescent development, next to cafe brand Loungers. It has applied to Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council for a premises licence to sell alcohol, play music and show films. Wildwood would be the seventh restaurant at the council-owned complex, which is home to brands such as Prezzo, while gourmet burger restaurant company Meatcure is due to arrive next year, reports the Hinckley Times. Wildwood operates 53 sites across the UK, with further openings due in York and Edinburgh, which will be the first site for the brand in Scotland. Last month, Tasty raised £9m to fund Wildwood expansion after making a conditional placing of 6,210,000 new ordinary shares at a price of 145 pence per share.

Michelin-starred chef teams up with Brighton restaurateur to relaunch Redroaster brand: Michelin-starred chef Matt Gillan has teamed up with Brighton restaurateur Mike Palmer to launch a £1m venture. Palmer is rapidly expanding his business and recently launched a second Lucky Beach Cafe in Brighton, with a separate new-build restaurant and bar on track for a July opening. He acquired Redroaster, which operates a coffee house and roastery in the Kemp Town area of the city, earlier this year. Palmer and Gillan will relaunch the St James’s Street venue in February as a cafe that turns into a high-end dining offer in the evening. The cafe will open from 7am to 4pm, with the menu delivering “home comforts with style”. In the evening, the venue will turn into Pike & Pine, with two dining options – a main dining room with a small plate, a la carte menu alongside six and eight-course tasting menus, and an eight-metre marble dining counter offering ten or more dishes in Gillan’s signature style. Coffee will remain at the heart of the business, with the organic roastery supplying six single-origin coffees and signature blends. The roastery will be relaunched fully at the London Coffee Festival in the spring. Gillan, who has also won four AA rosettes and the BBC’s Great British Menu contest, won his Michelin star at The Pass restaurant at South Lodge Hotel in West Sussex. Palmer also operates restaurant consultancy Lost In Catering.

Caprice Holdings to open The Ivy in Soho in February: Caprice Holdings, owned by Richard Caring, will open an Ivy brasserie site in Soho in February. The company is opening the 200-cover restaurant and bar in Broadwick Street on Tuesday, 7 February – its ninth site in the capital. The venue will consist of a cafe-lounge area, dining bar, main restaurant and private dining room for up to 50, reports The Handbook. Features will include an onyx bar, pendant lighting, marble floor tiles, polished parquet panel flooring and burnt orange leather banquettes. All its UK outlets are in the capital apart from Ivy Clifton Brasserie in Bristol, while it has been given the go-ahead for a brasserie in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. It has secured two sites in Surrey – in Cobham and Guildford – as well as Richmond in south west London.

DHP Family to overhaul Islington music venue the Garage with new all-day bar: Live music operator DHP Family, which owns venues including Rock City in Nottingham and Oslo in Hackney, is planning to transform another renowned music venue, the Garage in Islington, north London. DHP Family, which recently bought the venue along with the Borderline in Soho, will create an all-day bar at the Garage called the General Store, which will be a coffee bar by day and craft beer and cocktail bar in the evening. The name is a reference to filling stations in small-town America, and the decor will feature reclaimed gas pumps, large beer fridges, and cocktails served from items you’d find in a store, such as cereal boxes and soup tins. There will also be a new venue upstairs – Thousand Island – that will host breaking acts. Immersive club events organiser Precinct Presents will take over promotions at the venue, starting with “Lost In Tokyo”, featuring a “dystopian Japanese-style street scene with neon-lit izakayas”. The new-look Garage and General Store will open in February.

Bukhara opens British-Asian restaurant and banqueting hall in Manchester, third UK site: Bukhara has opened a 600-capacity banqueting hall and 200-cover British-Asian restaurant in Manchester. The restaurant is Bukhara’s third site in the UK and is housed alongside the banqueting hall in Old Cheetham Town Hall following a nine-month refit. The restaurant has a no-alcohol policy and dedicated prayer area, and offers an a la carte menu with additions such as burgers and steaks. Bukhara’s banquet hall will host events and corporate meetings. Bukhara’s Farouk Patel told Asian Image: “Manchester is renowned throughout the UK for its cultural vibrancy so it was only fitting our expansion was in the heart of this iconic city. We deliver a cuisine that reflects the best our British-Asian culture has to offer. Bukhara Banqueting is a continuum in our journey. I am confident Bukhara Banqueting will have guests talking about their event for years.” Bukhara’s other restaurants are in Samlesbury, near Preston, and Liverpool.

Mowgli opens second Liverpool site: Indian street food restaurant Mowgli has opened its second site in Liverpool and third in total. Barrister turned restaurateur and food writer Nisha Katona, who opened the first Mowgli in Bold Street in October 2014, has launched Mowgli Street Food in Water Street in the city centre. The building was constructed in the 1860s and an elaborate east doorway added in 1883 for the Manchester and Liverpool District Bank. Restoration work has revealed beautiful mouldings and cornices that were hidden behind modern panels. Mowgli’s other restaurant opened a year ago in Manchester’s Corn Exchange, while there are additional plans for a venue in Leeds. Mowgli’s menu is built around the idea of “chat”, small plates with big 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.

High-end restaurant and social enterprise backed by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall opens in Devon: High-end restaurant and social enterprise Market Street has opened in Newton Abbot, Devon, with the backing of celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Following a successful pilot scheme last year, the Young Devon charity is working with Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage to train young chefs in the art of cooking high-quality food. The restaurant in Market Street will run year-long apprenticeships and ten-week traineeships in chef and front-of-house positions, with young people supported in their first steps towards a career in hospitality by an experienced chef and general manager. Market Street general manager Alison Jarrett told the Mid-Devon Advertiser: “I joined Young Devon so I could give something back to the young people of my community. I have lots of ideas to make Market Street a special place to dine.” Young Devon chief executive Tim Tod added: ‘We’re very excited to be offering seasonal and locally sourced menus in the town while, at the same time, giving valuable training to more than 30 young people each year.”

Self-funded startup Apres Food Co to launch ‘healthy comfort food’ concept in Clerkenwell: Self-funded startup Apres Food Co is set to launch a “healthy comfort food” concept of the same name in Clerkenwell, London, next month. Dishes at the restaurant in St John Street will be gluten and sugar-free, but with a home-cooked flavour. There will be takeaway options during lunch, with main dishes including sweet potato hash, lamb curry and fritter muffins, chicken risotto, and meatballs with a selection of freshly made, vegetable-rich sauces. Despite the lack of gluten and sugar, there will also be a daily changing selection of baked goods such as banana bread, brownies and bakewell tart, as well as smoothies, Hot Dinners reports. The venue will only open in the day to begin with but will open three nights a week for supper clubs later in the year, with the evenings based around nutritional education.

Cote to open £1m restaurant in Worcester next month: French brasserie Cote will open a £1m restaurant in Worcester next month. The company is converting the former Edwards Bar and Kitchen in High Street, creating 50 jobs. The 160-cover venue will open on Monday, 9 January. Cote chief executive Alex Scrimgeour told the Worcester News: “We are thrilled to be opening right in the centre of Worcester and we look forward to bringing our friendly, professional service and great-value food to this thriving town. It’s a wonderful way for Cote to begin 2017.”

New ‘best of British’ concept Plot to launch in Tooting: New concept Plot, which will offer the “best of British food”, will launch in Tooting Broadway Market on Wednesday, 11 January. The concept is the brainchild of cousins Mark Kimber, co-founder of restaurant publication Food Edited, and Harry Smith. The kitchen will be headed by Giles Elstob, who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants. The menu of small plates will change with the seasons, with winter dishes likely to include chicken and smoked ham hock terrine with cider and honey mustard, roast cod with curried tartar sauce and scraps, and braised beef cheek with pickled cabbage and onions. Suppliers will be sourced from as locally as possible, including olives from Kent, beets from Dorset, and meat and fish from Tooting high street. There will be a healthy selection of British craft beers and cocktails, plus wine from vineyards such as Nyetimber in West Sussex, Hot Dinners reports.

Burgers, mussels and cocktails concept The Hashery opens in Cardiff city centre: The Hashery, a new concept specialising in mussels, burgers and all-day two-for-one cocktails, has launched in Cardiff city centre at a former Bella Italia site. Priding itself on locally sourced produce, The Hashery’s breakfast menu includes classics such as eggs benedict and smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, while the signature Hashery omelette is served with Lyonnais potatoes and a choice of topping. The main menu features homemade burgers, Cubano sandwiches, and Hashery mussels, while cocktails include The Hashery’s own concoctions such as Pirate Juice, Electric Tea and Filthy Wizard, Wales Online reports. The restaurant, which features artwork by local artists alongside old comics on the walls, is open daily from 9am to midnight and until 1am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Leon unveils new ‘fast and free’ January menu: Natural fast food brand Leon will unveil a new selection of free-from dishes next month, inspired by its upcoming cookbook Fast & Free. The company will launch the additions to its menu on Tuesday, 3 January, showcasing a selection of gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free dishes. They include dairy-free cashew milk and ruby berry porridge and gluten-free chicken noodle soup. There will also be a recipe directly from its new cookbook, nine days before it hits the shelves – a sweet potato and okra stew created by chef Jane Baxter. Leon will also welcome back old favourites such as Thai green chicken curry hot box, kale and peanut salad, and the Leon power smoothie, this time made with a berry compote of “wonky fruit”, making use of excess produce and helping to combat food waste. Leon co-founder and chief executive John Vincent said: “We have always looked to make it easier for people to eat well. If we have done our job right, we will have created a very safe, but very fun playground for you. Somewhere you can play without concern, and do so with a skip in your step.”

Derbyshire-based bar operator gets go-ahead to open second site, in Leeds: Derbyshire-based bar operator and mixologist Manachain Monaghan has been given the go-ahead to open his second site, this time in Leeds. Monaghan has been granted permission by the city council to convert the 1,700 square foot basement of a grade II-listed building in South Place. After attempts to secure an occupier for the former business use of the site, a change of use allowing restaurants and cafes to operate from the venue was secured. In response to the number of high-end restaurants already in the area, a further change of use to the site has now been obtained with Monaghan taking on the premises, reports Insider Media. Monaghan also operates Monk Cocktail Bar in Buxton.

Easyhotel secures Sheffield site: Easyhotel, the owner, developer, operator and franchisor of “super budget” branded hotels, has secured a site in Sheffield. The company is set to open a 131-bedroom hotel in High Street on the site of the former Primark department store, which is being developed into a mixed-use property. Easyhotel has acquired the lease for part of the ground and first floors and all of the second and third floors of the building. Subject to planning consent, the hotel is expected to open in 2018. The total cost of the purchase and conversion of the building will be about £6m. Easyhotel chief executive Guy Parsons said: “We are delighted to be investing in Sheffield, a key northern powerhouse city which has received significant inward investment. Attracting nine million visitors per year, the dynamics of the city make it an attractive location for a new Easyhotel. I am pleased we have delivered our first investment as set out in our development strategy announced in September, which we remain on track to deliver.”