City Pub Company to launch Cambridge riverside bar and kitchen on Friday serving pizza by the yard: City Pub Company, which operates 28 sites through two subsidiaries, City Pub Company West and City Pub Company East, will launch Cambridge bar The Punt Yard on Friday (25 November). The riverside venue will serve pizza “by the yard” when it opens at Quayside, with the concept described as a “retro-inspired, fast and funky bar and kitchen, where 50s chic meets wacky cool”. As well as artisan pizzas, The Punt Yard will offer “posh” kebabs and superfood salads, alongside quirky cocktails and glasses of champagne that will be “indulgently large”. City Pub Company East chief executive Rupert Lindsey Clark told Cambridge News: “It’s a great location and so close to the colleges for the students, tourists and for the residents. We are offering pizza by the yard – but you don’t have to have the whole yard!” City Pub Company also operates The Old Bicycle Shop, The Mill and The Cambridge Brew House in the city, with recent figures revealing a massive boom in Cambridge restaurants over recent years, with almost 60% of the city’s business premises now selling food. City Pub Company will explore AIM listing options next year, which could see City East and City West merge. In September, the company reported sales increased 36% to £12,066,000, while company Ebitda rose 30% to £1,616,000 in the first half of 2016. In a note to shareholders, the company said it planned to expand its portfolio to 35 pubs in the next 12 months, with the intention of growing the estate to more than 50.
Neville and Giggs to open trio of Manchester restaurants with Michelin-starred chef Michael O’Hare: GG Hospitality, which is co-owned by former Manchester United footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, is set to open three restaurants with Michelin-starred chef Michael O’Hare. O’Hare runs The Man Behind The Curtain in Leeds but is now developing a trio of Manchester restaurants called The Man Who Fell To Earth, Are Friends Electric, and The Rabbit In The Moon with Neville and Giggs. The Rabbit In The Moon, run by head chef Luke Cockerill, will be named after an Asian fable and offer “space-age Asian” food comprising 17 courses in a fast-paced tasting menu at the National Football Museum, reports The Manchester Evening News. The other two restaurants will be located at the Stock Exchange in Norfolk Street, the site of GG Hospitality’s forthcoming second Manchester hotel. The Man Who Fell To Earth is described as more formal, with an a la carte menu in a Parisian ballroom-style restaurant. Are Friends Electric will be a rooftop restaurant, where diners can sit at the pass and plate up dishes. Built in 1906, the Edwardian Baroque-style Stock Exchange is believed to have been acquired by GG Hospitality two years ago for £1.5m. The company opened the 133-bedroom Hotel Football in 2015, and also runs two Cafe Football venues – one in Westfield Stratford in London and another within Hotel Football.
Numis Securities – ‘we do not expect M&B’s like-for-like sales to cover mounting cost headwinds’: Numis Securities leisure analyst Tim Barrett has said he does not expect Mitchells & Butlers’ like-for-like sales to cover mounting cost headwinds. Issuing a ‘Reduce’ note on the shares with a target price of 255p, Barrett said: “Mitchells & Butlers’ FY16 adjusted profit before tax of £181m compares with consensus of £183.8m and Numis estimates of £181.2m. It had already reported a -0.8% like-for-like sales decline in FY16, albeit with an improvement to +1.8% in the last seven weeks of the year. The main new information relates to margins – the Ebit margin fell from 15.6% to 15.2%. After a more robust first half, when margins rose by 50 basis points, this implies 130 basis points of attrition in the second half. Food sales fell by 1.4% and drink was broadly flat (-0.1%). However, in both cases average volumes fell significantly (-4% drinks, -5.7% food), which suggests pronounced price elasticity and is concerning given the need to raise prices this year. Mitchells & Butlers has quantified the impact of the business rate review at £18m, with £5m in FY17. We had estimated a total impact of £12m in our recent sector note. The total will have a 90 basis points impact on margin by year five. It has announced the sale of 75 non-core pubs – this should attract good interest and help to fund the accelerated capex cycle Mitchells & Butlers initiated last year but be slightly earnings dilutive. Capex increased to £167m and net debt fell from £1,869m to £1,840m, leaving net debt/Ebitda at 4.3 times. Mitchells & Butlers has declared a full-year dividend of 7.5p as expected (21% payout). It remains in discussion with pension trustees and there is no update on the progress in the triennial review. Like-for-like sales growth of 0.5% in the first eight weeks is disappointing versus the fourth quarter’s 1.8% and below our FY17 assumption of 1.5%. The company cites the Rugby World Cup last year, but the first quarter of 2016 was actually a soft comparator at -1.6%. Given the acceleration in cost growth (rates +£5m, National Living Wage +£20m) this level of like-for-like sales growth will imply downgrades to FY17 consensus (we are 6% below). We estimate a 14.2% margin or one percentage point decrease (with consensus currently at 15.5%). Mitchells & Butlers trades on a CY17 price-to-earnings ratio of 8.2 times, EV/Ebitda of 9.0 times and free cash flow yield of 8.3% (the latter is pre-growth capex but assumes a pension deficit of £709m in the denominator). We are cautious on the outlook for Mitchells & Butlers as we do not expect like-for-like sales to cover mounting cost headwinds and see a risk of the majority of free cash flow being required for the pension deficit recovery plan (to be announced in 2017).”
Sourced Market opens third London site: Sourced Market, which raised £960,000 in a crowdfunding campaign last year for expansion, has opened its third London site, in Victoria. The company, led by Ben O’Brien and Dan O’Niell, is the first outlet to open in the food quarter at the new Nova development in Buckingham Palace Road. The new venue features a coffee bar offering speciality filter coffee and there is also a growler station with a regularly changing roster of craft beer (drink-in or take home), bean-to-bar chocolate library, wine on tap and meals served from breakfast to evening charcuterie boards, reports Hot Dinners. The first Sourced Market opened in St Pancras International station in 2009 followed by the second, in Marylebone, earlier this year. The development will also be home to other restaurants, including D&D London’s new venue Aster as well as pizza brand Franco Manca, which is owned by Fulham Shore, and ETM Group’s latest outlet Greenwood.
New concept Emilia’s Crafted Pasta launches at St Katharine Docks: New pasta restaurant concept Emilia’s Crafted Pasta has launch at London’s St Katharine Docks. The concept is the brainchild of Andrew Macleod, whose lifelong dream has been to open the best pasta restaurant outside Italy. The 35-cover venue in Ivory House includes an outdoor space overlooking the docks and opens daily at 10.30am for coffee while chefs prepare pasta in front of customers for lunch service. Head chef Simone Stagnitto, who hails from Genoa, has taken inspiration from pasta recipes passed down through his family. Dishes include parmesan balls as well as twists on classics such as bolognese made with homemade béchamel. Drinks include artisan lemonade Lurisia Gazzosa and Italian craft beer Amarcord Gradisca. Coffee has been sourced from The Roasting, a small independent Italian roaster with a coffee shop in Victoria. The wine menu features one each of white, red, rose and prosecco. Macleod said: “Emilia’s will offer the tastiest Italian pasta in London served in a theatrical environment – a memorable experience at a very affordable price point. I can’t wait for Londoners to try Simone’s incredible dishes, which burst with flavour and sunshine.”
Marco Pierre White to open ‘restaurant with rooms’ in Singapore: Celebrity chef and restaurateur Marco Pierre White will open a “restaurant with rooms” in Singapore next year. The Old English House is set to open in June in the Robertson Quay area, White told The Straits Times. The restaurant will offer “simple” dishes, with most of them served on sharing platters instead of individual plates. Prices will be reasonable and there will be no service charge, while there will be guest rooms above the restaurant. Early next year, White will open his 17th Steakhouse Bar & Grill in the UK, this time in Oxford. The celebrity chef’s Black and White Hospitality company also operates the Marco’s New York Italian, Mr White’s English Chophouse, and Bardolino brands.
World buffet brand Cosmo to open £1m restaurant in Southampton next month: World buffet brand Cosmo will open a restaurant at Southampton’s WestQuay Watermark development next month. The company has invested £1m in the restaurant, which will create more than 70 jobs. The 300-cover, 10,000 square foot venue will be the largest at Hammerson’s £85m dining and leisure development. It is understood Cosmo will be among the first venues to open and will be joined by better burger brand Byron, Bill’s Restaurants, Thai Leisure Group brand Thaikhun, Casa Brasil, Fulham Shore-owned The Real Greek and Franco Manca, TGI Friday’s, Nando’s, Jamie’s Italian, and Azzurri Group-owned Zizzi, among others. The restaurant will also be one of Cosmo’s largest among its 17 outlets in the UK. The family friendly, all-you-can-eat restaurant will offer more than 150 dishes, ranging from Italian and Asian dishes to traditional English roast – all at one set price. Guests can watch their meals being prepared at live cooking stations. Cosmo Southampton general manager Omar Iqbal, who has transferred from the company’s flagship restaurant in Glasgow, told the Daily Echo: “We have a friendly, experienced team of chefs and front-of-house staff all ready to make sure our diners enjoy a fabulous experience with us.” Cosmo has other openings lined up for this year in Leeds and Dublin, as well as in Liverpool and Northampton during 2017. Meanwhile, London-based bakery chain Lola’s Cupcakes, which operates 19 sites in the capital, has opened a site at WestQuay. It is the only the second Lola’s venue outside London, following on from a venue in Bluewater, Kent.
Manchester restaurateur Adam Karim to launch halal steakhouse concept Mumu in Preston: Manchester restaurateur Adam Karim, who co-founded Italian restaurant Rosso with former England football star Rio Ferdinand, will launch halal steakhouse concept Mumu in Preston on Friday (25 November). Karim, who also owns Don Giovanni, one of Manchester’s longest-established Italian restaurants, will launch the new concept in London Road at a site formerly occupied by Kebabish grill and takeaway. The 100-cover steakhouse will be alcohol-free, offering mocktails and shakes instead, while the menu will be entirely halal, with meat supplied by British butchers and farmers. Dishes will include low ‘n’ slow-grilled sticky buffalo barbecue ribs, house signature beef and chicken burgers, crispy skin-on chicken, and sides such as deep-fried onion and calamari rings, buttered mash, and sweet potato fries. Earlier this year, Karim opened Indian restaurant Khana Bombay Cafe in Leeds. Meanwhile, Rosso will close on 1 January ahead of a major refurbishment. The venue will reopen on Thursday, 26 January and feature new food and drink menus.
Team behind Liverpool bar to open new cocktail venue in city: The team behind Liverpool bar Berry & Rye are to open a new cocktail bar concept in the city. Furnival’s Well is launching next month at the site of former Liverpool ONE pub The Bridewell. The grade II-listed former jail and police station that was once visited by Charles Dickens served as a pub until April this year, when the former occupant decided not to renew their lease. Danny Murphy, of Berry & Rye, told Your Move: “Furnival’s Well will be a cocktail bar designed to honour the Victorian heritage of the building in which it is housed. Our cocktail list uses influences from drinks from around this time, and these will sit alongside stout, Irish whiskey, and a formidable gin list. Guests can expect the same ambience and level of service they are used to in Berry & Rye.” Furnival’s Well will open as a drinks venue but Murphy, who was part of the team that launched Berry & Rye earlier this year, said a food offering would launch in mid-2017.
Crepeaffaire opens Newcastle restaurant, 13th UK site: Crepeaffaire, the UK branded creperie group, has opened its 13th site in the UK, this time in Newcastle city centre. The restaurant has opened on the lower level of the new £25m Grey’s Quarter dining area at Intu Eldon Square shopping centre, joining 19 other restaurants, including Thai Leisure Group brand Chaophraya, Azzurri Group-owned ASK Italian, TGI Friday’s, Handmade Burger Co, and Casual Dining Group-owned Bella Italia. Crepeaffaire, which opened its first site in 2004, offers freshly baked savoury and sweet crepes, and is extending its menu to include gluten-free galettes. It also offers mini-pancakes, fair-trade organic coffee, fresh juices and shakes. Crepeaffaire founder and managing director Daniel Spinath told BDaily: “This latest store opening is really exciting for us as it marks another milestone in our growth outside London.” Earlier this month, Crepeaffaire launched in Saudi Arabia after signing an area franchise agreement with Food & Entertainment Co, a subsidiary of Riyadh-based retail and leisure conglomerate Fawaz Alhokair Group, to open 50 units in the next eight years. Crepeaffaire will also open an additional three sites in Kuwait in 2017 following its launch there in late 2015, while it also operates a site in the Netherlands. Its next UK opening will be in Brighton next month.
West Midlands-based hotel operator acquires fourth site: West Midlands-based independent hotel operator Webb Hotel Group has acquired its fourth site, this time in Lichfield. The company has bought the three-star Cathedral Lodge for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition was supported by a funding package from the Royal Bank of Scotland. Webb Hotel Group plans to rebrand the 36-bedroom property as The Cathedral Hotel and begin improvements in the new year. Chief executive Angela Burns told The Business Desk: “We are delighted to have added the Cathedral Lodge to our group, as it has huge potential. We are really excited about getting to know the team and welcoming everyone over the busy Christmas and new year period.” The group, which generates £14m a year through its hotel and travel operations, has three other hotels –Moor Hall Hotel & Spa in Sutton Coldfield, The George Hotel in Lichfield, and The Gables Hotel in Falfield, near Bristol.
Bristol-based games bar Kongs to start expansion with second site, in Cardiff: Bristol-based games bar concept Kongs will start expansion by opening a second site, this time in Cardiff. The company will open the 900-capacity venue next month in St Mary’s Street. Customers are able to play classic 1990s arcade games, including Donkey Kong, as well as ping pong and table football. There is also an “anything goes” music policy. The bar will serve craft beer from Wales and the south west as well as lager and spirits. Like its Bristol site, Kongs will run pop-up kitchens to vary the food offer. Co-founder Toby Stringer told Wales Online: “Cardiff is a truly amazing city and we’re really excited about Kongs being part of it!” Kongs opened its first site in Kings Street, Bristol, in October 2014.
Hinckley-based entrepreneurs open second site in town: Hinckley-based entrepreneurs Gianni Iaverdino and Lauren Hix have opened their second site in the Leicestershire town. The couple, who run Italian restaurant Ponchinello’s, have launched Angelo’s in Regent Street. The Italian bar cafe concept is inspired by Iaverdino’s time working for San Carlo Group in Leicester and is named after his grandfather. Iaverdino told the Hinckley Times: “What we want to do is have an Italian-style cafe with a bar serving nice coffee and drinks and food. I used to work for San Carlo and that’s where I got my inspiration from. I thought it would be nice to get that here in Hinckley.”
West Midlands Pub Company to relaunch Stafford town centre venue with new cocktail lounge: West Midlands Pub Company will relaunch Stafford town centre venue The Post House as a restaurant, gastro-bar and cocktail lounge called The Apothecary. The company took over the historic site in Greengate Street at the start of the month and will reopen it following a refurbishment on Friday, 9 December. West Midlands Pub Company group manager Mark Bodley told the Express & Star: “Downstairs will be a restaurant and gastro-bar as it was before but with the addition of the all-day food element. It will be open between noon and 10pm. Upstairs will be a cocktail lounge in the vein of what you would expect in Birmingham, London or Manchester. We will be bringing a real wow factor and sense of theatre.” The building dates to the early 1700s and, between 1914 and 2007, served as the town’s general post office before reopening as a bar and restaurant in 2011.
Papa John’s franchisee eyes further sites after opening first outlet, in Middlesbrough: Papa John’s franchisee Jatinder Dhaliwal is eyeing further sites after opening his first store, in Middlesbrough. Dhaliwal has launched the outlet opposite Teesside University, creating 15 jobs. He said: “My background in the fast food industry, helping run our family’s two fish and chip shops, means I am well placed to diversify into the pizza industry. I had been considering franchising for a while and did my homework by studying all the major fast food players. We plan to graduate quickly, opening more outlets with the help of Papa John’s franchisee incentive. Finding the perfect store location has taken a degree of time. To be so close to the university means we will attract hardworking students and also be able to deliver to residents and families nearby too.” 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 in the UK.
Marston’s submits plans to build community pub in Sheffield: Marston’s has submitted plans to build a community pub on a site that was formerly part of a Sheffield secondary school. The company wants to build a 150-seat “community-style” pub at land on the corner of Chaucer Road and Halifax Road, formerly part of Chaucer School. The site is bordered by housing, a football pitch and a playing field. According to the plans, the development would have an “appropriate, inclusive and attractive design”. Marston’s is set to open a site in Sheffield for its Pitcher & Piano brand in the spring, when the £5m redevelopment of the former NUM headquarters is complete. The company has been pursuing a policy of new-build pubs. Last month, it got the go-ahead for a venue in Nottingham, while it also applied to build pubs in Grantham, Lincolnshire, and Farnborough in Hampshire.
Diner launches on Tyneside to help people with autism and learning difficulties train in hospitality: An American-style diner has launched on Tyneside to help people with autism and learning difficulties train in aspects of the hospitality industry. St Camillus Care Group has partnered with Gateshead College and its Project Choice scheme to help young people with autism and learning difficulties find internships by learning the skills they need for a career in the sector. Davy Duke’s Diner has opened at The Vault, a former hotel in Gateshead, offering American and English-style breakfasts, hotdogs, burgers, mac and cheese, ribs, steak sandwiches, shakes and desserts. The opening of the restaurant is the first stage of a £2m plan for the hotel, which is on course to open in the spring for respite care. The diner is initially open from early morning to 5pm, with plans to introduce an evening service. The Vault has also refurbished its 120-capacity function room, which managing director John Heron says will give trainees an opportunity to learn another aspect of the hospitality industry. He told Chronicle Live: “We are excited about opening the diner and have created a fantastic menu.”
Croydon-based franchisees to open German Doner Kebab site in town centre, seventh UK site: Former barrister Haroon Niazi and IT project manager Khauram Sheikh are set to open a franchise for the German Doner Kebab (GDK) concept in Croydon town centre. The business partners will open the restaurant in the “next two weeks” in George Street. The concept has London sites in Ilford, Fulham, Ealing, Angel Islington and Southall, plus another in Birmingham since its UK launch in March. All meat and bread is provided by the GDK factory in Germany, while sauces come from Dubai. Doners are served in a bun, wrap, or a box without the bread. There is also a vegetarian option packed with salad. Niazi told the Croydon Advertiser: “It’s 100% lean meat so no additives or preservatives. We are looking at the lunchtime and early evening trade.” In June, Scottish entrepreneur Athif Sarwar acquired the master franchise rights in the UK and Ireland for the GDK concept. At the time, Sarwar said he had signed up “70 potential franchises”, adding: “I believe we have the capacity to have 300 restaurants in total.” GDK is set to open sites in Bradford, Cardiff, Kilburn, Slough and Swansea. The company has franchises in ten countries in Europe and the Middle East, with plans to open in the US, Canada, Africa, and India in the near future.