MOD Pizza secures first London site: Agent Shelley Sandzer has acted for MOD Pizza in a deal that sees the fast casual artisan pizza concept take its first site in London. The 6,200 square foot site, located at 17-18 Irving Street, is due to open in November. Following a successful debut in Leeds earlier this year, the central London site near Leicester Square marks the latest in a UK expansion that includes sites planned for Brighton, Nottingham and Newcastle. Nick Weir, joint managing Partner at Shelley Sandzer, said: “We are very happy to have acted as advisors on this deal and help deliver on the brief given to us by MOD Pizza. Taking into account the momentum behind the brand, we are confident the prime position of this site will be perfect for them.” TK Retail Property Consultants represented the assignor on the lease, Café Concerto.
Wine merchant, shop and bar concept Traders to launch at St Katharine Docks this weekend: New wine merchant, shop and bar concept Traders will launch at St Katharine Docks this weekend, in time to welcome returning Clipper Round The World Race yacht crews. Traders, drawing inspiration from centuries of merchant ships sailing up the Thames, will offer wine, coffee, craft beer, vermouth cocktails, soft drinks and light eats, as well as artisan pantry goods available from the shop. A wine tap wall, which will offer discovery wines of the week from around the globe, will be fitted out later in the year. The 50-cover, waterside terrace overlooks the central basin and luxury marina at St Katharine Docks. Launch beers will include Beavertown, Two Tribes, Anspach and Hobday, while weekly wine tastings during launch month will include Biancavigna Prosecco Spumante Brut from the Veneto, and English sparkling wine Digby Fine English Leander Pink Brut. Traders will be open from 9am to 9pm, Sunday to Wednesday, and until 11pm from Thursday to Saturday. This weekend there will be special drinks offers for Clipper wristband wearers and anyone bringing in a Clipper flag.
Burrito brand Boojum to open third and largest restaurant in Belfast, seventh Irish site: Belfast-based burrito brand Boojum will open its third and largest site in Belfast on Thursday (26 July). The new 95-cover, 3,300 square foot restaurant, the brand’s seventh in Ireland, is also aimed at the corporate catering market, with a separate kitchen on-site. The new restaurant is on the ground floor of a former bank in Great Victoria Street. Brothers David and Andrew Maxwell took over Boojum last year, a Mexican brand launched by John Blisard in Belfast’s Botanic area. David Maxwell told the Belfast Telegraph: “We have seen really strong growth in Dublin and Belfast. The Abbey Street store (in Dublin) is doing really well, and is outperforming where we thought we were going to be. This won’t be the last project we do in Belfast. In the next three weeks, we will probably announce three more stores. And one of those will be in a new city. The next big project for us would be opening up in a new market. That will be in the south, and it’s the first time Boojum has done that in four years.” Talking about the corporate catering move, Maxwell added: “With this store we have geared up to go for larger, corporate catering orders. The way it’s set up, for us to process a large corporate order there would be zero disruption to the main line. Currently in the Belfast stores we don’t have that luxury. It’s a big step for us.”
Malhotra Group sees alcohol licence bid rejected for proposed American diner and bowling alley concept in Jesmond: Newcastle-based pub, restaurant and hotel operator Malhotra Group has been refused an alcohol licence for its proposed American diner and bowling alley concept in Jesmond. The company had its application rejected by Newcastle City Council following objections by Northumbria Police and the city’s director of public health. Malhotra Group plans to launch the concept –The Den – on the site of the former Louis restaurant in Osborne Road and wanted to sell alcohol until midnight on weekdays and Saturdays, and until 11.30pm on Sundays. Malhotra Group operations director Atul Malhotra told Chronicle Live: “We are naturally extremely disappointed with the outcome of the hearing. We are waiting to receive the written decision and will take stock after this and decide internally what to do moving forward with this particular situation.” In the planning application’s design and access statement, the company said: “The building has lain vacant for two years but a new interior and concept hopes to give the venue a new lease of life. Jesmond is an area popular with students of Newcastle and Northumbria University as well as local families, so the plans to incorporate a boutique bowling alley, cinema screen and table games area would be something different for the Jesmond community to enjoy.”
T&R Theakston reports turnover and profits boost: T&R Theakston, based in Masham, North Yorkshire, has reported a year of growth, featuring increased turnover, profits and shareholders’ funds. Its brands include Old Peculiar and Best Bitter and the company is controlled and run by direct descendants of founder Robert Theakston. Accounts for the year to 31 December 2015 revealed the company made a pre-tax profit of £600,000, up from £560,000 in 2014, on turnover that rose from £4.48m to £4.55m. The results cover the second full year of a long-term commercial agreement with Heineken UK as exclusive distributor of Theakston’s branded cask, keg and bottled beer in the UK, an arrangement directors said was proving successful. Accounting for the company’s entire UK trade turnover, other than its visitor centre in Masham, the Heineken deal was said to safeguard and strengthen the company’s “continuing independence”, allowing it to focus on “continuing to grow the strength of the Theakston brand in the future”. Executive director Simon Theakston said: “We are pleased with this set of results. The company is making good progress in a fast-changing market. The addition of new, modern craft ale brands to our well-known existing range of beers in the last year has further broadened our appeal to a widening consumer base.” Robert Theakston, a farmer from the hamlet of Warthermarske, near Masham, established the company in 1827 after taking the lease of the Black Bull inn in Masham and starting to brew ale. The brewery business is run by his great-great-grandsons, Simon, Nick, Tim and Edward Theakston.
Boston Tea Party offers 25p discount to customers using reusable coffee cups: Cafe group Boston Tea Party is offering customers who use a reusable coffee cup a 25p discount off their hot drink. The company is launching the initiative in a bid to cut the amount of coffee cups ending up in landfill. It also plans to introduce Boston Tea Party-branded reusable cups in the near future. Managing director Sam Roberts said: “We use a Seda cup and plastic lids for all our takeaway coffees. Seda paper and plastic products are 100% recyclable, however the caveat on that is the infrastructure within the UK to handle the recycling of two-sided polycoated paperboard is very underdeveloped. We sat down with a company called Vegware, which is a ‘completely compostable’ packaging company to run through their products and the likely waste stream. We concluded that unless we could somehow persuade our customers to hold on to their cups and get them into a commercial composting facility either via their workplace or home, the cups would very likely end up in landfill. Compostable cups do not degrade in landfill. With this in mind, we decided not to invest the additional £30,000 to £40,000 per annum these compostable cups and lids would cost us, but rather use these funds to invest in what is, in our opinion, the only truly environmentally friendly option, a reusable coffee cup. So we will be offering all our customers a 25p discount off our hot drinks every time they use one. We’ll also be launching new BTP-branded reusable cups in the near future, so watch this space for these coming to your cafe soon.”
Georgiou starts Tongue & Brisket expansion with Soho sister restaurant: Salt beef specialist Bambos Georgiou has started expansion of his Tongue & Brisket concept by opening a second site, this time in Soho. Georgiou, who opened the debut Tongue & Brisket in Leather Lane market, Holborn, also owns two B&K Salt Beef Bars in the capital – in Edgware and Hatch End. Tongue & Brisket specialises in hand-cured and hand-carved salt beef, with everything made from scratch using traditional recipes and methods. The menu is reminiscent of New York’s salt beef delis, featuring a selection of sandwiches served on rye bread with mustard and pickled cucumber, Just Opened London reports. Diners can opt to add extra toppings such as sauerkraut and chopped liver, while the restaurant also offers a “Meat & Salad Box” and, for something lighter, chicken soup served with a matzo ball.
Sprinkles Gelato lodges plans for tenth site, in Salisbury: Dessert parlour Sprinkles Gelato has lodged plans to open its tenth site, in Salisbury. The company has applied to Wiltshire Council to open the venue in New Canal in the former Santander building next to the Odeon cinema, creating four jobs. It wants to open the outlet from 10am to 11pm Mondays to Saturdays and 11am to 10.30pm on Sundays. Tim Hance, of agents Prime Retail, told the Salisbury Journal: “This is a secondary retailing location within the city and, being adjacent to the cinema, is attractive to A3 restaurant users. With numerous shops in better locations, it is unlikely the demand/supply imbalance will change in the short/medium term.” Sprinkles Gelato opened its first site in Southampton in 2012 and has venues across the south of England, including Bournemouth, Portsmouth and London.
New Italian-influenced restaurant concept opens in Bristol: A new Italian-influenced restaurant concept has opened in Bristol. Cousins Ben Harvey and Dominic Borel have launched Pasta Loco in Cotham Hill on the site of the former Havana Coffee cafe. The restaurant has capacity for about 40 diners and has floor-to-ceiling windows at the front that open out on to the street, reports the Bristol Post. The restaurant also features black-topped pine tables and bench seating. All pasta is made fresh in the kitchen daily. The wine list is not exclusively Italian, with ten of the 17 wines offered by the glass. There is also a range of bottled beers and cocktails.
Deckers turnover nears £40m: Sales have risen to almost £40m at Deckers Hospitality Group, which owns hotels and restaurants across Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire, with a strong performance from its drinks wholesale division and one of its sites. Deckers Hospitality Group’s accounts show a turnover of £38.4m for the year to 30 September 2015, after previously recording a turnover of £54m for the 18 months ending 30 September 2014. Deckers owns a range of hotels and restaurants, including the Royal Toby Hotel near Rochdale, the Best Western Pennine Manor Hotel near Huddersfield, and the Crimble Hall restaurant and Peacock Room restaurant, both near Heywood. Established in 1989, the Rochdale-based group’s majority shareholder is hotelier Cliff Brierley. The company accounts state: “The directors are pleased with the ongoing trading performance of the group, with sales up 7% when comparing like-for-like periods. This sales increase is mainly driven by the drinks wholesale division and the Royal Toby Hotel.” The group also reported pre-tax profits of £215,583 in the year to 30 September 2015, compared with £663,224 in the 18 months ending 30 September 2014. It also generated Ebitda of £666,113 in 2014/15, as opposed to £1.3m in the previous 18-month period. The directors said earnings were impacted by a considerable investment into two sites as part of a strategic five-year plan. During the period, Pennine Manor Hotel had a restyle to become a modern country house hotel and joined the Best Western group, while the Royal Toby’s Italian restaurant relaunched under the name Cenetta.
Malmaison owner submits boutique hotel plan for York city centre: Malmaison and Hotel du Vin owner Frasers Hospitality has submitted plans for a major hotel development in York city centre. The company plans to transform the former Aviva building in Rougier Street into a 124-bedroom Malmaison hotel, which would also contain 49 serviced apartments and create up to 90 jobs. Yorkshire Development One, an arm of Yorkshire Ventures, is behind the scheme and it is believed Frasers Hospitality has signed a 35-year lease on the property, The Yorkshire Post reports. The hotel represents a multimillion-pound investment and work could begin in early 2017. An extension to the rear of the property is planned, although radical alterations to the building are not expected. Frasers Hospitality’s purchase of the Malmaison and Hotel du Vin group last year comprised 29 lifestyle boutique hotels for £363.4m. The deal marked one of the largest overseas investments by a Singapore-based property firm in recent years. Colorado-based KSL Capital Partners had bought Malmaison and Hotel du Vin for about £180m in 2013. Frasers Hospitality’s global portfolio currently stands at 136 properties across 78 cities, while Malmaison has a presence in 15 cities across the UK.
Jerusalem street food concept Tabun Kitchen launches in Soho: Jerusalem street food concept Tabun Kitchen has launched in Soho. Hanan Kattan, an award-winning film producer who grew up in a Palestinian household in Jordan, has opened the restaurant in Berwick Street. Breakfast dishes include shakshuka, featuring eggs and a rich tomato sauce, and Greek-style yogurt drizzled with aromatic honey and crushed pistachios. The lunch menu leads with freshly baked and prepared wraps made from high-protein flour, with fillings such as lean chicken and falafel. Another speciality is mussakan, a traditional Palestinian filling for tabun bread that uses marinated chicken, softened onions, roasted pine nuts and sumac. The dinner menu will change regularly, with the mini meze offering diners the opportunity to taste many flavours of the Middle East on one plate. A selection of desserts and fresh coffee and juices are also available.
Turtle Bay to open Norwich restaurant next month, first in Norfolk: Caribbean restaurant Turtle Bay will open a site in Norwich at the end of August – the company’s first in Norfolk. Turtle Bay is currently converting the grade II-listed building – formerly home to Fabric Warehouse on the corner of Bedford Street and Swan Lane – into the venue, creating 50 jobs. The 180-cover restaurant will span two floors, with a bar designed like an island hut, an open street food-style kitchen and a VW camper van transformed into a seating area. A Turtle Bay spokesman told the Eastern Daily Press: “The team have pulled out all the stops for their first restaurant in Norfolk, which will be a beach shack-inspired ray of sunshine. The bold, bright, joyful interior will be designed to transport Norwich guests to sunnier climes, and has been inspired by the independent spirit of its Lanes location.” Turtle Bay, which is backed by Piper Private Equity, was formed by Las Iguanas co-founder Ajith Jaya-Wickrema and has 28 sites across the UK, having opened its first site in Milton Keynes in 2010.
Caffe Nero submits plans for second Chichester site: Caffe Nero has submitted plans to open a second site in Chichester, West Sussex. The company has applied to Chichester District Council to open the outlet in South Street on the site of the former Sicilia women’s clothes shop. It has sought permission to refit the premises and a formal change of use to allow the ground-floor shop to become a cafe, reports the Chichester Observer. The company, whose existing site in the city is in East Street, said it hoped to open the new venue in about a month’s time.
JD Wetherspoon plans for former Midsomer Norton cinema hit by further delays: JD Wetherspoon’s plans to open a pub in a former Midsomer Norton cinema have been hit by further delays. The company acquired the Somerset site in January 2015 and was granted a licence two months later. However, plans were delayed in April 2015 when roosting bats were discovered in the building. JD Wetherspoon got the go-ahead in November to begin work transforming the derelict building but a company spokesman said negotiations over access had caused further delays. The spokesman told Somerset Live: “We have planning and licensing. However, we are still negotiating on an area of land that would make our scheme better. Therefore, no on-site or opening dates agreed.” The cinema first opened as The Empire in 1913. It was one of the oldest surviving cinemas in England when it closed in 1993.
New tapas bar concept Jardelle to launch in Beverley next month: New tapas bar concept Jardelle is set to open in Beverley, Yorkshire, next month, after a compromise was struck over opening hours. Residents had objected to Murat Bayar’s licence application to open until 1am, with East Riding Council granting a licence until 11pm. The venue will open on the site of the former Panizzi restaurant and wine bar, alongside the town’s historic North Bar. Bayar told the Hull Daily Mail: “It won’t be another club or bar. It will be a nice, enjoyable place for people like myself, who want to stay out of the noise and the crowd.” The opening has created 15 jobs.
Bourgee to open Bury St Edmunds restaurant, first outside Essex: Bourgee, the luxury lobster and steak brand that debuted in Southend in 2014, is set to open its first site outside Essex. The company, headed by Great British Menu chef Mark Baumann, will open a restaurant in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Baumann has said he aims to grow Bourgee to 15 sites in the next three to five years, concentrating on east England. The second Bourgee site will open at the new £3m food quarter at High Chelmer shopping centre in Chelmsford in early August. The Bury St Edmunds site will be in the newly renovated Cupola House. Baumann tweeted a picture of the grade I-listed building with the message: “Scaffolding nearly off Bourgee Bury St Edmunds,” the East Anglian Daily Times reports. The company has started advertising for staff, with application forms stating: “A large lounge is furnished with creamy pony-skin booths/banquettes and textured rattlesnake bar stools, and is surrounded by a stunning dark-carpeted dining room for more formal dining.” Cupola House, owned by OMC Investment, formerly housed a Strada restaurant before fire destroyed most of the building in 2012.
Mediterranean fine dining concept Mora launches in Marylebone: Mediterranean fine dining fusion concept Mora has launched in Marylebone. The 58-cover restaurant in George Street also features a private dining room seating 18 and an outdoor terrace. Starters include scallops with fennel, orange and olives, and beef carpaccio with beetroot and caprino cheese, Just Opened London reports. Main plates include spaghetti with saffron and bone marrow ragu, tagliolini with black truffles and salted butter, and honey-glazed duck breast with chillies and raspberries. There is also a small plates menu, including quinoa and calamari fritti, and hand-picked crab salad with garden peas. Mora offers an extensive wine list alongside signature cocktails. The decor, designed by Dale Atkinson, of Roseandale Design, features antique mirrors, leather booths and hand-painted, textured walls.
Lincolnshire Brewing Company acquires first pub: Lincolnshire Brewing Company has acquired its first pub, on the outskirts of Lincoln. The company, founded by Claire and Karl Brown in 2014, has bought The George in Langworth, creating up to five additional jobs. The pub will remain open while it is given a facelift throughout the year and, once work is complete, will host tours, offer tastings, and hold other events. Claire Brown told the Lincolnshire Echo: “We have been looking for premises in Lincoln but they are so extortionate. Work has already begun and will carry on throughout the year and we’ll look at food in October, which will bring us up to Christmas. We have big plans.” Existing staff will remain at the pub and new roles are expected to be available later this year.
Domino’s Pizza lodges plans to open dine-in restaurant in Hull: Domino’s Pizza has lodged plans to open a dine-in restaurant in Hull. The company has applied to the city council to open the site in an empty building in Paragon Square, creating 35 jobs. The dining area, which will be on the first floor, is expected to contain about 40 seats, while a waiting area and kitchen will be on the ground floor. Kathryn Shillito, of Hull Bid, told the Hull Daily Mail: “Domino’s is excellent quality, with a very good, international reputation. I think, as a whole, we are seeing some really super restaurants and bars coming into the city centre. We are also seeing more and more empty buildings being turned into residential properties, which in itself will increase the demand for places to eat and places to drink. People are seeing Hull as a viable option to open a business.” Domino’s, which has five sites in Hull, launched its restaurant venture in 2013 but only a handful have opened in the UK.