London-based Indian street wrap concept Pilau aims to raise £350,000 as it looks to build nine-strong estate by 2019: London-based Indian street wrap concept Pilau is aiming to raise £350,000 from angel investors as it plans a nine-strong estate by the end of 2019. The company currently has two sites in the capital – in Fitzrovia and Soho – which are both independently profitable. Each outlet was opened for less than £50,000. Pilau is aiming to raise the funds through the Angel Investment Network platform, which connects startups with angel investors, to help spearhead its growth across the capital. A total of £100,000 has already been committed. Founded by George Pitkeathley in 2015, Pilau opened its first site in Fitzrovia in November last year followed by the Soho restaurant a month later. Its non-executive directors include Polpo founders Russell Norman and Richard Beatty and Pod founder Oliver Rudland. Customers choose from a wrap, rice bowl or salad bowl then add butter chicken, lamb and bone marrow or paneer, and toppings. The menu also includes items such as the butter chicken burger and the cardamom custard tart. The company stated: “Due to the ready availability of A1 high-street sites we believe we can follow our roll-out plan and aim to have nine restaurants by the end of 2019.” Pilau forecasts revenue this year of £303,000 with Ebitda of £2,000 that would grow to sales of £2,045,000 with Ebitda of £324,000 by 2019.
Yorkshire Meatball Company leaves £103,000 creditor deficiency: Yorkshire Meatball Company left an estimated creditor deficiency of almost £103,000 when it was placed into voluntary liquidation last month, new documents have revealed. Trade creditors are owed £38,055 while loans of £62,402 are owed, including £35,000 to NatWest, according to documents filed at Companies House by liquidators James Sleight and John Twizell, of Geoffrey Martin & Co. The total estimated deficiency was £102,956 after assets of about £10,501 were realised, including cash at bank and in hand of £6,325. Last year the company, founded by father-and-son team David and Gareth Atkinson, raised £130,650 in a crowdfunding campaign and its investors have also been left out of pocket. A total of 237 people invested the funds in return for a 15.12% equity stake in the business. The campaign surpassed its original target of £100,000. The company, which is based in Leeds and closed its restaurant in Harrogate last year to focus on its retail launch, has agreed to be wound up voluntarily. Yorkshire Meatball Co had planned to use the funds to diversify the business’ offer, place products in supermarkets across the country, expand the original Harrogate restaurant, and add a further two restaurants to its portfolio. Earlier this year, its products hit the shelves of Morrisons but the supermarket has removed the range. Yorkshire Meatball Co was founded in 2012 after being inspired by New York’s The Meatball Shop. The Harrogate restaurant opened in 2014 but was closed after losing its kitchen staff to a number of chain restaurants.
David Wigham to leave Punch after eight years: David Wigham is to leave Punch after eight years. Wigham, who has worked in a variety of roles for the company including latterly as sales and marketing director, will step down at the end of the year. He joined Punch in 2009 in the role of regional operations director and progressed to operations director for the north, responsible for 1,500 pubs in Punch’s core estate. Wigham was then appointed to the role of development director in August 2015, responsible for the development and implementation of innovative concepts, before becoming sales and marketing director in September this year following the takeover by Patron Capital. He said: “Following the recent downsizing of the business, I have restructured the sales and marketing department and I will be leaving behind a highly capable team who have been a fantastic support to me. I will always be grateful for the support, success and good times I have been fortunate to enjoy at Punch. I will be taking a short break before looking for my next career opportunity in the new year.” Interim chief executive and chief financial officer Steve Dando added: “David has made a hugely valuable contribution to the business and we wish him all the very best in his future endeavours.”
ETM Group launches Broadleaf Bar and Restaurant in City of London: ETM Group, the 13-strong bar and restaurant company, has opened its latest venue in the City of London. Broadleaf Bar and Restaurant has launched in Broadgate featuring a large, open-plan kitchen, cocktail bar and shuffleboard. Themed loosely around Victorian glasshouses and featuring lots of windows and botanical themes, the 200-capacity, all-day venue in Old Broad Street features a large standalone bar with bottomless brunches at weekends, a range of craft beers and four tank beers from London-based Long Arm Brewing Company. The main menu offers brasserie-style dishes such as pie of the day, roast corn-fed chicken with spiced pumpkin hash and salsa verde, and Devon crab linguini with chilli and wild garlic. All seafood is sourced from Brixham harbour. The Victorian glasshouse theme continues upstairs with the shuffleboard table accompanied by a “shuffleboard platters” menu featuring three platters for four-to-six people and a cheese board. Last week, ETM Group reported turnover hit the £20m mark. Co-founder Ed Martin said: “This has been a significant and transformational year for ETM. We have strengthened our management team, invested in the right processes and infrastructure and will continue to offer a relevant and differentiated offer for our guests.”
Rhubarb reveals further details of first international sites as part of New York development: Food experience brand and events caterer Rhubarb has revealed further details of its first international sites, which will open in New York. The company will open two restaurants and an events space at Hudson Yards, a new neighbourhood on Manhattan’s West Side. Both venues will open in 2019. The Shops & Restaurants space at Hudson Yards will house a new 5,800 square foot restaurant concept by Rhubarb on the fifth level, while the team will create a 10,000 square foot bar, restaurant and events space on the top of 30 Hudson Yards, the neighbourhood’s tallest tower. The bar, restaurant and events space will occupy the top two levels of the 1,296 foot tower, which will also house the highest outdoor observation deck in the city. Rhubarb chief executive PB Jacobse said: “We have been looking to open in New York for several years and the Hudson Yards development is incomparable. Its commitment to a fully collaborative approach with all its partners, from retail to food and beverage, means this will be the ultimate, united experience. Once completed, Hudson Yards will be regarded as the most iconic development of today’s generation, redefining the culinary scene in New York and we simply had to be a part of it.” Rhubarb’s offerings will join a collection of about 25 restaurants and eateries, including a new chef-driven concept by D&D London.
Supper club WeFiFo secures funds to explore dining experiences in John Lewis and Waitrose stores: Supper club WeFiFo, which last year raised £350,000 in angel investment to launch and roll out its platform nationwide, has secured further funds. John Lewis Partnership has invested £100,000 in WeFiFo following the West Sussex-based company’s success in JLAB – John Lewis Partnership’s annual accelerator programme. JLAB innovation partner L Marks will match the investment from John Lewis and Waitrose, bringing the funding to £200,000. WeFiFo is now exploring opportunities to host dining experiences across John Lewis and Waitrose branches as well as other bespoke events. WeFiFo chief executive and co-founder Seni Glaister told Insider Media: “Accessing the expertise of John Lewis and Waitrose Partners through JLAB was a real privilege for WeFiFo and securing their backing is certainly the most significant milestone in our journey so far.” Glaister, co-founder of £100m-turnover discount bookseller The Book People, launched WeFiFo in 2015 with the aim of helping home cooks in the UK turn their kitchen tables into money-spinners by focusing on the “affordable” end of the market. At its launch, chef Jamie Oliver said: “This could be the largest and most diverse restaurant group in the world without the overheads, grief and risk that goes with it.”
TGI Friday’s lines up Romford restaurant: TGI Friday’s is lining up a site in Romford, Essex. The company is set to open the restaurant in The Brewery shopping centre in a unit currently occupied by Thomas Cook. It has applied to Havering London Borough Council for a licence to sell alcohol daily between 10am and midnight. Designs have revealed the restaurant would be over two floors, reports Essex Live. TGI Friday’s has more than 80 sites in the UK, including in nearby Basildon and at the Lakeside shopping centre.
JD Wetherspoon to open pub next week in Bletchley – or is it?: JD Wetherspoon is to open its latest pub next week, in the Buckinghamshire town of Bletchley (population 15,313). However, its new name has caused controversy among some locals as the pub lies on the boundary of parish neighbour Fenny Stratford. Wetherspoon describes the new pub in Queensway as being in Bletchley and has named it Captain Ridley’s Shooting Party after an incident at Bletchley Park. But the Fenny Stratford Residents’ Association told the MK Citizen the pub was actually within the Fenny boundary and should have a more local name. Chairman Rosemary Smith said: “Captain Ridley’s Shooting party was the undercover name for a group of MI6 people and government code experts who spent a weekend at Bletchley Park mansion house to assess its suitability as a wartime centre for intelligence activity. It’s all very interesting but not at all relevant to Fenny Stratford.” Wetherspoon has spent almost £2.4m to develop the site, with the opening creating 80 jobs. Artwork reflects Bletchley Park, including a Second World War cipher machine. Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We are looking forward to opening our new pub and the last thing we wish to do is upset the locals. We place great emphasis on the naming of our pubs and chose the name, Captain Ridley’s Shooting Party, in good faith.” The pub will open on Tuesday, 5 December.
Papa John’s franchisee opens ninth site with Kirkcaldy launch, plans four further Scottish stores: Papa John’s franchisee Siddhartha Chirumamilla has opened his ninth site, in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, and plans to add four further stores in the country in the coming months. Chirumamilla, who became a franchisee five years ago having formerly been a pizza delivery driver, has opened the outlet in Nicol Street. He runs Papa John’s venues in the south east of England plus Rutherglen, Glenrothes and now Kirkcaldy in Scotland. Chirumamilla said: “At first I planned to open just one or two Papa John’s but the business expanded and opportunities came quickly. The team at Papa John’s is highly supportive both financially and personally. Our goals are aligned to grow the operation and open more stores. I also work with an experienced business partner, Vamsi Atluri, who looks after the Scottish stores for me.” Papa John’s, which was founded in the US in 1984, has more than 350 sites across the UK and more than 5,000 stores in 40-plus international markets and territories.
London-based taco restaurant Del 74 opens third site: London-based taco restaurant Del 74 has opened its third site, in Dalston, east London. Enrique Vivas and Jorge Felizardo launched their first site in Clapton earlier this year followed by a second outlet, which was within Icelandic bar Helgi’s in Mare Street. Now it has launched a second standalone restaurant in Kingsland Road, Dalston, which has an extended menu. It offers new tacos, tostadas and tortas – a type of Mexican sandwich. Other new dishes include tamarind and chilli morita chicken wings, which are part of its new bar snacks menu. The Dalston site also offers the option to order a whole mezcal sharing bottle, which is “pre-marked” for sipping and charged under a “pay as you pour” scheme.
St Austell Brewery opens 40,000 square foot storage and distribution depot in Avonmouth: Cornwall-based St Austell Brewery has opened a new 40,000 square foot storage and distribution depot in Avonmouth, near Bristol. As work continues on construction of the company’s multimillion-pound Hare Brewery investment at the Bath Ales site in Warmley – due for completion in May 2018 – the decision was taken to combine St Austell Brewery’s 14,000 square foot distribution facility in the area and the Bath Ales logistics teams into a larger and more accessible site in Avonmouth. Head of supply chain Kevin Andrews said: “Once work started on the new brewhouse to double the capacity of the Bath Ales output it was obvious there would be inadequate space for storage and distribution at Hare House, so it gave us the perfect opportunity to find a bigger and better site to merge the Bath Ales distribution with the existing St Austell Avonmouth distribution team.” With increased stockholding and improved service operations, the new Avonmouth depot forms part of a wider strategic move by St Austell Brewery to improve its logistics network and increase its coverage in the south west. The new depot is managed by Tom Abrahams, who joined St Austell Brewery earlier this year having had extensive experience in similar roles at Gregory Distribution and Heineken.
Paris-based Japanese restaurant Yen makes UK debut with Strand opening: Paris-based Japanese restaurant Yen, part of fashion company Onward Holdings Co, has made its UK debut by opening a restaurant in the Strand, London. Yen, which launched in the St Germain de Prés area of Paris, has opened its London restaurant in Arundel Street offering traditional Japanese noodles, tempura and an eight-seat sushi counter. As with its French flagship site, buckwheat soba noodles is the main focus at the Strand restaurant, with the delicacy made in-house twice daily. The main menu largely centres around the robata and tempura dishes, including Yen’s signature oyster and courgette flower tempura, and Wagyu steak with Ponzu sauce. Guests can also opt for an omakase menu, where guests are served a blind menu entirely directed by the chef. Drinks feature a selection of cocktails, wine and spirits, plus a number of Japanese sakes, beer, shochu, plum wine and whiskey.
Mikhail Investments to open second Punch Tarmey’s with St Helens launch this week, plans further venues in north west: Merseyside-based operator Mikhail Investments is to open a second site for its Irish pub concept Punch Tarmey’s this week, with plans for more venues across the north west. The company has invested £500,000 to transform the former Zoo Bar in Westfield Street, St Helens, into the new venue, which will open on Friday (1 December). Punch Tarmey’s is named after company owner Andrew Mikhail’s Irish great-grandfather Michael Tarmey, who was a champion boxer in the early 1900s. The first site opened in Southport last year. Mikhail Investments also operates The Bold Hotel and Khepri restaurant and nightclub, both in Southport, and the Eccleston Arms Hotel in St Helens. Mikhail told the St Helens Star: “It looks amazing and I’m very excited to be opening Punch Tarmey’s as part of my development portfolio, with plans to open further sites across the north west.”
Mosaic Pub & Dining lodges plans for Birmingham boutique hotel: Mosaic Pub & Dining, the former City Pub EIS fund, has lodged plans for a new boutique hotel in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. The company wants to convert a derelict former factory in Frederick Street into the 15-bedroom hotel. Mosaic Pub & Dining initially lodged an application with the city council during the summer to convert the three-storey, grade II-listed building into a restaurant but has now revised its plans, reports the Birmingham Post. Mosaic Pub & Dining operates predominantly in the south east but earlier this year it refurbished the former Fiddle & Bone in Sheepcote Street to create The Distillery. It also operates The Old Coffee Tavern in Warwick. Documents accompanying the new planning application state: “The public benefit of having this building brought back into active use after so long far outweighs any harm to the interior of the building necessary to effect that new use.”
Goodbody – Marston’s concerns for 2018 continue to grow: Goodbody leisure analyst Brian Devitt has said its concerns over Marston’s for 2018 are continuing to grow. Issuing a ‘Hold’ note on the shares with a target price of 110p ahead of the company’s full-year results on Thursday (30 November), Devitt said: “We forecast group revenue of £958m (+6% year-on-year). We expect growth to be driven by the Brewing & Brands division due to the acquisition of Charles Wells Brewing & Beer Company in May. We forecast group Ebit of £177m (+2% year-on-year) and adjusted profit before tax of £100m (both in line with consensus). The group had a post-close trading statement in October, therefore divisional like-for-likes and other FY17 KPIs are largely known. Given the increasingly uncertain market backdrop, much focus will be on management’s outlook. The October statement announced a curtailment of FY18 openings guidance (to 15 pubs and six lodges, versus 20 and ten previously) citing ‘recent subdued market conditions’. In terms of FY18 like-for-likes, we forecast +1% in Destination & Premium and +1.5% in Taverns. In light of Mitchells & Butlers’ dividend cut last week, any commentary on Marston’s dividend policy will also be a focus point (yield now circa 7.5%). We expect FY17 dividend of 7.5p (consensus 7.5p). Given the negative sentiment recently, an FY17 performance in line with expectations together with an unchanged outlook and a maintenance of or increase in the dividend will likely be well received on the day. However, we continue to believe a dark cloud looms over the sector in 2018 and Marston’s higher leverage and weaker cash flow profile could lead it to underperform peers in a tougher environment.”
Tim Hortons to open Warrington venue: Tim Hortons, the Canadian cafe and bake shop owned by Restaurant Brands, is lining up a site in Warrington, Cheshire. SK Group, which is leading the UK roll-out of Tim Hortons, will open the outlet in the Golden Square shopping centre in a unit previously occupied by the Jane Norman clothing store. The company is advertising for staff ahead of the launch, reports the Warrington Guardian. The first UK Tim Hortons restaurant opened in Argyle Street, Glasgow, in early June and the brand has since added a second site in the city – at the Silverburn shopping centre. The company has also opened a venue in Cardiff. Tim Hortons, which is planning up to 100 UK sites, was founded in 1964 by its namesake, a professional ice hockey player who wanted to create a space where “everyone would feel at home”.
Brighton hotel sold off guide price of £1.25m: Brighton hotel Kempfield House has been sold to new operator Zak Abedi off a guide price of £1.25m. Abedi has bought the five-storey, grade II-listed Georgian town house in Madeira Place in a deal brokered by agents Fleurets. The property has 13 en-suite letting bedrooms. Kempfield House marks Abedi’s first hotel acquisition and he intends to carry out a refurbishment in the future.
Escape Room Guys gets go-ahead for Derby expansion: A Derby-based escape rooms business has had its plans to expand its footprint in the city’s Cathedral Quarter approved. The Escape Room Guys currently occupies the first floor of 1-5 Iron Gate, which dates to the 1860s, and has now been given permission by Derby City Council to transform the remaining space from offices into an escape room venue. The Escape Room Guys currently operates one room for a game in which participants “break into the office of a chief executive to reveal the history and secrets of a company with a scandalous past”, Insider Media reports. A statement filed with the plan read: “We’re only renting half the current floor space but have agreed terms to expand and take on the next area. The build will continue the style already implemented in the changes made to the currently occupied side of 1-5 Iron Gate. We propose to update the layout to give it a modern vibe. All the changes we propose to make are internal and won’t affect the outside aesthetics of the building.”
Wadworth crowns its ‘best of the best’: Brewer and retailer Wadworth has recognised the stand-out pubs and people from its managed and tenanted estates at the company’s Best of the Best Awards. The annual event took place this week at The Bear Hotel in Devizes, Wiltshire, with winners including Bernie and Carole Camish, of the Poplars in Wingfield (best business partners award); Miles Teece and Jayne Tilsley of the Fox & Hounds in Theale (best manager); and Ruth Bowers of the Victoria Arms in Old Marston (best turnaround pub). Chief executive Chris Welham said: “The competition is always incredibly tough but the winners have gone above and beyond to show their continued commitment to their pubs and customers. The awards ceremony is always great fun and gives us the perfect opportunity to join together with our managers, business partners and team members from across the company. I’d like to thank everyone at Wadworth for their continued hard work and dedication in making the customer count every day.”
L&G invests £35m in York development to build restaurants and cinema: Legal & General (L&G) has invested £35m into a leisure development in York that will feature restaurants and a cinema. L&G is to fund development of the Vangarde leisure scheme at Monks Cross. The investment, on behalf of L&G’s Leisure Fund, will see restaurant and retail units built alongside a new 50,000 square foot, 13-screen IMAX cinema, which has been pre-let to Cineworld. The leisure scheme forms part of a wider regeneration of the Vangarde development, which Wrenbridge Sport in a consortium with the City of York Council and Greenwich Leisure have been working on for the past four years. In addition to L&G’s investment, the wider scheme includes building an 8,000-seat stadium for York City football club and rugby league side York City Knights, a sports hall, 25m swimming pool, gym, NHS facilities and outdoor artificial pitches. Andrew Ferguson, senior fund manager at LGIM Real Assets, told Insider Media: “Good-quality leisure developments in the UK are still relatively rare. The chance to fund a new scheme anchored by Cineworld in an important growth city such as York is a great opportunity for the Leisure Fund.”
Paul UK to donate 50p per loaf of bread to London homeless charity: French artisan bakery and patisserie Paul is to donate 50p from every loaf of bread sold during December to London charity The Felix Project to support its latest programme, Help A Hungry Child. The money will be donated from sales of any loaf weighing 400g or more. The company already donates unsold products daily to The Felix Project, which distributes the surplus food to the homeless, those living in poverty and struggling families. This year’s Christmas campaign aims to raise funds to feed primary schoolchildren in London. Paul UK will also raise additional funds through its two restaurants via a £1 voluntary bill donation. Paul UK chief executive Jean-Michel Orieux said: “The Felix Project is a close charity of ours and we are honoured with the progress we have made so far. Being able to feed young children around this time of year is an initiative we are delighted to be part of.” Paul UK will open its 36th site next week, in Hammersmith Broadway.
Malmaison starts work towards new-build Bournemouth boutique hotel: Demolition is under way at a Bournemouth hotel to make way for a new-build boutique hotel and apartments. The Belvedere Hotel will be replaced by a Malmaison boutique hotel and a block of flats by developers Fresh Lime. The 100-bedroom Malmaison Hotel Du Vin will also feature a Chez Mal Bar and Brasserie, a rooftop bar and terrace overlooking the seafront, a gym, swimming pool and beauty spa. Construction will get under way in the new year when the site in Bath Road has been cleared, with an opening scheduled for 2020 creating 85 jobs. The Belvedere is almost 160 years old and was built as an Italian-style villa in keeping with other properties in the area at the time. However, it was gutted by fire in 2016, with permission for the £40m redevelopment granted earlier this year, the Bournemouth Echo reports. Malmaison operates 15 boutique hotels across the UK.