Friska signs for flagship site at Manchester Science Park, first northern venue: Independent healthy eating brand Friska is to open its first venue in the north of England. The company, founded in 2009 by Griff Holland and Ed Brown, will launch at the flagship 70,000 square foot unit in the Bright Building at Manchester Science Park in the summer. Bristol-headquartered Friska, which has eight sites in the south west and Midlands and a venue opening at London Luton airport next month, had been searching for a suitable site to expand into the north for the past two years. The park is operated by Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP), with Friska offering breakfast and lunch at the new-build Bright Building, which features a 200-capacity events space, fitness studio and communal spaces for co-working and collaboration. Brown said: “We cannot wait to bring our brand of fresh, interesting fast food to Manchester and help the MSP team fulfil its vision for the space as a collaborative meeting place for ideas and positive change in the north west.” MSP managing director Thomas Renn added: “Friska’s company philosophy and eclectic menu are a great fit for Manchester Science Park’s academics and sci-tech workers. We’re confident Friska’s breakfast and lunch offer will prove a success.”
Encant owner Victor Garvey to open cheese and wine bar in Covent Garden: Victor Garvey, chef-patron of modern Spanish restaurant Encant, is to open wine and cheese bar Sibarita a few doors away in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden. Garvey, who has partnered with his father, also Victor, for the venture, said the venue would be the “kind of laid-back wine and cheese joint we like to go to ourselves”. Sibarita, which means “epicure” in Spanish, will open on Friday, 9 June offering Spanish cheese and charcuterie alongside tapas-style dishes. The wine list will be all Spanish. Krisztian Palinkas, who has worked alongside Garvey at Encant for three years, will be head chef at the 26-cover site. Garvey said: “Krisztian is a real talent and it’s time he had his own kitchen. Sibarita is intended to be fun, casual and affordable, a place anyone can drop into at any time.” Garvey Snr added: “Even before Victor became a chef and opened restaurants of his own, we said when I retired from corporate life we’d start somewhere like Sibarita together. When this great site came up so close to Encant, we knew our moment had come!” Garvey launched Encant, his first solo venture, in March 2016. He will open a second restaurant, Rambla, focusing on Catalan cuisine, in Soho in September.
Wahaca gets go-ahead to open Birmingham site: Mexican restaurant brand Wahaca has been given the go-ahead to open a site in Birmingham. The company, founded in 2005 by MasterChef winner Thomasina Miers and Mark Selby, has been granted permission by the city council to convert a former TSB bank in Temple Street into its latest outlet. The restaurant will have 140 covers and trade between 8am and midnight daily, reports Insider Media. Wahaca said the Birmingham site would create a “modern and appealing restaurant” that fitted in with other commercial units along Temple Street and the wider area. The company opened its first site in 2007 and now has 26 venues in the UK.
Burger King franchisee launches chicken wings concept Sticky Sisters in Leeds: Burger King UK franchisee Karali Group has launched chicken wings concept Sticky Sisters in Leeds. The company, which operates 59 Burger King sites, has opened the restaurant at the Merrion Centre, creating more than 35 jobs. The concept offers chicken wings as its signature dish as well as a wide selection of sauces, vegetarian options, desserts, drinks and milkshakes. Helen Green, associate director of Merrion Centre owner Town Centre Securities, told Insider Media: “The ethos Sticky Sisters embodies fits perfectly with our mission to ensure the restaurants we welcome into the centre not only offer great-quality food but also ensure our visitors have a wide variety of choice.” Karali Group is also set to open a Sticky Sisters restaurant at Meads shopping centre in Farnborough, Hampshire, later this spring.
Restaurateur Will Ricker launches carvery concept The Stoke House at Nova Victoria: Restaurateur Will Ricker, who operates venues in London and New York under his Ricker Restaurants banner, has launched carvery concept The Stoke House at the Nova building in Victoria. Customers select their meat at the counter and pay their bill according to its weight. All meat is sourced from UK farmers and cooked in a wood-fire smoker, while sides and salads are seasonal wherever possible including offerings harvested from the restaurant’s “salad wall”. Meat options include slow-smoked Suffolk beef short rib and rare Cornish barrel rump. Sides, such as smoked cauliflower cheese, pulled pork beans, and garlic and thyme-roasted potatoes, can be mixed and matched. The Stoke House is one of 17 bars and restaurants at Nova, which should be fully open by August. The Stoke House website states: “What your meat weighs you pay for, making for an egalitarian, pocket-friendly concept. Modern-classic cocktails and wine straight from the barrel are served alongside the food, good vibes and great music.” Venues operated by Ricker Restaurants include Mexican street food venue La Bodega Negra in Soho and Asian bites and cocktails concept Eight Over Eight in Chelsea.
BrewDog closes crowdfunding campaign for US craft beer hotel having raised almost $325,000: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has closed its crowdfunding campaign to open a craft beer hotel and sour beer brewery next to its US brewery in Canal Winchester, Ohio, having raised almost $325,000. It was originally aiming to raise $75,000 on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo towards the $6m required to build the “Doghouse” – a 50-bedroom hotel, which would include “shower beer fridges” – and the brewery. Having exceeded that target within a few days of launch, the company set a stretch target of $200,000 and added new facilities to the planned hotel, including a rooftop bar. It has now closed the campaign having raised $324,072 from 2,158 investors – 432% of the original target. The pitch stated: “We just launched our new craft beer brewery in Columbus Ohio and, to make it the beeriest place on earth, we’re launching the world’s first craft beer hotel on-site. We’ll be combining this with a state-of-the-art sour beer facility. We want to create the top craft beer destination on the planet. The BrewDog hotel and sour beer brewery will cost $6m to build and furnish, and the proceeds of this campaign will enable us to fast-track the project through to completion. Our rooms will be themed around the world of BrewDog beer, with specialist suites that take you on a tour of our history, design and passion. We will also install shower beer fridges into our en-suite rooms. We have the balance of funds required in the profitability of the business to launch as per our timeline.”
Crystal Palace-based operator to open second site: Manish Utton-Mishra, who operates Good Taste Food And Drink, a specialist cheese, charcuterie, beer and wine shop in Crystal Palace, south London, is to open a neighbourhood deli and bistro in the area. Salt + Pickle will open in Westow Hill in early June offering preserved meat, fish and a drinks list highlighting independent distributors. The venue, a joint venture with designer Ian Haigh, will be a celebration of all things cured, pickled and smoked, highlighting preserving techniques while working in collaboration with local suppliers. Offerings will include treacle-cured salmon and homemade pastrami. The venue will seat 30 diners, plus another ten at the bar, which will highlight small wine producers and local craft brewers, including nearby Gipsy Hill Brewery.
Langham Hotel to launch London tavern featuring Michel Roux Jnr menu: The Langham Hotel in Upper Regent Street is to launch a London tavern next door that will feature a menu by celebrity chef Michel Roux Jnr. The Wigmore is expected to feature a menu focusing on British cuisine, with dishes such as braised veal and ham pie, devilled lamb’s kidneys, and paprika-glazed short rib with bone marrow crumb. The drinks menu will feature local ales and the venue’s own beer, Saison, made in partnership with Bermondsey-based craft brewer Brew by Numbers, alongside punch and house “hoptails”. Cocktails will also feature, created by the team behind The Langham’s Artesian Bar. Interiors will be designed by the Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, which is behind decor at renowned London restaurants Aquavit and Sexy Fish, to create a “classic London pub feel”. Roux Jnr already runs the Roux At The Landau restaurant at the hotel. The Wigmore is due to open in the summer. A spokesman said: “The Wigmore is set to become a new social institution with a touch of London polish and a place where everyone is welcome.”
Former Wahaca chef launches crowdfunding campaign for new Santo Remedio site: Former Wahaca chef Edson Diaz-Fuentes and wife Natalie have launched a fund-raising campaign on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to open a new site for their Mexican food concept Santo Remedio. The Diaz-Fuentes launched the concept in Shoreditch last year to critical praise but the venue closed seven months later. They are now looking to raise £40,000 to open a new site in the capital’s Zone 1. So far the campaign has raised £2,725 from 26 investors with 36 days remaining. Investors receive a number of awards depending on the amount they donate. The pitch states: “We are delighted to have found a fantastic place for our new Santo Remedio Restaurant and Cantina. The site in Zone 1 is perfect. It will allow us to seat more guests, prepare a greater variety of regional Mexican specialities and serve more tequila and mezcal cocktails, as well as more of the little-known but incredible Mexican wines from the Baja California region. Half the £40,000 we plan to raise will go towards building our prep kitchen and buying an important but costly piece of kit, a 20-grid Rational oven and extraction hood. The other half of the money will allow us to build an open kitchen.”
Norwich-based social enterprise Café Britannia to expand into Surrey for third site: Norwich-based social enterprise Café Britannia, which operates two venues in the city and employs inmates from its category B prison, is to open a site in Surrey. Founder Davina Tanner has based her business around giving prisoners the chance to rehabilitate through meaningful employment. After bring approached by HMP Coldingley, near Woking, Café Britannia will open a 60 to 70-cover site near the Surrey category C prison later this year, which will be staffed by inmates. The social enterprise saw turnover of more than £1.6m in the year to December 31 2016, which is likely to be closer to £2m this year. Tanner told the Eastern Daily Press: “Our re-offending rates are really low and 90% of the guys have a job when they leave the prison. We are delivering well on social impact and growth.” Café Britannia also operates two food vans at parks in Norwich and at events across Norfolk.
Coya opens second London site: Coya, the Peruvian restaurant and members’ club concept, has opened its second London site, in Bank’s new Angel Court development. The venue, a sister site to the Latin American restaurant group’s first London venue in Mayfair, features a bottle library locker, Pisco Lounge and Rum Round Table. Coya, which also operates restaurants in Miami and Dubai, has opened on the ground floor of the 24-storey development focusing on Peruvian dishes with Asian and European influences. The drinks list heavily features South American brandy pisco, with a pisco library in the Pisco Lounge. The Rum Round Table seats six people, while the bottle lockers allow regulars to keep their own spirits on the premises. In another twist, DJs at the venue are female only. Coya chief executive Adam Bel Hadj Amar has previously said: “We seek out cosmopolitan cities around the world where we know the brand will fit and be welcomed. There is a global appetite for Peruvian cuisine, given its light, fresh and modern approach, and we look forward to introducing the brand to cities across the world.”
Restaurants complete deals at Bedford town centre development: Riverside North, the multimillion-pound leisure scheme being developed in Bedford on the banks of the Great Ouse, has taken a step forward with the completion of deals for a cinema, hotel and restaurant units. The 935-capacity cinema has been handed over to operators Vue, the hotel to Whitbread-owned Premier Inn, and restaurant units to Coal Grill & Bar, which will open its 11th site, Mitchells & Butlers steakhouse brand Miller & Carter, Casual Dining Group-owned Bella Italia, and Gourmet Burger Kitchen. Other brands confirmed for Riverside North include Azzurri Group-owned Zizzi, Wagamama, and Prezzo brand MEXIco, which currently has sites in Maidstone and Derby. The development is due to open in the “coming months”. Bedford Borough mayor Dave Hodgson told the Bedfordshire News: “The handover of the first completed units is another exciting step for Riverside North, which is bringing new investment, new jobs and supports our vision of a town centre attractive for retail, leisure, culture, food and drink.” Riverside North is a partnership between the council, developers Linkcity, and contractor Bouygues UK.
Bao team to launch Taiwanese concept Xu in Soho this month, third London restaurant: The team behind award-winning Taiwanese restaurant Bao is to launch upmarket concept Xu in Soho next month. Erchen Chang, Shing Tat Chung and Wai Ting Chung, who operate Bao restaurants in Soho and Fitzrovia, will open Xu in Rupert Street on Tuesday, 23 May with a focus on broader Taiwanese cuisine. The classic menu will offer dishes such as crab with chilli egg drop sauce, and Mangalitza rib rice (diced Mangalitza pork ribs mixed with rice and spices, steamed on a bed of sweet potato and topped with foie gras). The Taiwanese street food menu will include pan-fried dumplings, filled pancakes and sho pa chicken (a whole bird, including head, stuffed with Chinese spices and herbs, for which diners will be supplied with gloves). The drinks list will focus on Taiwanese tea and the venue will feature a ground-floor tea counter with drinks served by a tea expert. Cocktails will also be on offer, Hot Dinners reports. Bao launched its Soho restaurant in April 2015, offering Chinese snacks, steamed buns and sharing dishes, followed by its second site, in Fitzrovia, in July the following year. The enterprise is backed by JKS Restaurants, whose venues include the Michelin-starred Gymkhana in Mayfair.
Papa’s Fish and Chips opens ‘world’s largest fish and chip shop’ on Cleethorpes Pier: Cleethorpes Pier owner Papa’s Fish and Chips, which operates 17 sites across the UK, has opened the “world’s biggest fish and chip shop”. The family-owned company, which acquired the Lincolnshire landmark in December, has opened the £250,000, 500-capacity venue at the end of the pier, creating 90 jobs, reports the Hull Daily Mail. Papa’s Fish and Chips purchased the pier after buying out the Huxford family, which announced its intentions to sell the pier in September despite spending £4.7m on a two-year refurbishment. The Papas family, which opened its first restaurant in Margate, Kent, in 1966, has vowed to bring the pier “back to its heyday” and has continued to operate the tea room, bar and function room.
Just Eat takes additional office floor in Bristol: Just Eat, the global market place for online food delivery, has expanded its presence in Bristol after taking a further floor at an office in the city. The company has agreed a deal for the seventh floor of Broad Quay House in addition to its existing space on the second floor. The building is now fully let. Just Eat was already occupying about 7,000 square feet of space and the new office will provide an additional 7,940 square feet. JLL acted on behalf of Standard Life Investments, which owns Broad Quay House, while GVA acted on behalf of Just Eat. JLL director Hannah Waterhouse told Insider Media: “It is fantastic to see an innovative tech company like Just Eat choosing to invest in expanding its Bristol presence. This is testament to the strength of the region’s tech and digital sector, which was highlighted in the recent Tech Nation report as being top in the UK for tech worker productivity and third for digital turnover.”
Stonegate Pub Company launches new Missoula menu: Stonegate Pub Company has launched a new summer menu for its Missoula brand. New dishes include tabasco-spiced prawns, and chorizo in cider and honey glaze, while mango daiquiri, and peach and passion fruit margarita have been added to the cocktails list. Missoula head of marketing Alan Armstrong said: “Not only have some fantastic tapas-style plates been added to the menu but, with our competitive range of offers throughout the week, we are sure this will stabilise Missoula’s position on the high street.”
Street Feast relaunches Model Market for summer: Street Feast has opened its Model Market in Lewisham for the summer after adding the space to its portfolio last year. The space in south east London features ten “micro-diners” and five bars. Street food traders this year include buttermilk-fried chicken specialist Mother Clucker, squid-focused INK, and sweet treats from You Doughnut. Newcomers include Mexican food specialists Tacos del Rey and an offering from Brixton-based Japanese soul food restaurant Nanban. Bars include Rum Shack, late-night wine bar Winyl, the Lewisham High Line rooftop bar with capacity for 100 people in its outside space, and Craft Can Beer Bar. The 800-capacity venue was a former 1950s market and features a flexible events space with hire options. Emma Howe, sales director at Street Feast owner London Union, told Just Opened London: “Model Market is a great addition to our summer offering for event bookers. The space is unique within our portfolio, offering a more intimate Street Feast experience in comparison with our bigger venues, which can hold up to 3,000 people.”
Numis Securities reiterates ‘Add’ recommendation on Just Eat: Numis Securities leisure analyst Richard Stuber has reiterated his ‘Add’ recommendation on Just Eat. Issuing a note on the shares with a target price of 690p following Just Eat’s first-quarter results, Stuber said: “Just Eat reported UK order growth in the first quarter of 17% (fourth quarter of 2016: 22%) and group order growth of 25% (fourth quarter of 2016: 30%). Adjusting for the timing of Easter and the additional leap year trading day, UK order growth increased 19% (Numis Securities estimated 20%). For the first time, the company disclosed quarterly revenue of £118.9m, +40% on a like-for-like basis, driven by strong order growth and last year’s commission increases. Overall, as expected and no change to our forecasts. Management is reiterating full-year revenue guidance of £480m to £495m (Numis Securities estimates £491m) and Ebitda of £157m to £163m (Numis Securities estimates £161m). In spite of the recent management changes and uncertainty surrounding its acquisition of Hungryhouse (subject to Competition and Markets Authority approval), we remain supportive of Just Eat’s business model and investment case. Trading on 34.2 times 2017E price-to-earnings ratio (reducing to 15 times 2020E price-to-earnings ratio), we reiterate our ‘Add’ recommendation.”
Nando’s to open Altrincham restaurant in August: Nando’s is to open a restaurant in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, in August. The company is opening the 2,315 square foot venue on the corner of Cross Street and Stamford New Road at a former McDonald’s site. The building, which housed McDonald’s for 23 years before its closure in 2007, has been undergoing a major renovation since October. Lunar, the site’s owner, has made a significant investment in its refurbishment and Nando’s will open the restaurant on Wednesday, 2 August, reports Altrincham Today. Nando’s operates 13 restaurants in the Greater Manchester area, with its Trafford Centre restaurant the closest to Altrincham. Nando’s operates more than 1,000 restaurants across the globe, with almost 300 in the UK and Ireland.
SA Brain launches craft can range: Cardiff-based brewer and retailer SA Brain & Co has launched its first craft can range to celebrate five years since opening the Brains Craft Brewery. The four-can selection is available in all 111 of SA Brains’ managed pubs and across Wales in a range of supermarkets. The range, available in four x 330ml cans, consists of Point Break (4.5% ABV), Gin Lane (5.0% ABV), Black Mountain (5.0% ABV) and Barry Island IPA (5.0% ABV). SA Brain head brewer Bill Dobson said: “The Brains Craft Brewery has been a big success since it first went into production in May 2012. We’ve brewed more than 100 craft beers across a wide range of styles and many have become firm favourites with our drinkers. The natural progression for the Brains Craft Brewery is to launch a range of cans and what better time to do it than the five-year anniversary of our first brew. It was a no-brainer to include Barry Island IPA, which is our best-selling craft beer, Black Mountain and Gin Lane are two beers that are very popular in our range and we’ve also added Point Break, our first package craft lager.”
Brighton five-star boutique hotel goes on market for £1.25m: Brighton five-star boutique hotel Kemp Townhouse has been put up for sale for about £1.25m. The grade II-listed, mid-terrace town house, which has 11 bedrooms and a recently renovated bar and guest lounge, is being marketed by agents Christie & Co. Owner Paul Lantsbury bought the property, which is just off the seafront in the Kemp Town area, a few years ago and is now looking to exit the hotel sector to concentrate on other business interests. Since opening in 2008, the business has been consistently awarded Visit Britain’s five-star accreditation. Christie & Co director Andrew Moore, who is handling the sale, told Insider Media: “Kemp Townhouse presents a fantastic opportunity for an operator to acquire an award-winning and successful guest house in a fabulous location. Just a short walk from Brighton Palace Pier, it is popular with domestic and overseas tourists and has lots of potential to develop its current offering.”