Fleurets markets nine Revolution freeholds with £20.2m asking price: Agent Fleurets has been instructed by real estate investment firm Aprirose to market nine pub freehold investments, currently let to Revolution Bar Group. Ed Sandall, from Fleurets, said: “Each of the nine properties marketed have identical FRI leases, with 14 years unexpired. Marketed off a total guide price of £20,200,000, the portfolio’s total rental income amounts to £1,461,430 per annum, reflecting a 6.78% net initial yield.” Located across the north of England and the Midlands, the investment opportunities are all located in prime leisure pitches, and available as a package or individually. Sites are located in Huddersfield, Lancaster, Leicester, Lincoln, Liverpool, two in Manchester, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Wolverhampton.
 
Gary Pettet steps down as executive chairman of Laine Pub Company:Long-serving Laine Pub Company executive chairman Gary Pettet has stepped down. The company said: “Gary Pettet has stepped down as executive chairman of the Laine Pub Company in order to focus on his other business interests. Originally appointed by Graphite Capital in 2002 to oversee its investment in late-night bar operator C-Side, he led a 2007 merger with Brighton pub operator Zelgrain to create the business that now trades as Laine Pub Company and which operates an estate of 55 pubs in Brighton and London and produces a range of craft beers in its production brewery in Sussex. The group also operates five pubs in its Mash Inns partnership with Ei Group. In May 2018 Patron Capital and May Capital became the company’s backers through Vine Acquisitions, which also backs Punch. Laine chief executive and co-founder Gavin George continues to lead Laine with the existing management team.” George added: “Gary is a big personality and an experienced leader in the trade. His contribution to the development of the company has been invaluable and on behalf of everyone at Laine I’d like to thank him for all he has done and to wish him well with his future endeavours. As Laine moves on to the next stage of its development, we have been strengthening our business management and operations resource in both the pub and brewing businesses. Our new backers are supporting accelerated growth for the company and this has led to fantastic investment opportunities in our pub estate and in our Adversane brewery. The next pub opening is the Ninth Life in Catford, scheduled for early in the new year, which we believe will take our experiential pub offerings to a new level. Laine Brew Co has recently signed distribution agreements with some of the UK’s leading pub operators for its craft beer portfolio, which includes Source pale ale, Ripper IPA, Word lager, Mangolicious pale ale and Breaker pale ale. These are exciting times for all aspects of the Laine business.”
Beds and Bars reports turnover and Ebitda boost: Bed and Bars, the pan-European hostel operator led by Keith Knowles, has reported turnover rose by 5.3% to £51,935,764 in the year to 31 March 2018 (2017: £47,775,279). Ebitda before exceptional items was up to 13.3% to £5,288,809 (2017: £4,468,718). Profit before tax was £2,071,392, compared with £4,465,114 the year before when the company benefited from a £1.85m refinance gain and £1.53m disposal profit. The company reported it is becoming the sole operator of its two Paris properties by buying out the 26% minority ownership for a sum of €2.5m. A total of £6.5m was invested in the estate. In particular, the refurbishment of the Borough High Street site has doubled bedroom stock. Beds and Bars has signed for a new leasehold site in Edinburgh. The company added: “Since the year-end we have partnered with a new Paris-based property fund to identify and acquire properties for development. Once completed, we would then enter into a long-term lease with the fund and operate our business under or renowned brands.”
Apartment Group opens four-venue site in Sunderland: North east bar operator The Apartment Group, led by Duncan Fisher, has opened The Palm at Sunderland’s Hylton Riverside location with four new venues under one roof. About £1.5m has been invested into creating The Palm, which has doubled the footprint of the established Liberty Brown bar and restaurant site in Hylton Riverside. Liberty Brown has moved into the former Saucy Burger site upstairs, whilst the downstairs has been transformed to create Wildernest and Tropicuba bars, whilst an extension to the building has seen the creation of Pineapple Cove cafe and a heated garden with its own street food stalls. The venue has a late licence until 3am. James Richardson, area manager for The Apartment Group, said: “Our aim has been to give the people of Sunderland a whole new destination venue that’s not been available to them before. It’s a place to come away from the city centre where you can spend the night going between the different bars. The city has been lacking a destination venue like this and there’s nothing else out there like it.” Each of the five venues at The Palm, which has seen the creation of 40 jobs, has its own theme and food menu. Liberty Brown will continue with its current family offering, while Wildernest has a cabin theme, complete with handmade Elm bar. Its menu features lobster, brought from day boats in Hartlepool and North Shields, as well as superfood salads, steaks and vegan options. Next door, Tropicuba takes its inspiration from the streets of Havana and serves Latin American-themed tapas such as albondigas, nachos and tortillas. Pineapple Cove, meanwhile, has a beachcomber vibe and is more family friendly with a daytime offering of sundaes, sandwiches, waffles and desserts. Finally, the garden area outdoors has its own fire pit, street food shacks, serving gourmet kebabs and curry rolls, and a space for live music performances.
Pret A Manger pays £780,000 to settle underpaid staff claim in the US: Pret A Manger has been hit with a bill of almost $1m (£780,000) to settle claims it underpaid staff in its New York sites. The company had been accused in a class action lawsuit of violating US labour laws by failing to pay staff for all the hours they worked, according to court documents filed this month. It was alleged Pret used an illegal practice called “time-shaving”, when hours are rounded down so employees are paid less. After mediation, Pret decided to settle the case for $875,000.
Joe & The Juice eyes US listing: The private equity owners of Joe & The Juice are considering an initial public offering (IPO) toward the end of 2019. Valedo Partners, based in Stockholm, and US buyout firm General Atlantic have begun internal preparations and could appoint banks in the first half of 2019. The Copenhagen-based chain could command a valuation of about $1.5bn as it seeks to benchmark itself against retailers such as Shake Shack. A listing by the company would break a more than three-year drought in restaurant IPOs bigger than $50m in the US. Joe & The Juice was founded in 2002 by Kaspar Basse. It secured an investment from Valedo in December 2013 that made the Swedish buyout firm its majority owner. Less than three years later, Greenwich, Connecticut-based General Atlantic said it had taken a minority stake – also without revealing the financial terms – and appointed two representatives to the retailer’s board. Joe & The Juice sells freshly prepared organic juices, shakes, sandwiches and coffee at about 300 locations, with a third of them in the US and most of the rest in northern Europe.
Sushi Daily profits hit €33m: The husband-and-wife team behind the fast-growing Sushi Daily kiosks, mostly operated by franchise, increased the company’s profits by nearly 50% to €33m last year. South Korea-born Kelly Choi and her French husband Jerome Castaing saw sales rise to €302m from €246m the year before. The London-based couple, who opened their first outlet only eight years ago in Lyons, also enjoyed a €20m dividend since the year-end. Most of Sushi Daily’s 600 kiosks are in supermarkets, airports and railway stations. The company prides itself on serving freshly prepared Japanese food, often made in front of its customers. There are about 70 Sushi Daily counters in branches of Waitrose and more have opened in Sainsbury’s supermarkets. The company has operations in France, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands – and recently opened in Sweden, Portugal and Denmark.
Former Drucker boss mulls Patisserie Valerie bid, finance director Chris Marsh resigns: A veteran restaurateur has declared an intention to make a takeover bid for Patisserie Valerie, the company whose shares have been suspended since a £40m black hole was found in its accounts, The Sunday Times has reported. David Scott, who used to run Druckers Vienna Patisserie, a Birmingham-based group of cafes sold to Patisserie Valerie in 2007, said he had backing from a family-run private equity firm. Scott has engaged a boutique adviser, Transcend Corporate, which is “gently” speaking to some of the shareholders, saying, “Would you like to get out?” Patisserie Valerie shocked the stock market this month when it discovered “significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities”. Meanwhile, Chris Marsh has resigned from his position as finance director of Patisserie Valerie. Earlier this month, Marsh was suspended and then arrested before being released on bail following the discovery of the £40m black hole in the company’s accounts. Marsh denies any wrongdoing. The company stated: “Patisserie Holdings announces following the suspension of Chris Marsh on 9 October, the company has now accepted his resignation as finance director with immediate effect while reserving its position in respect of any potential claims it may have against him.” Earlier this week, MPs and shareholders called for an independent inquiry into Patisserie Valerie after the company admitted share options granted to Marsh and chief executive Paul May went undisclosed. Patisserie Holdings chairman Luke Johnson stepped in with a rescue deal after the discovery of the “black hole” pushed the company to the brink of collapse. A £20m investment secured the future of 2,800 staff and 206 sites.
Nisha Katona outlines Mowgli growth plans: Nisha Katona, founder of Indian street food restaurant Mowgli, which is backed by investment company Foresight Group, has outlined growth plans for the brand, with sites at Sheffield, Cardiff and Preston in the pipeline following the launch of a second venue in Manchester. The former barrister launched her first venue in Liverpool’s Bold Street in 2014, with the brand growing to six sites so far. Katona told Insider Media: “I physically built it. I’ve designed every brick of every Mowgli. A year (after opening in Liverpool) everything Mowgli earned I put back in and I built Manchester at the Corn Exchange. A year after that, I built Water Street in Liverpool. Then I’ve done Birmingham, Oxford, Nottingham. I have Sheffield, Cardiff and Preston in the pipeline. I’m about to open in Oxford Road, Manchester, which is a massive deal for me. It looks like there’s massive footfall but nothing there to service it. We might die on our backsides – it’s a big, big risk. I’m designing it so its like an Apple shop mixed with Indian street food.” Katona said she was staying away from London but had a “real plan to go national”, including Belfast and Dublin. Last month, Katona was named Wireless Social Women’s Entrepreneur of the Year at the first Women’s Entrepreneur Conference, which was organised by Propel and Elliotts chief executive Ann Elliott.
Sourced Market reports record weekly sales outside Christmas: Sourced Market, the four-strong London hybrid deli and dining brand that is more than 90% towards a £750,000 crowdfunding target on Crowdcube, has reported net sales of £74,584 at its St Pancras site between 24 and 30 September, a record for the company outside Christmas week since it began trading in 2009. Beer and wine sales surged, Sourced Market said, accounting for more than £19,000 in sales. Coffee sales were also up significantly to register the site’s second-strongest sales week of the year, helped in part by increased customers to its new coffee cart format. A company spokesman said: “Our St Pancras site has gone from strength to strength, buoyed by tourist spend, commuters’ interest in shopping for healthier artisan food options and increasing station footfall.” Last week, Sourced Market confirmed it would operate a pop-up at the Eurostar departures lounge that will cater to some of the service’s 10.3 million annual travellers. Investors are being offered 6.98% of the company equity for the £750,000 investment, valuing the business, which is backed by Pembroke VCT, at £10m. Sourced Market generated £6.4m of new revenue in its latest financial year and raised £1m of investment through a Crowdcube bond in 2016.
Midlands-based team opens third Italian restaurant at former Strada site in Birmingham: The team behind Italian restaurants La Galleria in Birmingham and Cafe Casita in Sedgley has opened its third site in the region. The company has returned to Birmingham to launch Pinocchio at the Mailbox, the city’s canal-side leisure complex, at a former Strada site that closed in May. The restaurant spans 4,500 square feet and showcases “authentic Italian cuisine in a warm and welcoming atmosphere”. A spokesman said: “As a family business, we view the opening of Pinocchio as another welcome opportunity to contribute to Birmingham’s lively and varied food scene.” Mailbox is the UK’s largest mixed-use property outside London.
Cut + Grind and Drums & Flats sign for Boxpark Wembley: Better burger brand Cut + Grind and chicken wing concept Drums & Flats have signed to open sites at Boxpark Wembley. It will be a second site for Cut + Grind, which was founded by Paschalis Loucaides and operates a venue in King’s Cross. Voted best UK burger in the 2018 National Burger Awards, Cut + Grind’s Juicy Classic consists of an aged beef patty with cheddar, pickles, sweet red onion and a signature burger sauce. The brand also offers vegetarian and vegan options and snacks such as popcorn halloumi bites with chilli jam. It will also be a second venue for Drums & Flats, which began as a series of pop-ups before opening its first permanent site at Peckham Levels. Influenced by the tastes, culture and style of south London, alongside wings its menu includes indulgent sides and homemade sauces. Boxpark founder and chief executive Roger Wade said: “Both vendors are established favourites in the London foodie scene and will be great additions. It’s great to see the food and beverage line-up coming to life to form an impressive community encompassing a huge variety of world cuisine.” Opening in December, other vendors will include Nanny Bill’s, Smoky Boys, Mitsuryu, Giallo Grano, Kabab, Spice Shack, Zia Lucia, The Athenian, Ugly Dumpling and Thai Express. Wembley Park is being delivered by Quintain.
Siren Craft Brew passes 50% milestone in £750,000 crowdfunding campaign for expansion: Independent brewer Siren Craft Brew has passed the halfway mark in its £750,000 campaign on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to aid expansion. The company is offering 6.38% equity in return for investment, which gives it a pre-money valuation of £11m. So far, 413 investors have pledged £383,680 with 28 days of the campaign remaining. Siren founder Darron Anley said the funding would be used to “accelerate an exciting next stage of growth”, including launching its beer in cans, expanding capacity and improving efficiency. The company said it had already brewed two million pints in 2018 and had seen 28% growth in revenue. The brewer has distribution worldwide and has been profitable every year since 2014. The pitch states: “Siren first landed in 2013 with a flagship range of four brands. In our first year, we were awarded second-best new brewer in the world by Ratebeer.com – and it has listed us as one of its top 100 brewers in the world since. Built on the passion, skill and efforts of a dedicated team and the finances of the founders, Siren employs 28 people with turnover of £2.82m last year and Ebitda of £200,000. We are raising finance to accelerate the next phase of our growth. The primary step is to package into cans. We have identified a top-rate canning line that will meet our current bottling quality standards and future-proof our packaging options. Any overfunding will allow us to increase capacity and improve efficiencies. Raise more than £1.5m and we’ll also fast-track plans to bring our taproom experience to new locations.”
Exclusive Hotels and Venues parent reports revenues pass £50m: The Manor House Hotel (Castle Combe), the parent company of Exclusive Hotels and Venues, has reported revenue passed £50m in its latest financial year. The business turned over £50.7m for the year to 1 April 2018, up from £49.2m the previous year. However, pre-tax profits slipped to £3.1m from £4.1m during the period. A statement filed with the accounts said the group continued to “perform well”, with focus remaining on “investing in the people and physical product”. Challenges during the period included continued pressure on wages, rates increases, the Apprenticeship Levy and food inflation, although the company said it was “optimistic about revenue growth”. The company has a seven-strong estate of luxury hotels across the south of England that feature golf clubs, spas and Michelin-starred restaurants. Its portfolio comprises 14th century hotel and golf club The Manor House and The Castle Inn, both in Wiltshire; Surrey’s Pennyhill Park; Winchester wedding destination Lainston House; South Lodge in West Sussex; Royal Berkshire country house, near Ascot; and Fanhams Hall in Hertfordshire. Michelin-starred restaurants at its sites include Matt Worswick At The Latymer (Pennyhill Park) and Bybrook (The Manor House). A spa development is expected to open at South Lodge in March. “The project will enhance the positioning at South Lodge and keep Exclusive Group at the top end of the hotel and leisure markets,” the business told Insider Media.
Boutique hotel to open at Olympic Park: A new hotel is to open in east London, headed up by a strong team of people responsible for some of the hospitality’s industry most iconic projects. The Stratford will be situated within the new Manhattan Loft Gardens skyscraper at London’ Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, as part of a project by Manhattan Loft Corporation, a company founded by Harry Handelsman, the visionary behind the restored St Pancras Hotel and Chiltern Firehouse. Due to open in spring 2019, the hotel will aim to merge short-term stays with long-term hotel living and is inspired by the ‘timeless glamour’ and ‘long-term residents of 1950’s New York’s legendary hotels’. The hotel will occupy six stories of the 42-storey building, which has been created by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the architects behind the world’s most iconic skyscrapers including the Burj Khalifa and One World Trade Centre. Guests can also take advantage of the building’s two restaurants, the seventh floor destination eatery Allegra will open under the former head chef at Chiltern Firehouse, Patrick Powell and will also be home to a “wild meadow”. The Stratford will also boast a Hospitality Academy that will focus on recruiting locals, and a cultural spread of personalities and skill-sets.
UM International director to open new Asian concept in Newcastle: A director of north east restaurant group UM International is set to open a new Asian restaurant and cocktail bar concept in Newcastle city centre in a few weeks’ time. UM International operates Nudo Noodle House in Low Friar Street, Newcastle, nine Nudo Sushi Box venues across the region and beyond, plus oriental buffet restaurants in Durham and North Shields. James Lau, son of the group’s founders and one of the group’s directors, is looking to take on national chain restaurants as the sole independent operator in Intu Eldon Square’s dining zone Grey’s Quarter. Lau is also looking to create around 25 jobs at Umai Mi, which translates as “delicious taste” – adding to the group’s existing 150-strong workforce, to start at the restaurant in December. Lau said: “We saw the site in Eldon Square and know that the whole of Grey’s Quarter gets busy, so that attracted us to the site in the first instance. And we also saw a bit of a gap in the market. What we’ll be doing is completely different to the chain restaurants and our pan-Asian food will be unlike anything you can get here. We’re in the process of finalising the menu at the moment and it will have smaller plates, similar to the kind of food we serve at Nudo Sushi Box where you can have it as a starter or as a larger dish. There’ll also be lots of sushi dishes, meals to share and some truly authentic Chinese flavours.”
Health and wellness group Squared Ventures to open Manchester’s first ‘free-from’ cafe: Health and wellness group Squared Ventures is to open Manchester’s first “free-from” cafe. The company will launch the venue in Unit 19 of The Royal Exchange Manchester arcade next month after signing a deal with property investment company Hines. 3Squared Café will offer healthy dishes that legislate for vegans, vegetarians, coeliacs and allergy sufferers. Katie McIntosh, who is heading the project, told The Business Desk: “Our entire menu comes free of wheat, gluten, dairy and refined sugar and we go out of our way to find the best local and organic produce. The cafe will also cater for pre and post-workout needs, with plant-based protein shakes and wellness drinks.” Emme Haycock, asset manager for Hines UK, added: “The addition of 3Squared to The Royal Exchange brings a new element to our offer. The company’s plans are incredibly exciting and we are delighted to welcome them on board.” Hines acquired the grade II-listed building in November 2016 on behalf of a German pension group. Squared Ventures, which was founded by Andy McGlynn, also plans to convert a 12,000 square foot basement that formerly housed Brannigans nightclub into a high-end gym to open next year.
Chester wine bar moving to larger premises: A Chester wine bar is moving to larger premises so it can offer dining. Covino, which has been operating in Rufus Court since December 2016, has built a reputation for organic, biodynamic and natural wine sourced from around the world. Owner Chris Laidler, a qualified wine merchant, frequently supplies the city’s most popular restaurants with wine. Covino has become so successful Laidler will extend its offering when he moves to new premises in Northgate Street next month. The new eatery will retain the Covino name when it opens in a unit next to The Cheese Shop that formerly housed chocolatier Rococo. Covino will operate as a wine bar and restaurant with customers having an option to buy wine to take home at retail prices, Chester Live reports.
Signature Brew passes halfway mark in £400,000 crowdfunding campaign to open two taprooms and treble capacity: Signature Brew, the “music-inspired” brewing operation known for its collaborative beers with musicians, has passed the halfway mark in its £400,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to open two taprooms and treble capacity. The company, which was founded by Tom Bott and Sam McGregor in 2011 and named 2018 UK brewery of the year by the Society of Independent Brewers, is offering 4.26% equity in return for the investment, giving a pre-money valuation of £9m. So far, 192 investors have pledged £200,180 with 19 days of the campaign remaining. The pitch states: “We have grown revenues at an average rate of 78% year-on-year over the past three years – past 12 months’ revenue of £1.13m, Ebitda of £25,000 – with Ebitda for the past six months of £33,000. We expect to brew a million pints this year and our core range, including Roadie IPA and Studio Pilsner, are found at venues, festivals and supermarkets, as well as bars and pubs nationwide. Our current brewery is at capacity so to keep up with demand we’re seeking investment to move to a nearby east London site, which will house a brewhouse, trebling capacity from day one to future-proof the brewery. The site will underpin the next ten years of continued growth, expanding UK distribution and growing exports. We want to bring all production in-house – we’ve recently had to brew some of our pilsner kegs off-site due to capacity constraints. In addition to our new taproom, we plan to open two further taprooms to showcase our beers and host events.”