Mowgli secures Cheshire Oaks site for opening next year: Indian street food concept Mowgli has secured a site in Cheshire Oaks for an opening next year. The 11-strong group, which is backed by the Foresight Group and chaired by Karen Jones, has secured a site in the McArthurGlen Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet, with the opening scheduled for spring 2021. Founder Nisha Katona said: “So happy to be able to share some good news/green shoots of growth and hope nudging up through these autumn days. Mowgli Cheshire Oaks will be coming to you this spring. I searched high and low for a place to take Mowgli to my home crowds of Wirral, Cheshire and north Wales. Cheshire Oaks sits slap bang in the middle of the places I hang out.” The company, which has reopened its 11 restaurants across the country, already has a site secured in Bristol’s Corn Street that was due to open this year. Earlier this summer, the company shelved its plan to open in Preston city centre – and said it was reviewing plans for an opening in Edinburgh. Katona said: “I’m afraid Mowgli Preston is now not on because the overall Fishergate project is mothballed. I will finish building Bristol by November. I am considering my position regarding Edinburgh at the moment.” She added: “I am, in earnest, looking at Glasgow, Brighton, Newcastle, Cheltenham, Chester, Cambridge and York. Note that London does not yet feature – that breaks my heart but if my guiding star is to enrich the lives of the people around us, then taking on a swaggering, cuckoo-sized London rent will starve other fledgling Mowglis. It is because we have had great relationships with reasonable landlords that we are in a position to open at all.”
Angelo Sato set to open a new site in London’s Soho: Angelo Sato, former head chef of Tom Sellers’ Michelin-starred Restaurant Story in Bermondsey, south east London, is understood to be planning to launch a new Japanese concept in London’s Soho. Propel understands that Sato has secured the site in Frith Street, which formerly housed Barrafina and, more recently, Scott Hallsworth’s pan-Asian restaurant Freak Scene. Sato moved to London from Japan in 2009, working under the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Tom Sellers before starting his own venture, Yatai, in 2019 at Market Hall West End near Oxford Circus. Since the pandemic, Yatai has remained available to Battersea residents for delivery via Deliveroo as well as click and collect. The concept was brought to life in 2019 by Japanese-born Sato following a bento box pop-up called Mission Sato, in Old Street – and the launch of his first permanent grab-and-go concept, Omoide, in 2018. Davis Coffer Lyons was understood to be marketing the Frith Street site.
The Real Greek to replace Carluccio’s in Bracknell: Fulham Shore-owned The Real Greek is to add to its regional estate, with an opening in Bracknell, Propel has learned. The 18-strong brand has secured the former Carluccio’s site in The Lexicon scheme in the Berkshire town. The company hopes to open the site, the brand’s seventh outside the capital, at the start of December. Earlier this month, Fulham Shore said its sales were up 7% to £68.6m before the full impact of the coronavirus as it revealed its results for the year to March 2020. It opened seven Franco Manca pizzerias and two Real Greek restaurants during the period, and currently has 68 of its 70 restaurants open.
JRC Global Buffet plans double opening in Wimbledon, confirms Express format launch: JRC Global Buffet is to launch two new sites in Wimbledon, and confirmed that one will be a new Express format. As previously revealed by Propel, the nine-strong company has secured the former Kababji site at 80 The Broadway, Wimbledon. The restaurant will comprise a smaller format offering on the ground floor. At the same time, the company will launch a high-end restaurant, Shikumen, on the first floor. A new 15-year lease has been agreed at the property, which comprises three storeys and a roof terrace. Louie Gazdar of Davis Coffer Lyons, who advised the landlord, said: “We are delighted to have secured a new tenant for the Landlord, in what is another example of operators taking on restaurant sites in affluent London neighbourhoods as they look to take advantage of more people working from home and navigate their way through this difficult pandemic period.” JRC has been gradually reopening its estate over the past few months, with its restaurants in Ilford, Watford, Wembley and Wood Green, Southampton, Cardiff Bay and Croydon all now trading. DMR Property acted on behalf of JRC Global.
Wrap It Up! closes all its company-owned sites: London-based healthy eating chain Wrap It Up!, which operates 12 sites in London and two in Manchester, said it has ceased trading at all of its company-owned stores and several franchise sites. The company also operates three sites in India and a site in Lahore, Pakistan. Chief executive Tayub Mushtaq said the closures of the sites could have been avoided “if our landlords were accommodating and would share in the pain”. Mushtaq said: “Covid has had a profound impact on virtually all retail hospitality business, especially those with sites across the City and West End of London, and we are no different. We have officially ceased trading at all our company stores and several franchises stores. This could have been avoided if our landlords were accommodating and would share in the pain. They have not. Wrap It Up! will survive in a reduced form and I hope to grow the business once again in the future. Sad, sad day for all the hard-working employees who we have had to make redundant, folk who spent years with myself and the team over the past ten years. Live to fight another day.” Earlier this year, the group’s founder and board member Faisal Haque passed away. Haque founded the business in 2006.
Civerinos to open two new sites in Edinburgh: Edinburgh pizza brand Civerinos is to open two new sites in the city. The brand currently has a takeaway location on Forrest Road and a sit-down restaurant at Hunter Square near the Royal Mile. The brand focuses on Italian street pizza and introduced a “dough it yourself” kit to allow locals to make fresh pizza at home during lock-down. More recently, it also launched a New York-style pizza and cocktail delivery service, which is available via its app or on Deliveroo. Now, Civerinos has announced that it plans to open in the Portobello and Corstorphine areas of the city.
Jollibee UK to open its first restaurant in north east: Jollibee, the Philippines fast food group, is set to open its first outlet in the north east of England, in Newcastle. Jollibee UK, which has a site in London and in Liverpool open, and previously announced it would open in Nottingham and Leicester, has now seen planning permission for a site in Newcastle approved. The Filipino chain claims to serve “Asia’s favourite fried chicken” and has found fame through its Chickenjoy, Jolly Spaghetti and Yumburger dishes. The site is believed to be opening earlynext year at a former sweet shop on Northumberland Street. A spokesman for RR Planning, which submitted plans on behalf of Jollibee UK, told The Northern Echo: “It’s a great thing for Newcastle and it will hopefully create lots of jobs in the city and help to regenerate the high street. The first one opened in the UK in Earls Court, people came from Paris to visit Jollibee there. It’s extremely popular.”
Rank sells Belgian casino for £25m: Rank has sold its Blankenberge casino and associated digital licence to Kindred Group for £25m. The disposal is subject to regulatory approvals by the Belgian Gaming Commission and the Blankenberge City Council. Having closed its Middlekerke operations in 2017, Blankenberge has been Rank’s sole remaining casino venue in Belgium. For the full year to 30 June 2020, Blankenberge contributed £2.7m to group profit before tax and reported gross assets of £4.2m as of 30 June 2020. Rank successfully negotiated the renewal of its operating licence for Blankenberge in 2018 and has materially improved the venue’s performance in the period since then, increasing its attractiveness to potential purchasers. The online licence attributed to the venue has been operated under licence to Kindred since August 2012. Net proceeds will be used to reduce the group’s net debt position and for general corporate purposes. The group continues to review opportunities for maintaining appropriate levels of debt for the business. The disposal will also support management’s focus on Rank’s transformation 2.0 programme to drive improvement across its core businesses. John O’Reilly, chief executive of The Rank Group, said: “This announcement of the sale of the Blankenberge casino secures the next chapter for a great venue in Belgium and a team that delivers an excellent customer experience to the local community. As a stand-alone casino, the business was non-core to Rank’s international growth plans and the £25m sale proceeds supports the group’s liquidity and future growth initiatives.”
Showcase Cinemas voices caution about its prospects: The UK arm of the company behind Showcase Cinemas has outlined the difficulties it is facing in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and said it is unable to determine the future success of its operations as it looks to emerge from the challenging situation. Submitting accounts for the year to 2 January 2020, NATL Amusements (UK), which also operates the Cinema De Lux brand, said the outbreak had caused widespread disruption in 2020, including the mandated and voluntary closing of all its theatres earlier in the year. Despite resuming operations at a reduced capacity, in line with government guidelines, the business expressed caution about its prospects. The closures and restrictions associated with the pandemic mean the company’s results have been “negatively impacted and the related financial impact and duration cannot be reasonably estimated at this time”. The results for 2019 revealed NATL Amusements (UK) had maintained its turnover above £100m, at £105.8m, but fell to a pre-tax loss of £2.6m after making a profit of £3.2m in 2018. Nottingham-based NATL Amusements (UK) is part of the US-based National Amusements Inc, which was founded in 1936. The parent company owns both Viacom and CBS Corporation and is run by the third generation of the Redstone family.
Sankey’s introduces hot desking workspace for customers: Seafood pub and restaurant group Sankey’s has introduced affordable hot desking for remote workers. The Tunbridge Wells-based operation has started the service at the Seafood Kitchen & Bar branch, in the converted first-floor Function Room of the popular eatery on Mount Ephraim, the new offer aims to make remote working more accessible and affordable for those who would otherwise work from home. At a fixed day rate of £10 per person from 11am to 10pm, the dedicated space features a total of five workstations, which comes with complimentary Wi-Fi. On arrival, co-workers are provided with two dedicated USB ports, as well as three regular plug sockets for each desk, occupied by one person only. There is also free tea and coffee available throughout the day, with a 10% discount on all food orders for hot desk users. Sankey’s proprietor and founder Matthew Sankey, who also owns and operates the sister Old Fishmarket site on The Pantiles, said: “Since the easing of lock-down, many companies have had to adapt to an ever-changing work dynamic for their staff and employees, including working from home. By introducing a safe, socially distanced co-working area, we’re giving local professionals an accessible, affordable hub from which to do their jobs. Sankey’s has always been a place for social interaction – something that has recently been limited in workplaces such as offices, many of which have not reopened due to the impact of coronavirus.
Fat Hippo announces opening date for its sixth burger restaurant: Gourmet burger brand Fat Hippo will open its sixth site on Friday, 20 November. Work in Broad Street, Hockley, in Nottingham, is well under way at the site that used to be Hockley Rebel pub. Michael Phillips, who founded Fat Hippo in 2010 told Nottinghamshire Live: “The past year has been difficult for all businesses, especially the hospitality sector, but we couldn’t turn down the opportunity to bring Fat Hippo to Nottingham city centre. The building is the perfect location for our restaurant, and we’re so excited to be able to welcome everyone for a taste of ‘the good kind of gluttony’.” Burgers available include Stinky Pete – a double beef patty topped with blue cheese, onion jam and jalapenos, Hangover lll – buttermilk chicken, cheese, smoked bacon, lettuce, pickles, barbecue sauce and ranch, and the huge 4×4 – four patties topped with streaky bacon, cheese and Fat Hippo burger sauce. Vegans have five plant-based patties to choose from, with names such as Bloody Harrelson, Oprah Sin-Free and Notorious VFC 2.0. Operations manager Michael Johnson added: “It’s been an incredible ride over the past ten years feeding the ever-growing herd of burger lovers and now we can’t wait to bring our juicy burgers to the people of Nottingham”. Fat Hippo is expected to work with Deliveroo for those eating at home.
Luxury doughnut maker moves to bigger production facility as it plans retail expansion: A luxury doughnut company is relocating to a larger facility in Derby in a move that will create 100 jobs. Project D, which claims to make the world’s best doughnut, has taken an 11,000 square foot unit in Spondon, which will operate 24 hours a day. Co-owner Max Poynton said: “This is a really big step for Project D, but the time is definitely right. We just can’t keep up with the demand in the bakery we have at the moment and we get enquiries all the time from areas outside of our current delivery routes, so we know the market is there. We are already interviewing for new bakers and delivery drivers and we anticipate we will need more and more in the run-up to Christmas. It’s going to be all hands on deck.” Project D has also agreed a new lease on a unit in Leeds that will create 20 jobs. The Yorkshire hub will also be transformed into a flagship store next year, creating a further ten roles. Project D is also planning to open premises in London and Manchester in 2021.
Smokehouse business secures funding to allow expansion of range: A North Yorkshire smokehouse business has secured funding through the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF). Mackenzies Smoked Products, based in Blubberhouses in the Yorkshire Dales, has secured a six-figure investment from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, managed by FW Capital and part of the NPIF. The company operates a smokehouse manufacturing facility together with a restaurant, farm shop and butcher’s counter. Mackenzies recorded turnover of about £1.7m in 2019 and it has recently secured a deal with Booths, which now stocks its range from The Yorkshire Smokehouse in 30 stores. The six-figure funding will be used to develop Mackenzies’ manufacturing capability, to purchase equipment and additional stock and to invest in product development to expand its range. It has supported the creation of six full-time and one part-time positions, and safeguarded a further 16 jobs.
Great British Menu chef turns pop-up into permanent restaurant: Great British Menu chef Harriet Mansell has opened a permanent Robin Wylde restaurant in Lyme Regis, Dorset. The West Country chef-patron of the pop-up site with the same name has opened the restaurant – a former pottery workshop – just a few doors away from where the pop-up was housed. Mansell will make use of the area’s produce, with fish and seafood from Lyme Bay, meat from local farms in the West Country hills, and foraged ingredients, including woodland herbs. An announcement read: “Harriet’s culinary style takes inspiration from the natural world. Experimentation with raw ingredients, to include pickling, preserving and fermentation also play a prominent role in Harriet’s recipes.” The chef who took part in the south west region of the 2020 series of the BBC’s Great British Menu has fit 32 covers in at the site and will provide a nine-course tasting experience with optional pairings of low intervention and West Country wines.
Daisy Green opens canal-side Bondi Green restaurant: Australia-inspired restaurant, bar and coffee group Daisy Green Collection will open a flagship restaurant complete with A-grade bakery Bondi Green. The canal-side restaurant at Paddington is open already but will begin its dinner service next week. The site features an in-house bakery from one of the founders of Puff, rooftop dining and plenty of plant-based dishes alongside traditional Sunday roasts and brunches. Over the past eight years, Daisy Green – founded by Prue Freeman – has built up a loyal following for its laid-back Australian-style cafes and restaurants. Starting out as a Kerb trader, it now has 11 places across London, with the latest just having opened its doors at Paddington. Bondi Green has collaborated with Nicola Lamb, one of the founders of London bakery Puff. Lamb has helped set up an in-house bakery at Bondi Green selling items like miso and vegemite escargots along with bacon, egg and truffle Danishes and, as part of that, has also worked on some rather special brunch dishes focused around the bakery. Among plant-based treats is Simplicity Food’s Neil Rankin’s dish of mushroom and radish wellington for the Sunday roast while Plates London’s chef Kirk Harworth is responsible for a range of barbecue plant-based dishes. For meat eaters, Sunday lunch also features HG Walter meat and a gravy that takes five days to make. The canal-side space is next to the group’s two barges Darcie and May Green, and the rooftop dining will take place on the 17th floor complete with heaters for the colder months and to enable tier two socialising. There is also a wine trolley with glasses of low-intervention Aussie wines.