Chick ‘n’ Sours opens Islington restaurant for third London site: London-based fried chicken restaurant concept Chick ‘n’ Sours has opened its third site in the capital, in Islington. The 60-cover venue has launched in Upper Street featuring a bar, open kitchen and outside space. The restaurant offers a number of new dishes trialled at a Brixton pop-up and the concept’s debut site in Haggerston, which reopened last month following a major refurbishment. New dishes include Korean glazed burger the Seoul Destroyer, while the Weekend Treats menu features hot chicken and kimchi cornbread waffles. Chick ‘n’ Sours was founded by Carl Clarke and David Wolanksi. Clarke said: “Islington holds a special place in my heart. There used to be a wicked buzz round here and I spent many a long night at places such as Medicine Bar and The Embassy. I’d like to bring that amazing north London mix of good food and fantastic music back.” Chick ‘n’ Sours launched in Haggerston in 2015, with a sister site opening in Seven Dials the following year. Clarke and Wolanski also operate CHIK’N in Baker Street.
Drive-thru Costa Coffee site in Bolton sells for £1.23m: A drive-thru Costa Coffee unit at the entrance to the Logistics North development in Bolton has been sold for £1.23m. Harworth Group is behind the sale, with the site having been bought by Fenwall Investments. The 1,787 square foot unit was constructed by Harworth in July 2017 on a design and build basis and immediately occupied by Costa on a 15-year lease following completion. The sale continues Harworth’s active churn strategy of selectively disposing some of its more mature income-generating assets to reinvest in higher-yielding commercial property. David Travis, director of business space at Harworth Group, told Insider Media: “Our focus for the remainder of 2018 is to let all remaining speculative space currently available at Logistics North.” Fenwall was represented by Hyatt On Property, while Harworth was jointly represented by JLL and B8 Real Estate as retained agents for Logistics North.
Professor Brian Cox starts new mission with beer launch: Physicist and broadcaster Brian Cox has combined a passion for science, beer, and his home town of Oldham to launch Cosmic Brew. Working with north west brewer and retailer JW Lees, he has collaborated on a beer, Cosmic Brew, which will go on sale in January, coinciding with Cox’s UK and Ireland arena tour. Between broadcasting and lecturing commitments at The University of Manchester, Cox, with the help of JW Lees head brewer and production director Michael Lees-Jones, has experimented with several different brews. The resulting beer is Cosmic Brew, a “zesty” amber ale made with a blend of British hops, Admiral, Jester and Cascade to give it a “modern hoppy twist”. Cox said: “Growing up in Oldham, walking distance from the brewery, JW Lees is a name I’ve always known – and its beers are legendary! So, to work with it, to experiment with different beers, to uncover the secrets and science of brewing and launch Cosmic Brew has been a great experience. I also wanted to put something back into Oldham – to collaborate with a successful local industry to make something worthwhile. I’ve never done anything like this before, but when Michael asked me to collaborate on a beer, I couldn’t resist. It feels right. I enjoyed being involved in the branding and design. The pattern of the stars on the label is the view of the night sky looking north over the brewery on the day I was born – 3 March 1968. It’s what I would have seen had I looked out of the window.” The beer will launch into retail and to the on-trade in January and will be available in 500ml bottle and 9g cask. A special preview of the beer will be available in selected pubs around Oldham and north Manchester in October.
Immersive cocktail bar concept opens in Fitzrovia: A new immersive cocktail bar concept has opened in Fitzrovia, central London. Matthew Roberts and Elliot Davies have launched Genuine Liquorette inside a converted Victorian pub in Rathbone Place. The New York-inspired bar offers an array of signature experiences aimed at breaking traditional cocktail norms by handing an element of control over to its guests – whether they’re creating their own cocktails to take home or partaking in cocktail masterclasses that grant them the privilege to tend the bar whenever they wish. Meanwhile, immersive bar areas tucked away in the “stockrooms” beyond offer a variety of experiences including an “All Stars” line-up of exclusive cocktails from well-known mixologists to Liquorette’s “Cha-Chunker” cocktails – a novel invention that uses a machine with a metal point to widen the hole of any canned drink so a miniature bottle of alcohol can then be inverted, resulting in a twist on the classic spirit and mix.
Northern Monk Brew Co to open second taproom this weekend, in Manchester: Northern Monk Brew Co, which raised £1.5m on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube earlier this year, will open its second taproom this weekend. The company’s new venture – Northern Monk Refectory MCR – will open in Saturday (29 September) in Tariff Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Spanning two levels, the venue will offer 16 keg lines, four cask lines and three draft cocktails, as well as four classic mixed cocktails and a menu of northern-inspired small plates. Founder Russell Bisset told BDaily: “It’s been four years since we opened The Refectory in Leeds. In that time, we’ve learnt so much about what makes not just a good beer experience, but a world-class beer experience. We can’t wait to take the next stage of our journey over the Pennines and into the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter.”
Belfast-based cafe Maggie Mays opens third site: Belfast-based cafe Maggie Mays has opened its third site in the city. The company, which is owned by husband and wife team Moya and John Pollins, has opened the venue in Castle Street. It employs 35 people, who also work between the business’ other cafes, in Botanic Avenue and Malone Road. The Pollins’ daughter Meghann is running the Castle Street venue. She told the Belfast Telegraph: “Maggie Mays is actually named after my granny, my mum’s mum – it was her nickname.” Asked if Maggie Mays would venture outside of Belfast, she added: “It has been talked about. Mum’s dream is to get one in Dublin or Cork.”
Whitbread confirms four more Bar + Block sites, hints at further openings:Whitbread has confirmed it is to open four more sites for its steakhouse concept Bar + Block, bringing the portfolio up to nine – and hinted at further expansion. The first opening in Aldgate this October is the group’s second in London, with Leamington Spa following in November and Wimbledon and Reading scheduled for early 2019. All four sites are located next to existing and new Premier Inn hotels from Whitbread and will follow Bar + Block’s all-day trading format. It features steaks hand-cut to order as well as a “butcher’s block”, rotating specials and an extensive drinks list. They include an open kitchen and copper feature bar, the brand’s signature neon cow and wall calligraphy detailing the brand story. Whitbread Restaurants chief marketing officer Nathalie Pomroy said: “We are delighted to be opening more Bar + Block restaurants as part of our growth strategy. We are in discussions on further locations and believe 2018/19 will be a transformational year for Bar + Block.”
Magnus Reid to close Legs in Hackney: Magnus Reid, formerly of The Rooftop Cafe in Southwark and owner-operator of Cream cafe in Shoreditch, is closing his restaurant Legs in Hackney. Reid, originally from Australia, opened the venue in Morning Lane in May 2016, but it will shut on Saturday, 6 October, to move on to “bigger and better things”, reports Hot Dinners. An Instagram post said: “A huge thanks to all of our suppliers, customers, and staff over the years for helping make the restaurant the success it was for us. For the gossipers, we are closing because we are moving on to bigger and better things; things we can’t do here in our little corner of Hackney. Sleep tight sweet prince.” Legs serves a daily-changing menu focusing on “fresh, nourishing produce in a light, casual space”. The wine list focuses on small, independent wine producers. In the basement, the team and selected partners handcraft some offerings such as vermouth for the bar, cured meats and pickles for the kitchen, and even ceramics for the tables.
Nando’s to open seventh Leeds site: Nando’s will open its seventh site in Leeds next month. The venue will launch in The Springs shopping centre on Thursday, 11 October. The shopping centre, which is also due to open in October, is part of the Thorpe Park Leeds development, near Junction 46 of the M1. The opening will create 30 jobs, while the restaurant will accommodate 118 diners inside and 26 in an outdoor area. Tina Hardy, Nando’s regional managing director, told Leeds Live: “We are thrilled to be opening the doors at The Springs.” Meanwhile, the company has submitted plans to open a second site in Dundee, at Camperdown Leisure Park. Nando’s operates more than 300 sites in the UK with restaurants marked on its website as “coming soon” in Bromley, Yeovil and Rushden Lakes in Northamptonshire.
Diageo Reserve appoints Irish chef Mark Moriarty as new global food authority: Diageo Reserve, the luxury portfolio of Diageo, has appointed Irish chef Mark Moriarty to a new food advocacy role within the business – the global gastronomer. The first of its kind in the industry, the position will become Diageo’s global authority on food and gastronomy culture, tasked with forging a more meaningful connection between the wider food occasion and the Reserve spirits portfolio. Moriarty was crowned the best young chef in the UK and Ireland in 2015 and has since taken his pop-up cookery concept Culinary Counter, which combines the art of fine dining with theatrical entertainment, to cities around the world. Cristina Diezhandino, global category director scotch and Reserve managing director, said: “We recognise food and drink culture is changing as more people become fascinated with flavour and how spirits can enhance the food occasion. There is no person more suited to pioneer this position in our industry than Mark Moriarty, who, as a culinary explorer, successful business owner and a drinks enthusiast, has a skillset that lends itself perfectly to unlocking the potential of the global gastronomer.” Moriarty added: “I can’t wait to work alongside the Diageo Reserve community and other industry thought-leaders to bring these revolutionary brands to life through food – ultimately creating some incredible taste experience for consumers and encouraging them to see a great cocktail as a way of maximising the culinary moment.”
Marston’s opens new-build pub restaurant in Rhyl: Marston’s has opened its new-build pub restaurant in Rhyl, north Wales, creating 45 jobs. The Sun Verge is part of the £25m Rhyl waterfront regeneration scheme and features a 150-cover carvery and children’s play areas indoors and out. Marston’s new-build operations manager Nigel Whitfield told the Daily Post: “We are extremely excited about The Sun Verge and hope it will build a great reputation.” The regeneration scheme incudes a Travelodge hotel, which is being built on the same site near the former Sun Centre. Denbighshire Council will hold the lease for the Travelodge and Sun Verge, allowing it to make money through rent.
Boutique US hotel brand to make UK debut: Boutique US hotel brand The Standard will open its first London property early next year, in Euston Road near St Pancras station. The Standard, London is set to open in February, and will be the brand’s first hotel outside the US, joining existing properties in LA, West Hollywood, Miami and New York. The 250-bedroom hotel is housed within a converted office block, previously occupied by Camden Council, with two new floors sitting on top of the existing building, reports Business Traveller. Former Young British Foodie Awards Chef of the Year Adam Rawson will be executive chef at the hotel.
Nottingham-based supper club Kushi-ya to open permanent restaurant next month: Nottingham-based supper club Kushi-ya is to open a permanent restaurant next month. Having run sold-out events for the past year, Kushi-ya founders – Iberico World tapas head chef Simon Carlin and The Railway junior sous chef Tom Clay – have invested in their debut bricks and mortar site. The restaurant, which will offer 33 covers and five seats at the bar, will open on Thursday, 4 October in Cannon Court at a site formerly occupied by Alley Cafe, which closed in May. Kushi-ya will offer skewers cooked over charcoal on a traditional Japanese grill, small plates, snacks and specials. Clay told Nottinghamshire Live: “It is always a chef’s dream to open a restaurant. Once we started the supper clubs a year ago people were enjoying it and it makes you think it’s possible.” Carlin added: “We are focusing on good ingredients. We’re using free-range chickens from a farm near Burton-on-Trent and we want to use local vegetables but with Japanese methods and techniques. In Nottingham there is high-end food that is super expensive, chain restaurants and not much in the middle.”