Premium Indian restaurant concept Copper Chimney to make UK debut: Copper Chimney, a premium Indian restaurant concept, is to make its UK debut this autumn at Westfield London. Propel understands the concept, which was founded by JK Kapur in Bombay in 1972, is taking a space at the scheme’s extension, joining Puttshack, All Star Lanes and ETM Group. Davis Coffer Lyons is acting on behalf of Westfield London on its F&B lettings. In a job spec for the new sites, the concept states: “Copper Chimney is an award-winning, internationally renowned restaurant brand coming to Westfield London this autumn. Copper Chimney is an ode to secret recipes and cooking techniques from across undivided North India. Copper Chimney serves a flavourful melange of its signature Indian dishes, flavours and ingredients to deliver an unforgettable dining experience.” The company operates 16 restaurants across India.
Le Cordon Bleu to launch flagship London restaurant after acquiring Prescott & Conran site in Fleet Street: Le Cordon Bleu is to open a flagship London restaurant after acquiring the lease of the site in Fleet Street that housed Prescott & Conrans’ Lutyens. Davis Coffer Lyons, acting for administrators Stephen Clancy and Benjamin Wiles, of Duff & Phelps, completed the sale of the lease. As well as a restaurant, the site will also house a cookery school. The deal includes an assignment of the existing lease for a term of 35 years expiring in 2043 held outside the act. The landlord has agreed to extend this term a further 20 years. Prescott & Conran went into administration in June 2018, with three restaurants closing. Lutyens and the Albion in Clerkenwell were put on the market through Davis Coffer Lyons, while Parabola in Kensington also ceased trading. Rob Meadows, executive director, agency and leasing at Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “This will become Le Cordon Bleu’s flagship restaurant in London, representing the international brand. Le Cordon Bleu has 22 schools around the world and has been in operation for more than 120 years. The restaurant will complement and promote the school in London, with the restaurant offering work experience to its students.” Prescott & Conran was founded by Peter Prescott and Sir Terence and Lady Conran as a joint venture to focus on smaller and more personal venues. They had worked together for many years at Conran Restaurants. D&D London was founded by Des Gunewardena and David Loewi in 2006 following a buyout of Conran Restaurants.
Junkyard Golf to open its first permanent site in London: Crazy golf operator Junkyard Golf is to open its first permanent site in London, in Broadgate Quarter. Located in Appold Street, just off Liverpool Street, and set to open in November, the venue will occupy a 12,000 square foot unit that will eventually replace the Junkyard Golf pop-up at The Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, which has attracted more than 400,000 visitors a year since it opened in 2016. The new site will feature four cocktail bars and four nine-hole crazy golf courses, including a new course based on an acid house theme. Junkyard Golf Club commercial director Sam Jones said: “After three hugely successful years as a pop-up in the Truman Brewery, this move begins the next step on our journey to make crazy golf epic. The London Yard will be the biggest and weirdest to date and we can’t wait to open the doors and show off our new home.” The new site will join Junkyard Golf sites in Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Oxford. Junkyard Golf launched in 2015 to “put a unique and immersive spin on the traditional game, complete with cocktail bars and scrapyard decor”. In May, the company announced it was seeking venues for expansion as it aimed to “remain at the forefront of the competitive socialising sector”. Co-founder Matthew Lake said Junkyard was “mapping out” its next phase of expansion, with its sights set on two further London venues and all major UK cities, including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Birmingham, Sheffield and Bristol. In March, Propel reported Junkyard Golf had appointed adviser Clearwater International to review options for its next stage of growth.
Gladwin Brothers to make West End debut at former Arbutus site in Soho:Gladwin Brothers, which operates three restaurants in the capital – The Shed, Rabbit and Nutbourne – will open a fourth site in the capital next month, in Soho. Richard, Oliver and Gregory Gladwin have taken on the site in Frith Street that formerly housed Anthony Demeter’s Arbutus and, before that, Bruno Loubet’s first solo restaurant, Bistro Bruno. Gladwin Brothers’ first West End project will be called Sussex – a celebration of the county’s countryside. Ingredients will be sourced directly from the Gladwins’ family farm and vineyard in Nutbourne, near Pulborough, West Sussex, or hand-picked local suppliers. Sussex marks a move away from Oliver Gladwin’s sharing dish concept and will feature home-cured charcuterie and Sussex cheese and wine served from a counter in the main dining room. The venue will feature contemporary artwork, artisan furniture, oak panels, and a roof lantern. The kitchen downstairs will house a 20-cover chef’s table as part of a private space hosting special events. Main dishes will include roasted brill with Devon crab ravioli while the adjoining bar will offer English wine, including the Gladwins’ own range, alongside beer and cocktails. The Shed is in Notting Hill, Rabbit is in King’s Road and Nutbourne is in Battersea.
Brighton pier saw railway upgrade work cause up to 30% decline in income:Brighton Pier Group chief executive Anne Ackord has told Propel its pier business saw up to a 30% decline in income as a result of upgrade work to the Brighton mainline. The work by Network Rail resulted in 30 days of closures of the line between Three Bridges and Brighton, including at weekends and during February half-term. Speaking following the company’s full-year results, Ackford said the work had a major impact on the pier business but acknowledged the weather, where high winds and heavy rain forced rides to close at times, hadn’t helped. She added: “It is hard to quantify the exact impact the train problems had and, of course, we suffered from weather impacts as well. What I can say is I know businesses in Brighton that aren’t weather impacted suffered up to a 30% decline in income. The recent hot weather has shown Brighton at its best and visitor numbers were up.” Ackford said the company was looking at a period of consolidation for its bar estate after completed a rationalisation programme. The company has disposed of nine sites during the past three years leaving it with 12 bars that are all “cash generating”. It doesn’t envisage further disposals and Ackford said the company was now looking to bring the best out of the estate it has rather than making acquisitions. She added: “We never say no if a good opportunity arises but at the moment we are focused on rationalisation and, of course, growing the individual businesses. For example, we have launched a pizza offer in our Smash bars and on the pier we’ve introduced a wide variety of new dishes in our bars and restaurants.” Meanwhile, the company will open its latest Paradise Island Adventure Golf site next month, at the Drake Circus development in Plymouth. The site will be the company’s first to feature a licensed bar as well as a wider food offer, which is still being worked on. In terms of further openings, Ackford said: “We are concentrating on Plymouth at the moment and, after that, we’ll look for the next opportunity.”
Innis & Gunn appoints Burger King’s Martin Robinson as non-executive chairman: Scottish brewer and retailer Innis & Gunn has appointed Martin Robinson as non-executive chairman. Robinson is also chairman of Burger King UK, Parkdean Resorts and Inspiring Learning. He has previously been a director of Scottish & Newcastle’s pub division as well as working in the beer industry as a consultant when at McKinsey & Company. Robinson has also chaired Center Parcs in the UK and Europe, as well as Wagamama, Casual Dining Group and Holmes Place Health Clubs. He also sat for many years on the boards of Disneyland Paris and Regus. Dougal Gunn Sharp, Innis & Gunn founder and master brewer, said: “The potential of Innis & Gunn lager and our resurgent Innis & Gunn Brewery Taproom bars is clear. Our mission in the coming years is to build on their success alongside the international acceleration of Innis & Gunn Original, our flagship brand. Martin brings a wealth of retail, brand-building and strategic management expertise as we embark on some of our biggest strategic initiatives to date, including the building of the Innis & Gunn brewery in Edinburgh.” Robinson added: “I have a great fondness for the beer and pub industry and am excited to join Innis & Gunn as it gears up for its next phase of rapid expansion, domestically and abroad. I’ve been very impressed by Dougal and his team and the fantastic results they’ve achieved with their beer and bars thus far, particularly the performance of their lager in Scotland and the strength of the international business.” In August, Innis & Gunn reported a 30% like-for-like sales uplift at the first two sites it has converted from Beer Kitchen to its Brewery Taproom concept. The company’s first international bar recently opened in Barcelona airport, with several others in the pipeline.
Goals board in Sports Direct talks following 5p-per-share offer: The board of Goals Soccer Centres has said it remains in talks with Sports Direct over a possible deal for the five-a-side football pitch operator. Sports Direct, which is the largest shareholder in Goals with an 18.93% stake, has made a proposal for the business regarding a possible cash offer of 5p per share for the entire issued and to be issued share capital. Trading in shares of Goals has been suspended since March, when the company unearthed historical accounting issues. Its share price at the time of the suspension was 27.2p. In response to the offer, Goals said: “The proposal remains under discussion between the company and Sports Direct. As such, there can be no certainty any firm offer will be made nor the terms on which any firm offer might be made. A further announcement will be made in due course if and when appropriate. The board also wishes to confirm it remains committed to looking after the interests of all stakeholders.” Goals operates 45 locations across the UK and four in the US. The company, which was established in 2000, started the process to invite offers for the business and assets of the company at the end of August.
Bar + Block set for ‘considerable growth’ in 2020 as it prepares to open latest site: Whitbread has said its Bar + Block steakhouse restaurant brand is set for “considerable growth” in 2020 as it prepares to open its latest site. The company will launch the venue on Friday, 1 November at its new Premier Inn in Sutton, Surrey. The 589 square metre, 229-cover restaurant at the St Nicholas Way property will include the brand’s trademark open kitchen and copper feature bar as well as decorative finishing touches such as the Bar + Block neon cow. The all-day, casual dining concept focuses on high-quality steaks at affordable prices. Bar + Block sites have opened in Wimbledon, Belfast, Bristol and Winnersh this year. Sutton will be the 12th site to open since the brand launched in Birmingham in 2016. Joanna Spencer, senior brand and marketing manager at Whitbread Restaurants, said: “The Bar + Block Steakhouse brand is undergoing rapid expansion and is set for considerable growth in 2020. We are delighted to be contributing to the local food and drink scene, providing a new all-day destination restaurant for the community.”
Newly formed Black and White International to launch first overseas Marco’s New York Italian, in Abu Dhabi: Newly formed company Black and White International is to launch a first overseas site for Marco’s New York Italian, in Abu Dhabi. The restaurant will open in the five-star Fairmont Bab Al Bahr on Thursday (26 September) as a collaboration with hotel and restaurant development business RMAL Hospitality. Black and White Hospitality owns the UK rights to eight restaurant brands belonging to chef Marco Pierre White, while Dubai-based RMAL Hospitality bought the entire portfolio of Marco Pierre White brands outside the UK and Ireland in May 2013. Elias Chakhtoura, general manager of Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, said: “We are honoured to open the first international branch of Marco’s New York Italian. This marks our second collaboration with Marco following the success of Marco Pierre White Steakhouse, Bar & Grill.” Meanwhile, Black and White Hospitality has opened a Steakhouse Bar & Grill in the Bredbury Hall Hotel, Stockport. Chairman and chief executive Nick Taplin said: “Black and White Hospitality has a very strong portfolio and our business model of aligning the restaurant concepts with hotel spaces is a strategy that has proved very successful in the UK and now internationally as we fast approach our 50th venue.”
Buckinghamshire-based pub group Moogies acquires historic coaching inn for fourth site: Buckinghamshire-based pub group Moogies has acquired a 17th century coaching inn for its fourth site. Grade II-listed The Dinton Hermit in Ford, near Aylesbury, closed in December 2013 and Moogies has started work to repair, refurbish and extend the venue. The pub is named after John Bigg, who was rumoured to be the executioner of Charles I and took to living in a cave as a hermit in the grounds of Dinton Hall for fear of his own execution following the Restoration. Bar and restaurant areas will be expanded to include a new conservatory and additional seating. Original features will be retained where possible, while the large garden will be landscaped to create distinct seating areas for alfresco drinking and dining. The inn’s 11 rooms will also be refurbished. Moogies founder and managing director Paul Mitchell said: “There is a lot of work to be done but everyone is extremely excited about the project and the opportunity to breathe new life into this once great establishment. We are working full steam ahead to reopen the bar and restaurant in November. The accommodation will follow in the new year with the landscaping complete in time for spring.” Moogies’ other pubs are The Black Boy in Oving, The Eight Bells in Long Crendon and The Russell Arms in Butlers Cross, all in Buckinghamshire.
Worcester-based Thai restaurant operator acquires city centre pub for third site:Worcester-based Thai restaurant operator Thai Gallery has acquired a city centre pub for its third site. The company has bought The Maltster in Cornmarket, which was marketed for £395,000 in a deal brokered by agent James A Baker. The grade-II listed pub, which has been shut since April, will be refurbished before reopening in December as a Thai bar called Buddha Bar @ Thai Gallery. Thai Gallery already runs a restaurant in the city and another in Hereford. James A Baker surveyor Amy Potter, who oversaw the sale, said: “The Maltster is in the vibrant heart of the town and the new owners plan to invest in a large-scale refurbishment to give the building a new lease of life. It’s great news for Worcester.”
New food hall market set for Hull: A food market could be created in the House of Fraser property in Hull. Proposals also carry the Hammonds of Hull name in a nod to the brand that occupied the Paragon Square building before House of Fraser. A spokesman for the building’s owner told Insider Media: “We are working flat out with our tenant, Artisan Food Halls, to submit a planning application across the majority of the ground floor. In keeping with the European food halls of Lisbon and Barcelona, we aim to create a food emporium that will incorporate more than 20 boutique food concessions, which will allow the community to dine, shop and taste all the best Hull’s farmers, producers and chefs have to offer.” Daren Hale, deputy leader of Hull City Council, said: “The proposals are exciting and ambitious and could potentially put Hull on a par with the food hall offerings in Manchester and Birmingham.”
Cocktails and croquetas concept Jellied Eel launches permanent residency at Manze’s: Cocktails and croquetas concept The Jellied Eel, which took over Walthamstow’s Manze’s pie shop for a series of pop-ups, has launched a permanent residency at the High Street store. Croquetas on the menu include leek, chorizo, blue cheese, spinach and chicken versions, while new small plates include merguez sausage with hot pepper sauce, and roast mushrooms with garlic butter and oregano pesto. The Jellied Eel has also reopened Manze’s goods yard as a cocktail garden, Hot Dinners reports. Pie and mash shop Manze’s, which opened more than 90 years ago and is one of only a few remaining in London, continues to operate during the day.
Hawthorn Leisure launches online marketing tool for pub partners: Hawthorn Leisure, NewRiver REIT’s community pub-operating platform, has launched an online toolkit to help its pub partners access marketing material. The portal enables pub partners to order personalised print and digital material to help them promote events. A wide range of print designs are available to suit different types of pubs in the Hawthorn Leisure estate, with categories including food and drink offers, entertainment, sport and functions. Developed by Liverpool-based Little White Van, a second phase is scheduled to go live before the end of the year giving access to discounted consumables, utilities, party supplies and cleaning materials. Hawthorn Leisure managing director of operations Mark McGinty said: “We are keen to provide our partners with all the material they require to run successful, sustainable businesses. The toolkit gives them quick, easy access to everything from banners and beer mats to glassware and cleaning equipment.” Earlier this month Gerry Carroll announced he would step down as chief executive of Hawthorn Leisure on 1 October. Carroll will continue to serve as a non-executive director on the board of NewRiver Pub REIT, a subsidiary of NewRiver REIT. Mark Davies, executive chairman of Hawthorn Leisure, will replace Carroll as Hawthorn Leisure chief executive. NewRiver acquired Hawthorn Leisure for £106.8m in May 2018 and its portfolio includes more than 650 community pubs.
Leyton-based wine bar and deli Yardarm goes from pop-up to permanent: Wine bar and deli Yardarm, based in Leyton, east London, is to open its first bricks and mortar site. Following a number of pop-ups and residencies in the capital, Yardarm will launch a permanent spot in Francis Road on Wednesday (25 September). The chef will be Joe O’Connor, brother of co-owner Dan, Hot Dinners reports. The Yardarm website states: “We sell our favourite things – wine, beer, cheese, charcuterie, bread, coffee and lots of cupboard essentials. We also have a few seats around our bar and serve wine by the glass, coffee, and cheese and charcuterie boards. We work with small, independent producers who care about the provenance of their produce.”
Yorkshire spa owners acquire North Wales property in £5m deal: The owners of the Chevin Country Park Hotel and Spa in West Yorkshire have acquired their second site. They have bought Ruthin Castle Hotel and Spa in North Wales, which was sold off a headline price of offers in the region of £4.95m. The property, which is used as a wedding and conference venue, features a spa and 60 bedrooms. Colliers International acted on behalf of the vendor in the off-market deal. Julian Troup, head of UK hotels at Colliers International, told The Business Desk: “The sale is indicative of a wider trend of increased demand for quality provincial hotels from a diverse range of potential buyers.” Chevin Country Park Hotel and Spa in Otley features 52 bedrooms and leisure facilities.
Prison-themed immersive experience heads for Covent Garden: Prison-themed immersive experience Alcotraz is heading for Covent Garden. Launched in Brick Lane, the new version of the concept – Alcotraz Penitentiary: Cell Block Six Eight – will see participants don orange jumpsuits and try to smuggle alcohol past the warden and guards to a “bootlegging gang” in the cells, who will use it to create cocktails, Hot Dinners reports. Inspired by classic American film and television, Alcotraz will donate a percentage of ticket sales to charity Switchback, which helps young Londoners find a way out of the justice system to build a stable life. The experience will launch in Neal Street on Friday, 4 October and run for three months.
Future of Loughborough bar and restaurant secured following pre-package administration deal: The future of Loughborough bar and restaurant Browns Lane has been secured after being sold in a pre-package administration deal. Established in 2001, Browns Lane specialises in freshly prepared European cuisine. However, the company encountered financial difficulty earlier this year and in July appointed Dean Nelson, of Smith Cooper, as administrator. After considering all options and having undertaken an accelerated sales process to the open market, a sale of the company’s business and assets was completed with James Edward Associates, transferring all employees to the new business. Peter Neagle, director of James Edward Associates, said: “I am delighted to have completed the purchase of Browns Lane. The business presents so many opportunities and we’re excited to shake it up with an emphasis on casual, not fine dining.” Nelson added: “We are pleased to have achieved a sale for Browns Lane, which secures the trade and preserves employment. The business, through its new purchaser, will be ideally placed to build on its reputation locally and further afield.” Browns Lane will reopen on Friday (27 September).
Arros QD becomes only second restaurant outside Spain to be given prestigious paella award: Three Michelin-starred chef Quique Dacosta’s Fitzrovia venue Arros QD has become only the second restaurant outside Spain to be awarded the Cullera de Fusta. Awarded by the Wikipaella.org guide, Cullera de Fusta translates as “wooden spoon” and recognises the best paella restaurants in the world. Arros QD becomes one of 33 restaurants to hold the spoon and joins Jaleo by José Andrés in Las Vegas as the only winners from outside Spain. Dacosta opened Arros QD in June to “bring the traditional Valencian dish beyond Spain’s borders”. Dacosta said: “It is our duty to act as guardians over paella. We must take care of our popular recipes but also be generous with those who are interested in getting to know us.” Dacosta’s eponymous flagship restaurant in Valencia has held three Michelin stars since 2013, while he also operates one Michelin-starred El Poblet and three other venues in the city.
LabTech officially launches Camden Market’s new F&B destination: Camden Market owner LabTech has officially launched new food and beverage destination The North Yard. The launch began with a giant aubergine installation and a promotional event giving away 400 dishes from traders. LabTech F&B commercial director Maggie Milosavljevic said: “The North Yard marks a key milestone for the overall offer of our Camden portfolio and puts us in good stead for the launch of our extended retail offer with the Hawley Wharf project next year.” Operators at The North Yard include The Camden Grocer, Indian-inspired burger restaurant Baba G’s, Rudy’s Dirty Vegan Diner, rotisserie chicken restaurant Kuku Riku, and independent butcher and grill Camden Town Roadkill. They join established Camden favourites The Cheese Bar and Sri Lankan/Indian concept Pamban, with more arrivals scheduled for this year.
Administrator puts Northern Powerhouse Developments’ Cumbrian hotel on market for £1.5m: Northern Powerhouse Developments’ 93-bedroom country hotel in Cumbria has been brought to market by Christie & Co on behalf of administrator Daniel Richardson, of CG & Co, for an asking price of £1.55m. Gilsland Hall Hotel in Brampton sits in 140 acres of gardens and natural woodland on the edge of Northumberland National Park and near Hadrian’s Wall. The hotel offers accommodation across four floors and includes a large restaurant, bistro bar and function room. Externally, there are seven houses including two disused cottages, two staff houses and a large villa, which is derelict but could be converted. Christie & Co director Mark Worley said: “This is an excellent opportunity for a hotel operator to obtain a large country house hotel with massive scope to increase trade and profits.” Northern Powerhouse Developments acquired the hotel and another in Scarborough from The Co-operative Group in January 2018. In July this year an investigation started into the finances of Northern Powerhouse Developments after insolvency practitioners Duff & Phelps were appointed interim managers. The move followed an application with the High Court in London by seven investors who had invested in companies owned by Gavin Woodhouse, who strongly denies any wrongdoing.