200 Degrees to double Birmingham presence with tenth site: Nottingham-based coffee roaster and retailer 200 Degrees will double its presence in Birmingham next month. The company, which is backed by Foresight Group, has confirmed it will open a site in the city’s Lower Temple Street, as revealed by Propel in May. 200 Degrees already operates a site in the city’s Colmore Row. The new 65-seater venue is located in the former Midland Hotel and the 1,830 square foot store retains many period features and will also offer a split bar for takeaway service. The new Birmingham venue is 200 Degrees’ tenth coffee shop to open since 2014. Co-founder Tom Vincent said: “Birmingham is the first location outside Nottingham in which we’ve opened two coffee shops. We’re excited to contribute further to the fantastic food and drink scene across the city and be part of this area’s rapid regeneration. Our Colmore Row coffee shop has been well received since we opened and the new Lower Temple Street store will give our customers somewhere closer to visit by New Street Station.” 200 Degrees, which was set up by Vincent and Rob Darby in 2012, has coffee shops in Nottingham, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Leicester, Cardiff and Lincoln as well as a roast house in Nottingham. It will launch in Liverpool later this month, with two further openings lined up for this year.
Aprirose launches first revamped pub under new management company, 14 more projects planned this year: Blackrose, the new pub management company from real estate investment company Aprirose, has launched its first revamped pub – with 14 more set for refurbishment by the end of the year. The Anchor in Bexley, south east London, is the first site in the UK-wide, 44-strong portfolio to undergo a major refurbishment to give it a new look and feel to reflect the “Blackrose vision and brand”. The Anchor, formerly known as The Blue Anchor, has a new outdoor dining area and serves freshly prepared food and local guest ale. Blackrose managing director Daren Knipe said: “We have a clear and structured business strategy for our 44-strong pub portfolio. It will undergo significant asset management and modernisation and we have introduced a capital expenditure programme to ensure we create a brand that ensures consistency and quality of experience in all our premises. The Anchor is only the beginning of our story as we aim to complete 14 further capital development projects by the end of the year.” The next pubs set to undergo the revamp are the Game Cock Inn in Blackburn and the Royal Oak in Bolton. Further projects will include the Vine Inn in Hillingdon, The Wheatsheaf in Camberley and The Black Bull in Morpeth.
Cyrus Todiwala to launch Indian food and cocktails concept in Leicester for first site outside London: Chef Cyrus Todiwala is to open his first restaurant outside London. Todiwala will launch new concept Tandem, a “celebration of authentic Indian cuisine and cocktail mixology”, at Highcross shopping centre in Leicester after agreeing a deal with owner Hammerson. It will be Todiwala’s fifth restaurant in total, including Café Spice Namasté and Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen. Tandem will launch in late August seating 150 diners and featuring five distinct spaces, including a chef’s table for executive dining and a rooftop terrace. The kitchen will use traditional Indian cooking techniques using ethically and sustainably sourced British produce. Todiwala said: “I have always wanted to expand my restaurants outside London, with Tandem having been in the pipeline for a long time. The foodie scene in Leicester is taking flight and we’re excited to launch Tandem in such an exciting and vibrant city. Tandem is an exciting concept that offers something different to my other restaurants but takes inspiration from what we know our customers love. It was important to me to fully showcase the beauty of Indian cuisine by using traditional cooking techniques and influences from my personal experience.”
Hilton seeks partners for UK food and beverage spaces: Hilton Hotels, the international hotel operator, is seeking new partners to operate the food and beverage (F&B) spaces in five of its UK sites, Propel has learned. As part of its EMEA F&B pipeline, the company is making restaurant, bar and cafe space available to an F&B partnership at the Hilton London Tower Bridge, Hilton London Olympia, Doubletree London Islington, Doubletree Tower of London and Hilton Nottingham. Hilton London Tower Bridge used to house a Jamie’s Italian. Hilton has a further 32 hotels across the EMEA region it is seeking F&B partners for. Hilton’s rival, Marriott, has opened its F&B space to a number of restaurant brands in the past few years. Carluccio’s operates three sites with Marriott, Brasserie Blanc two and Miller & Carter one.
Cheshire-based Almond Family Pubs reopens Stockport pub for sixth site following £1m investment: Cheshire-based Almond Family Pubs has completed its refurbishment of a historic site in Stockport following a £1m investment. The Jolly Sailor, which began serving customers in the 19th century, was acquired by Almond Family Pubs in late 2018. The company has since spent £1m refurbishing it, supported in part by a £390,000 commercial loan from HSBC. On the back of the project, the group expects to increase turnover by 17% and create 40 jobs in the next year. Chairman Doug Almond told Insider Media: “We listened closely to what locals wanted and this is reflected in our final design. We will serve our carvery but also offer a good pub menu and keep a dedicated area for drinkers.” Almond Family Pubs, run by former hotelier Almond and his children James and Vicki, has a reputation for taking on and turning around “unloved” pubs. The Jolly Sailor is its sixth site.
Papa John’s appoints former McDonald’s executive as first chief restaurant operations officer: Papa John’s has appointed Jim Norberg as its first chief restaurant operations officer. Norberg, who served as chief operating officer at McDonald’s USA until 2015, will oversee the operations of Papa John’s corporate and franchise stores. President and chief executive Steve Richie said: “Jim has an impressive growth track record and deep-rooted quick service restaurant industry knowledge and expertise, making him a welcome addition to our talented leadership team. Jim is a seasoned expert, whose depth and understanding of restaurant operations and guest experience will help propel our brand forward and position us for continued success.” In his role at McDonald’s, Norberg worked to unify franchise and company store operations and simplify system-wide menus and operations. Under his new role, Papa John’s said Norberg would work to deliver increases in sales, customer satisfaction and profit margins for its stores.
BrewDog’s former marketing boss – ‘business wasn’t ready for a CMO’: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog wasn’t ready to bring a chief marketing officer on board, according to the man who took on the role for three months at the end of last year. Jon Evans, whose career has included stints at drinks companies Britvic and Lucozade Ribena Suntory, joined as BrewDog’s first chief marketing officer in November. However, he left the business in January after it became “fairly obvious” it wasn’t working. Evans told Marketing Week that BrewDog co-founder James Watt was the “engine behind the business”. He added: “We got on famously – we just agreed it was a bit early in their lifestyle to have a chief marketing officer.” Evans was originally tasked with taking 12-year-old BrewDog to the “next level of its evolution”, including replicating the BrewDog model around the world and getting it to scale. He was also in charge of co-ordinating BrewDog’s marketing team, which operates as a digital department and brand department, and translating that internationally. Evans said because Watt had a “clear idea of what he wanted to do and how he wanted to do it, it didn’t work having two people trying to shape the strategy and execute it”. He added: “BrewDog is the most potent brand I’ve worked on in that, when it gets mentioned, it gets a huge reaction.”
Koi Ramen and The Tap In sign for Elephant Park: Japanese ramen noodle bar Koi Ramen and The Tap In, a craft beer concept by the founders of Six Yard Box and Hop Art, have signed to open sites in the new Elephant Park development in south London. It will be a first bricks and mortar site for Koi Ramen, which also trades at Pop Brixton and Tooting Market. The brand, which specialises in tonkotsu ramen, has signed for a 414 square foot unit at the £2.3bn regeneration project being delivered by Lendlease and Southwark Council. The Tap In will combine elements of Six Yard Box and Hop Art, which started out at The Artworks, a pop-up retail park created by Lendlease in Elephant and Castle in 2014 to provide community-led space for startups and small businesses. The Tap In has taken a 1,313 square foot space with Cubana, which has restaurants in Smithfield and Waterloo, providing Latin American cuisine. Lendlease head of retail Guy Thomas said: “The Tap In, Koi Ramen and the recently announced MM Factory from Mercato Metropolitano will position the destination as the perfect hotspot for culture, dining out and socialising.” The Tap In co-founder Sebastian O’Driscoll said: “The Artworks provided the perfect platform for us to trial Six Yard Box and launch Hop Art to develop our brand. To myself and my two partners, Eoin and Harry, Elephant and Castle is home and we’re grateful Lendlease recognised how important being a part of this community is for our growing brand.” Nash Bond and CF Commercial represented Lendlease.
Duff & Phelps appointed interim managers of Northern Powerhouse Developments to gain access to financial history: Philip Duffy and Sarah Bell, of Duff & Phelps, have been appointed interim managers of Yorkshire-based hotel and leisure developer Northern Powerhouse Developments to gain access to its financial history. The court order followed the appointment of Duffy and Bell as interim managers of MBI Hawthorn Care, MBI Clifton Moor and Afan Valley on Friday (5 July). The appointment follows an application with the High Court in London by seven investors who had invested in the companies owned by Gavin Woodhouse. The appointment will enable the interim managers to secure the assets of the company while enabling a detailed assessment and forensic investigation into where “many millions of pounds have gone”. Duffy said: “The most recently filed accounts of the initial three companies we were appointed to, show them to be insolvent on a balance sheet basis so naturally creditor investors have been concerned they aren’t going to get their money back. Our appointment by the court illustrates the seriousness of this case. It was essential we were appointed to act as interim managers on one of the main companies, Northern Powerhouse Developments, so we could gain access to its financial history. This case has had considerable interest and, as such, we’re aware there are hundreds of other creditor investors.”
Sambrook’s relocates to Young’s redevelopment in Wandsworth: London independent brewer Sambrook’s is set to move to the Ram Quarter development in Wandsworth, keeping the historic tradition of brewing alive at the former Young’s site. Sambrook’s has agreed a 20-year lease with developer Greenland to establish a headquarters at Ram Quarter, relocating from its brewhouse in Battersea. The new facility will be housed in restored grade II-listed brewery buildings at the development. Sambrook’s will also open a taproom with a bottle shop and outdoor seating set around Ram’s central square, offering food and its own brews. The business expects to brew more than one million pints at Ram Quarter each year, while the brewer also plans to take over a heritage centre at the development to highlight the history of brewing in London. Brewing has taken place at Ram Quarter since at least 1533. The site, which was home to Young’s until 2006, is being redeveloped to deliver 713 homes and 100,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and leisure space. Chris Daly, senior commercial manager at Greenland, said: “We are proud to keep Wandsworth’s beer tradition alive while creating an exciting new destination in partnership with a local business.” Duncan Sambrook, founder and managing director of Sambrook’s, added: “Our move to Ram Quarter feels like a homecoming and we’re excited to usher in a new era of British brewing at the site.” Bruce Gillingham Pollard and CBRE acted for Greenland.
Pasta Loco team to open Italian trattoria next month for fourth Bristol site:Cousins Dominic Borel, Ben Harvey and Joe Harvey, the team behind Bristol restaurants Pasta Loco, Pasta Ripiena and La Sorella, will open their fourth site in the city next month. The trio will launch Italian trattoria Bianchi’s in York Road, Montpelier, in a premises formerly occupied by Bell’s Diner. Bianchi’s follows in the footsteps of La Sorella, a delicatessen the team launched a few doors from Pasta Ripiena earlier this summer. Bianchi’s will adopt the style of a classic Italian trattoria with a “laid-back feel and emphasis on top-quality Italian food coming”. Borel told Bristol Live: “We have become known for our unique and creative dishes but we’re going back to basics with Bianchi’s, which is our family name, bringing an old-school trattoria to an area we all love.”
JD Wetherspoon makes Dublin city centre debut: JD Wetherspoon has opened its debut pub in Dublin city centre. The Silver Penny has launched on the site of a former bank and chapel in Lower Abbey Street, creating 70 jobs. The company has spent €4m (£3.5m) to develop the Italianate-style bank branch, which opened in 1839 and features a classical façade and ornate stonework that complement the adjacent chapel. Pub manager Filip Mordak told the Dublin Gazette: “Myself and my team look forward to welcoming customers into the pub and we’re confident it will be a great addition to Dublin city centre.” Wetherspoon has several sites in other parts of Dublin, including The Forty Foot in Dun Laoghaire and The Old Borough in Swords.
Elton Mouna – hospitality leaders shouldn’t be afraid to promote their business:Hospitality leaders shouldn’t be afraid to promote their business, Remarkable Pubs managing director Elton Mouna has said. Speaking at the Propel Summer Conference, where he outlined the “seven P’s he has based his career on” – place, product, price, promotion, people, process and physical evidence – Mouna said: “From a cultural point of view, promoting your business makes people proud of the company they work for and makes it easier regarding recruitment as people have heard of us. It also helps with off-market acquisitions. We recently bought a pub because they came to us knowing what we’re all about, while it also generates opportunities to collaborate.” Regarding “place”, Mouna admitted Remarkable tended to buy pubs in “less salubrious parts of London”. He told delegates: “Once we do them up, however, we have some stunning pubs and in some ways a good pub going into an area can be a catalyst for change.” Moving on to “people”, Mouna said his principles were: “Work hard and be nice to people.” He added: “You should take work seriously but not take yourself too seriously. If we don’t take heed, we’re in danger of turning into hospitality dinosaurs. Take a genuine interest in your people, learn what they are into outside work. Create a happy and positive culture with spirit.” Mouna also has an interesting interviewing technique. He told delegates: “When someone comes for a job they interview me, not the other way round. That way they can see if a job with Remarkable Pubs would suit them. There are plenty of other pubs they can work for, so I sell myself to them.” Regarding “product”, Mouna said he managed to keep things fresh at Remarkable by finding the right balance between beer brands owned by the brewing giants and “cutting edge” brands from local producers. Mouna said Remarkable took a “forensic approach to pricing”, adding: “We operate a yearly price review with each general manager – one to one, line by line and product by product – and that puts us in a position where we charge the most our customers are prepared to pay – no more, no less.”
Icestone Gelato opens Middlesbrough site for 16th restaurant: Dessert restaurant operator Icestone Gelato has opened a site in Middlesbrough. The company has launched the venue in Linthorpe Road at a site formerly occupied by Valentino’s bar for its 16th outlet, reports Teesside Live. Icestone Gelato makes its own gelato daily and serves waffles, cookie dough, crepes, fondue, profiteroles, cheesecakes, milkshakes, smoothies and mocktails. The menu also has a “back to school” section, which features traditional school puddings with custard. Icestone Gelato launched in Yorkshire and has sites across the Midlands and the north.
The Alchemist partners with Feed It Back to enhance customer experience: The Alchemist, the 16-strong Simon Potts-led bar and restaurant concept, has partnered with guest feedback service Feed It Back to gain customer insights on its offer as it looks to accelerate growth. The agreement will see The Alchemist implement the full suite of Feed It Back services, giving it access to customer insights through surveys, review platforms and social posts as well as access to its guest engagement platform. The services will be immediately rolled out across The Alchemist’s estate. The Alchemist will also work with Feed It Back’s integrated technology partners, including Zonal, Design My Night, Airship, Wireless Social and Trail to provide a complete guest experience that will allow The Alchemist to personalise feedback questions based on what customers ordered using data captured at the time of booking. Paul Jones, head of IT at The Alchemist, said: “We are incredibly focused on staying ahead of the curve, fighting for loyalty and keeping our finger on the pulse of what customers want.” Feed It Back chief executive Carlo Platia added: “The battle for loyalty is intensifying across the industry and becoming a key differentiator between businesses surviving or thriving. Our suite of services has been designed to generate a commercial return and give customers the insight they need to make informed decisions and the opportunity to engage directly with guests.”
Belfast-based activity centre owner opens baked potato restaurant: The owner of Belfast-based activity centre business We Are Vertigo has branched out by opening a restaurant specialising in baked potatoes. Gareth Murphy has opened Spud Murphy’s in the Titanic Quarter at a site formerly occupied by restaurant Cast & Crew. The venue is near We Are Vertigo’s ninja master course and indoor skydive, which Murphy opened two years ago. We Are Vertigo also operates an inflatable theme park in the city. Murphy told the Belfast Telegraph: “We’ve got restaurants in our existing premises but the Cast & Crew building was just on the periphery of our site in Titanic. We have got significant investment planned for the Titanic Quarter area and enhancing our food offering with something that would appeal to tourists and office workers alike seemed a good idea.” Cast & Crew was closed by chef owner Niall McKenna last year.
Park Chinois launches Mayfair brasserie: Park Chinois, the Chinese restaurant launched by Wagamama founder Alan Yau, has opened neighbourhood brasserie Moncks of Dover St. The 92-cover restaurant and bar has launched at 33 Dover Street, which forms part of the Park Chinois estate. The name has been inspired by Christopher Moncks, a 16th century Mayfair maverick who owned the sprawling estate of Clarendon House, which included Dover Street, Albemarle Street and Bond Street. The kitchen is led by executive chef Gennaro Vitto and head chef Valentino Pepe, who have worked together at Park Chinois since 2012. Breakfast dishes on the menu include Truffled Benedict (artichoke and black truffle with organic poached eggs and hollandaise sauce on an English muffin) and the Full Vegan. The all-day menu includes pan-fried monkfish with seafood jus, seasonal vegetables and gremolata.