Honest Burgers appoints Frank Hayes as new chief executive: Honest Burgers, the Active Partners-backed business, has appointed Frank Hayes, former managing director of pub company Spirit Group, as its new chief executive. Propel revealed last year Hayes, who was most recently managing director of Northgate, the commercial vehicle rental and disposal company, had joined the board of Honest Burgers as a non-executive director. Honest Burgers said Hayes had extensive leadership experience in both hospitality and other sectors, including 13 years at Yum! Brands and three years at Spirit Group. Hayes, who had led Northgate in the UK and Ireland since June 2017, was also previously commercial director at Wyevale Garden Centres and a consultant with Burger King. At Spirit Group, he was responsible for the food-led half of the managed pub company, which at the time had circa 2,000 pubs. He supported the sale of the business to Punch in 2006. The arrival of Hayes sees Gary Mann take on the newly-created role of chief commercial officer at Honest Burgers. Mann served as managing director for “three rapid growth years prior”. Meanwhile, David Foulis, its finance director of three years, is leaving the business this month to “pursue other opportunities”. Foulis will be replaced on an interim basis by Holly Elliott, previously finance director of Caffe Nero and Five Guys. Propel revealed in January Elliott had stepped down as group finance director of the US better burger brand.
Adventure Bar Group to launch first fully outdoor venue as it heads to Birmingham for regional debut: London bar operator Adventure Bar Group is to launch its first fully outdoor venue, in the former Digbeth Arena site in Birmingham. Luna Springs, which will be the company’s debut regional site, will open its doors on Monday, 12 April, creating 50 jobs. The 3,500 capacity venue is named after The Lunar Society of Birmingham – an 18th century secret club comprising prominent figureheads and creative intellectuals who would meet on every full moon. Tom Kidd, co-founder of The Adventure Bar Group, said: “We’re excited about coming to Birmingham and embracing the creative energy and inspiration that buzzes through the city – our aim with Luna Springs is to create a hub of experience; from the very best local street food vendors on the scene to musical talent and supporting local events and movements. We want to be part of the fabric of the city and the go-to venue this summer for an incredible time.” Adventure Bar Group operates nine sites in the capital, including Bar Elba, The Escapologist and Tonight Josephine.
Oowee Vegan targets Cardiff for seventh site: Bristol-based Oowee Vegan has submitted plans to open its seventh site, in Cardiff. The proposed restaurant would be in Wellfield Road with the application requesting a change of use from retail to restaurant. The most recent tenant of the unit is the shop Flying Tiger. Last year, Oowee Vegan opened a venue in Dalston, east London, followed by a site in Brixton in November. This week it opened a permanent kitchen in Brighton at The Western pub in Cranbourne Street. Oowee Vegan was founded in 2016 by Verity Foss and Charlie Watson. The first Oowee opened as an American-style diner serving meat dishes. The original North Street restaurant in Bristol is still running, serving steaks and meat burgers. The applicant for the Cardiff site, Thornedge Properties, plans to use 60% of the site as retail space and the remaining 40% as a cafe area serving hot and cold drinks and hot food. It also plans to use the outdoor seating area at the back of the property to seat up to 12 people, reports Business Live.
Deliveroo expects customer spending on its apps to grow by up to 40% this year:Deliveroo, which earlier this week confirmed its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange, said it expects customer spending through its food delivery app to grow by 30% to 40% in 2021. The 40% rise in its Gross Transaction Value – the total amount of transactions it processes on its platform (GTV) – would be down on the 64.3% increase seen last year, when lockdowns helped drive performance. The company said it also expects its gross profit margin will dip to 7.5% to 8%, compared with 8.8% in 2020, as order sizes fall back to normal levels. In the group’s initial public offering filing, the company said more than six million people order from more than 115,000 restaurants and stores through Deliveroo every month. During the past year, the business said it benefited from £1.3m of furlough support from the UK government and received a further £3m in covid relief grants overseas. Redundancy costs during the year stood at £6.6m.
WatchHouse launches subscription service: Edition Capital-backed coffee concept WatchHouse has launched its own subscription service. The company said with its new “fully customisable” WatchHouse.YourHouse. subscription service, customers across the world can get WatchHouse coffee delivered straight to their door, choosing the frequency, size of bag, coffee style and grind type. Subscribers have the choice between the 1829 house blend, so named for the date the first WatchHouse in Bermondsey was built, or the refined Roasters Spotlight. Customers will also receive an information card on the origin and tasting notes of the coffee to help the subscriber’s understanding of the chosen coffee, exclusive WatchHouse offers, and a compliments card, packaged inside a premium recycled envelope. Bags start from £10 for 250g with customers able to currently get their first two bags for £15, including free UK shipping. Those who place coffee orders of more than £100 will be invited to a free one-on-one online brewing tutorial with the specialist WatchHouse coffee team. Customers can choose three, six, 12-month packages, or a flexible monthly subscription package.
Piling to begin Roost expansion with Wilmslow opening: North west-based restaurateur Steve Pilling is to begin the expansion of his rotisserie chicken restaurant, pizzeria and craft beer concept Roost, with an opening in Wilmslow. Pilling, who opened the original Roost on the former site of his fine-dining restaurant Damson in Heaton Moor, has secured the-CAU site in Wilmslow’s Water Lane for the second opening. Roost will serve rotisserie chicken, wood fired pizza and burgers along with a range of craft beer, cocktails and milkshakes. Pilling opened the first Roost in 2017.
Ivy Collection to reopen eight sites for outdoor dining next month: The Ivy Collection, the Richard Caring-backed group, will reopen terraces for outdoor dining at eight of its restaurants across the country on Monday, 12 April. In line with government guidelines, guests will be able to reserve tables of up to six guests from separate households, subject to availability. The restaurants that will be opening the doors to their heated, covered terraces will be The Ivy Chelsea Garden, The Ivy Spinningfields, The Ivy Harrogate, The Ivy Cobham Brasserie, The Ivy Kensington Brasserie, The Ivy Tower Bridge, The Ivy Soho Brasserie and The Ivy St John’s Wood.
Flight Club confirmed for Bristol opening: Flight Club, the darts concept owned by Red Engine, has confirmed it will open a site in Bristol later this summer. The concept will open a new venue at 41 Corn Street in the city. “We can’t wait to open in Bristol!” said Steve Moore, chief executive and co-founder of Flight Club. “We’re always looking for the next great location to bring social darts to, and Corn Street is perfect for this opportunity. Every Flight Club is unique, and we’re excited to bring this venue to life with some unexpected, ridiculous, joy this summer.” Flight Club, which is taking the ground and basement space at 41 Corn Street, aims to also open a site in Leeds as well as sites in Australia with a recently signed new franchise partner. Red Engine has also secured a second site for its Electric Shuffle concept, in London Bridge, which it plans to open this year.
Sugoi JPN to launch Soho dark kitchen: Japanese and Latin American fusion concept Sugoi JPN is to open a further dark kitchen site in London’s Soho at the start of next month. It will launch the dark kitchen site out of 204 Wardour Street alongside Japanese-inspired street food concept Japanified. Both will be available for delivery, via Deliveroo, or takeaway. Both brands are part of Under One Kitchen, a project set up by entrepreneur Felipe Preece during the pandemic to help support hospitality brands. The project allows brands to work alongside each other but as distinct businesses under one roof to help cut down on costs, allowing them to continue operating as a delivery and takeaway service during the crisis. In just one year, Under One Kitchen is now working with 23 operations across seven kitchens in London, with more to come.
BrewDog relaunches pub bookings with online bar: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has opened bookings at its bars ahead of beer gardens reopening on Monday, 12 April. The company will reopen 35 of its sites for outside booking, takeaway and collection, including Birmingham, Exeter, Liverpool and York. To mark the moment, BrewDog has launched the Open Arms, an online bar, complete with ambient sounds such as “quiet swifty”, “brew dogs” and “group shanty” so customers can enjoy all the sounds of the pub at home, in the countdown to pub gardens opening in just over five weeks’ time. The company is also launching the BrewDog Beer School, an online crash course in craft beer. Participants will work their way through videos, quizzes and lessons in their own time with “some of the best brewers and teachers in craft beer”, including BrewDog co-founders Martin Dickie and James Watt, and malting and brewing scientist Dr Charlie Bamforth.
Bar Douro to launch street food sandwich specialist Roulote: Portuguese food and wine concept Bar Douro will launch street food sandwich specialist Roulote as a pop-up in its London Bridge street food market restaurant in Flat Iron Square. Roulote is inspired by Portugal’s street food scene and sandwich culture, taking its name from the trailers that dominate the street corners of Lisbon and Porto. It will initially only be open on Fridays and Saturdays, ahead of launching from a street food van in summer. Roulote will serve two stand-out sandwiches for takeaway only: the Bifana – thinly sliced pork shoulder, poached in a white wine and fermented pepper sauce and served in carcaças bread with savora mustard mayonnaise; and the Octopus Roll – a soft white roll loaded with octopus, red peppers and caramelised onions and topped with coriander, straw potato crisps and piri-piri mayonnaise. Takeaway alcohol-free beer from Free Star will also be available. Roulote will open between noon and 4pm, from Saturday 13 March until Saturday, 10 April (Fridays and Saturdays only).
‘Wine drinkers’ clubhouse’ to open in Haggerston: A new “wine drinkers’ clubhouse” is opening in Haggerston, east London. Jonathan Alphandery is launching Planque in Acton Mews this summer. Taking over two railway arches, the space will have a restaurant and wine bar that’s open to all. But there will also be a private members’ club with benefits including in-house cellar storage facilities, priority access to restaurant reservations and wine events, along with exclusive use of the club lounge and private dining space. There will also be a store on-site that sells food, wine and kitchen equipment. Seb Myers, formerly of P Franco and Chiltern Firehouse, will run the food side of the operation, with the 40-seat restaurant serving modern French food. Alphandery told Hot Dinners he sees Planque “as the culmination of a decade’s obsession with natural and minimal intervention wine”.
Pub and sandwich shop operator switches business model to nationwide deliveries: Experienced operator Micaela Clegg, who runs The Black Horse pub and Relish sandwich shop, who switched her business model to open a delivery-only business called Little Weighton Kitchen during the pandemic, is expanding. The Hull-based businesswoman will be delivering Little Weighton’s healthy recipes, which customers unpack at home to create their own meals from, nationwide. Clegg told The Yorkshire Post: “During the first lockdown, like most business owners, we had no choice but to close The Black Horse and Relish so we set to work planning a new venture and filling a gap in the market for a local recipe box. We are championing the best produce Yorkshire has to offer and supporting fellow small businesses by presenting seasonal, sustainable and locally sourced ingredients to enable users to cook imaginative meals with ease at home. We really miss all our regular customers at Relish but we are reaching many of them with Little Weighton Kitchen and we hope to get to the rest of them soon.”
Curzon to open cinema at Hawley Wharf development in Camden: Boutique cinema chain Curzon is to open a site at the Hawley Wharf development in Camden, north London. The company has agreed a deal with landlord LabTech for a 6,000 square foot site spanning eight of Camden’s 30 historic railway arches. Encompassing five separate cinema theatres, each with 30 seats, it will form a landmark cinema for the brand, which will be its 15th in the UK and ninth in London. The cinema is set to open in the autumn. It will stand alongside more than 60 new food and beverage outlets, 150 independent and branded stores and 195 serviced apartments as part of Hawley Wharf’s 580,000 square foot venture. Curzon chief executive Philip Knatchbull said: “We are thrilled to be launching our latest landmark cinema within the Hawley Wharf development, taking a tangible plot of Camden’s history. Last summer we worked with LabTech on a successful pop-up cinema in the heart of Camden Market, so we know the demand is there. The railway arches are a unique space, and we are confident it will become a much-loved destination for film lovers.” LabTech chief executive Yaron Shahar added: “Hawley Wharf is shaping up to be a leading London destination, functioning as an independent eco-system where people can visit, work, live, and socialise, and we are proud to announce Curzon will sit at the heart of it.” Colliers and CBRE represented Hawley Wharf Camden.
Surge of bookings for rooftop bar as £18m Telegraph Hotel announces opening date: The announcement of the opening date of the £18m Telegraph Hotel in Coventry has prompted a surge of bookings for those wanting to be the first to drink at its rooftop bar. The hotel, which is housed in the former Coventry Telegraph newspaper offices, will open on Monday, 17 May with its outdoor rooftop bar called Generators taking bookings from Wednesday, 14 April. The hotel was originally planned to open in December last year but tier restrictions and a further lockdown led to a delay. Generators has already had 800 bookings for its tapas-style menu – created by Michelin-starred chef Glynn Purnell – and cocktails offer for those following the rule of six. The bar is covered and heated and will be open from Wednesday to Sunday on a weekly basis. The hotel, which has taken two years to complete after £18m worth of investment, has 88 bedrooms and is operated by Bespoke Hotels. Amy Windsor, general manager of the Telegraph Hotel, said: “Lockdown has really heightened anticipation and our guests won’t be disappointed. We are offering a table service at Generators, which is fully outdoors, with a maximum of six people operated within government guidelines in a safe environment. Tables have to be booked in advance.”