Patty & Bun to open Liverpool Street 2.0 next month as brand returns to double figures: Patty & Bun, the better burger concept led by Joe Grossman, will return to Liverpool Street next month but in a larger space. The company’s original Liverpool Street site had to close because of a redevelopment. Patty & Bun Liverpool Street 2.0 will open on Monday, 9 December at twice the size of the original and featuring a 50-cover restaurant and 15-cover takeaway area. The venue will also feature additions to the menu including a stronger vegan presence and the return of the brand’s breakfast menu on Fridays. Grossmann said: “I couldn’t be more excited about re-entering the Liverpool Street fray. It has always been part of the Patty identity.” The Liverpool Street opening and another in Kingly Street, Soho, later this month will bring Patty & Bunn’s portfolio back to double figures. The company also operates concessions in Swingers’ two London sites plus three with Incipio Group.
Pizza Hut Restaurants launches virtual delivery brand: Pizza Hut Restaurants has launched its first virtual delivery brand, WingStreet, Propel has learned. The virtual brand is available through Deliveroo and at select restaurants, including sites in Durham and Oldham. WingStreet is a US restaurant chain specialising in chicken that’s owned by Yum! Brands and offers breaded and traditional buffalo wings for takeaway and delivery. The UK virtual brand offers chicken wings and bites “drizzled in six signature sauces”. In April 2018, the circa 260-strong Pizza Hut Restaurants business was bought out by its management led by chief executive Jens Hofma and backed by Pricoa Capital Group. It took control of the business from previous owners Rutland Partners under a franchise agreement with Yum! Pizza Hut Restaurants started offering home delivery for the first time last year in partnership with Yum!, concentrating on gaps in Pizza Hut Delivery’s coverage. Pizza Hut Restaurants has a five-year growth plan that includes rolling out its “fast casual” concept, where diners order and pay ahead. It has also been trialling pizza deliveries via Just Eat and has expanded its unlimited lunchtime buffet offer to weekends.
Mark Sargeant’s pub vehicle makes triple acquisition: Michelin-starred chef Mark Sargeant has added three pubs to his Kent-based vehicle The Pickled Egg Pub Company. Sargeant, a Gordon Ramsay protégé who has made numerous appearances on television cookery shows, has acquired The Five Bells at Brabourne, The Radnor Arms in Folkestone and The Woolpack Inn at Warehorne, from Ramblinns. Owned by Sargeant and Josh De Haan, The Pickled Egg Pub Company’s other sites are the Duke William at Ickham, The Wife Of Bath in Wye, and restaurants Rocksalt and The Smokehouse, both in Folkestone. Sargeant told Kent Online: “Josh and I have been massive fans of John and Alison’s Ramblinns and, when the opportunity arose to buy three of their four sites, we jumped at the chance. We can’t wait to continue their great work at these fantastic pubs and only aim to enhance their excellent reputations. All three pubs will continue to trade as normal and we are excited by the opportunity to serve their communities. We intend to make some small changes in the new year, particularly to the menus, but for now it’s business as usual.” Ramblinns will continue to operate The Globe Inn Marsh in Rye.
Tim Hall – Meadowhall opening marks ‘crucial step’ for Three Joes: Tim Hall, co-founder of sourdough pizza restaurant Three Joes, has told Propel the opening of its third site, at Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, marks a “crucial step” for the concept. The company overcame the recent bad weather in South Yorkshire to launch the 100-cover venue. The company, which Hall co-owns with ex-Pod food director Emma Blackmore and former Byron operations director Peter Bruton, is also aiming to announce a fourth site before Christmas. Hall said of the Meadowhall opening: “This is a crucial step for Three Joes. We are miles from home in one of the toughest market places in the UK surrounded by some superbly operated, highly experienced competitors. There’s nowhere to hide but, if we’re able to operate this site successfully, it catapults Three Joes into a new arena in terms of opportunity and potential throughout the UK.” Bruton added: “We are excited to be competing head to head with all the major restaurant sector brands in this British Land retail scheme. We can see all our main rivals from our new pergola entrance and I can’t wait to put our teams’ experience into play and see how we get on in this most competitive of environments.” Three Joes was launched in 2017 and also has sites in Fareham and Winchester. Earlier this year the company raised £510,000 on crowfunding platform Crowdcube, which Hall said should be enough, “there or thereabouts”, to boost Three Joes’ estate to five outlets.
The Coconut Tree to open sixth site, in Bournemouth: Sri Lankan street food operator The Coconut Tree is to open its sixth site, in Bournemouth. The company will launch the site in Old Christchurch Road. Brand director Anna Garrod said: “We are delighted our sixth site will be in the heart of Bournemouth, less than a mile from the seafront. It will be the first time we’ve been able to show off our island vibes and warm Sri Lankan hospitality in a seaside setting and we couldn’t be more excited.” The Coconut Tree was founded in 2016 by five Sri Lankan friends living in Cheltenham – Praveen Thanginah, Dan Fernando and Shamil Fernando, who oversee the food, financial director Mithra Fernando, and operations director Rodrigo Rashinthe. The company operates two sites in Bristol and one each in Cheltenham, Cardiff and Oxford.
Darcy takes interim chief operating officer role at Market Halls: Mitchells & Butlers veteran and former Big Easy managing director Noel Darcy has joined food hall operator Market Halls as interim chief operating officer. Darcy most recently helped the operational side of health-focused, fast casual concept Farmer J. He was with Mitchells & Butlers for more than 20 years before stints at Big Easy, TLC Inns and Drake & Morgan, where he helped integrate the Corney & Barrow business. Market Halls, which Bridgepoint Growth made a “significant investment” in earlier this summer to aid expansion, will open its next and largest site so far, in London on Friday (15 November). Market Hall West End, which will be the UK’s largest food hall when it opens in Oxford Circus, will feature traders such as Pastaio, Roti King, Flank, Breddos Tacos, BaoziInn, Hotbox, CookDaily and Paradise Slice. At the same time Twisted London, which also operates delivery kitchens in the capital, will open up its studio at the venue to allow the public to see how its cooking shows are created.
Richard Corrigan opens Daffodil Mulligan for third London restaurant: Richard Corrigan, chef patron of the Corrigan Collection, has opened his third London site. Corrigan and fellow Irishmen John Nugent, who founded music, food and arts hub Kings Place in King’s Cross, and Tony Gibney, from Gibney’s Of Malahide in Dublin, have launched Daffodil Mulligan in Shoreditch. They bought the City Road site in July that formerly housed restaurant Nuala, which closed at the end of last year. The 50-cover restaurant includes an eight-seater oyster bar. The menu features produce from Corrigan’s Virginia Park Lodge estate in Ireland and is split into four sections – small, wood oven and grill, sides, and sweet. Dishes include crubeens with turnip, apple and English mustard, and braised kale with ham knuckle on toast. The ground-floor and basement bar serves craft beer and spirits with a focus on smaller Irish distilleries and producers, while the wine list has been curated by Richard Corrigan Junior. The bar will host live music and there are also two timber “snug” booths with screens for major sporting events. The venue is named after the daughter of Biddy Mulligan – a Dublin street-seller immortalised in song. Corrigan’s other London venues are Bentley’s and Corrigan’s Mayfair, which also incorporates Dickie’s Bar.
Kungfu signs for Stratford: All-you-can-eat, pan-Asian buffet chain Kungfu has signed for Bell Court leisure complex in Stratford-upon-Avon. The restaurant will open at a large unit underneath Everyman Cinema in January. The brand offers authentic dishes from China, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, India and Turkey. Kungfu is owned by HJ Tenger Holdings with DMR Property securing all its 27 restaurant leases in the UK. DMR director Mark Hillier told the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald: “Kungfu is delighted to open in Bell Court.” John Stacey, UK real estate director at Bell Court’s owner Blue Coast Capital, added: “We have no doubt Kungfu will complement the fantastic range of restaurants, bars, retailers and leisure operators at the development.” HJ Tenger Holdings also backs buffet brands The Real China and Tang’s as well as Turkish concept Turquoise. According to its website, DMR has been instructed to secure ten more restaurants for Turquoise in the next 12 months.
TRG names Tallboy as chief information officer after Savoy steps down: Richard Tallboy has been promoted to chief information officer at The Restaurant Group (TRG) after Edgardo Savoy stepped down from the role. Tallboy has been at Wagamama for almost 12 years, including the past eight as chief information officer overseeing some of the business’ market-leading technology developments. Before that he was IT manager at PizzaExpress. A TRG spokesman told Propel: “Edgardo has decided to step down from his role and leave TRG. He joined the organisation in July 2018 and has been instrumental in leading our digital, product and technology strategy during the past 15 months. He leaves with our thanks and very best wishes.”
Lancashire-based coffee shop operators take on Punch pub: Lancashire-based coffee shop operators Kevin and Angela Lavin have taken on a Punch pub. The Lavins have reopened the Duke Of Rothesay in the village of Heysham following a £250,000 investment by Punch. Following a refurbishment the pub features more defined lounge, entertainment and snug areas alongside a new food menu offering home-cooked pub classics. Kevin Lavin said: “We know this area well and can’t wait to welcome customers into their new-look pub.” Punch managing director Andy Spencer added: “This is a significant investment by Punch in a well-established pub and we’re extremely pleased with the business we’ve helped create. Matching this fantastic pub with great people like Kevin and Angela, who bring a wealth of experience and expertise, will ensure this impressive pub continues to operate at the heart of its community.” The Lavins also own The Coffee Club in Chorley, which they have run since September 2017. Last week Punch, which operates 1,250 tenanted, leased and management partnership pubs, set out its ambitious investment and acquisition strategy. The Clive Chesser-led company, which is owned by Patron Capital and May Capital, has identified three distinct routes to grow its estate alongside a £34m investment programme in its existing portfolio.
Junkbars to convert Holy Calzone to second Junkyard site after concept fails to perform: Nottingham-based operator Junkbars has decided to convert its pizza bar concept, Holy Calzone, in West Bridgford to its second Junkyard Bar & Kitchen because the venue “simply hasn’t performed in its current form”. The site in Trent Boulevard will undergo a small refurbishment to the Junkyard brand, with the menu tweaked to include more sharing and small plates to sit alongside breakfast and pizza. A Junkbars spokesman told The Business Desk: “We really hoped to deliver Holy Calzone. We tried tweaking it and changing things around for more than a year and, although we’ve had some successes, it simply hasn’t performed for us in its current form. However, we’re reluctant to simply abandon this beautiful building. We really like being here and so, after much deliberation, we’ve decided to take a punt and rebrand and open our second Junkyard.” Junkbars’ other Junkyard Bar & Kitchen is in Nottingham city centre, while it also operates the Boilermaker and The Herbert Kilpin in the city.
Freehold of Romford Slug and Lettuce sold for £3.2m: The freehold interest of 105/111 South Street, Romford, which houses a Slug and Lettuce, has been acquired by a private purchaser for £3.2m. The entire property is subject to a long lease to Stonegate Pub Company. The purchase price reflected a net initial yield of 5.24%. Already boasting excellent transport links, the area is expected to further benefit from the introduction of Crossrail’s the Elizabeth Line, which will provide direct access to the West End. Jack Silvani, of Coffer Corporate Leisure, which advised the vendor, said: “Leisure and specifically wet-led operators have traded strongly in South Street for many years. We believe the imminent introduction of Crossrail will strengthen this performance and drive rental growth prospects.” ADS Real Estate advised the purchaser.
Ivy Collection opens Victoria site: The Ivy Collection, the Richard Caring-backed and David Campbell-led group, has opened its site in London’s Victoria. The company acquired the former Jamie’s Italian site in Victoria Street in the summer. The 292-seater venue features interiors inspired by the railway, Buckingham Palace, the theatre and Victorian London. The Ivy Victoria also features an upstairs bar, terrace and 20-cover private dining space. The Victoria opening is one of five planned by The Ivy Collection before the end of the year, including the company’s first in Wales. The site will open in St David’s shopping centre in Cardiff on Monday (18 November).
Team behind Brixton live music venue to launch 500-capacity club and arts space in Croydon: South London-based Lambeth Group, which operates live music venue The Prince Of Wales in Brixton, is to launch a 500-capacity club and arts space in Croydon. Phase will open in Crown Hill next month featuring two club rooms, a studio and a “balanced and inclusive programme” covering electronic and live music. The venue will also offer studio and stage space to community groups. Phase managing director Wayne Saunders told the Evening Standard: “Our team is thrilled to be part of an exciting and dynamic time for Croydon, an area that has always been a hotbed for creative talent. We’re committed to offering a platform for emerging artists and a hub for established acts from the underground electronic music scene as well as developing a performance space for London-wide talent from spoken word, cabaret, comedy and live music.” Marcus Harris, of Croydon Council’s cultural regeneration department, added: “A venue of the size and versatility of Phase and the fact it’s offering opportunities to local artists, DJs and promoters, represents a welcome addition to Croydon’s musical ecosystem.”
Peel Hunt – Just Eat’s unmatched strength is shrinking: Peel Hunt leisure analysts have said Just Eat’s unmatched strength from data, wholesale discounts and share of voice is shrinking. They stated: “Just Eat was a pure-play, high-margin takeaway platform focusing on restaurants that do their own delivery. However, it’s now investing in delivery as competition takes its toll. Uber will dominate the smartphone as its taxi app allows it to accelerate the distribution of its UberEats app and take advantage of the captive audience inside the taxis themselves. Moreover, as Uber opens up to restaurants that do their own delivery, its cash will improve. The changing landscape means Just Eat’s unmatched strength from data, wholesale discounts and share of voice is shrinking. Also, its peers are bringing even newer differentiation to support the same restaurant clients from dark kitchens and delivery insights. Grubhub, a close equivalent to Just Eat in the US and facing similar challenges, plunged 43% after declaring competition from companies such as UberEats sliced more than 300 basis points from its growth rate in its third quarter, blaming growing promiscuity and disloyalty of customers. This was somewhat shared in Just Eat’s third-quarter when it talked about ‘changing consumer preferences’ in the UK. The statement made by Prosus in its takeover bid that Just Eat would ‘require substantial investment in excess of that planned by Just Eat management’ is now more telling.”
Peterborough-based restaurateurs acquire Bedfordshire hotel: Peterborough-based Meadow Brown Restaurants has acquired a hotel in Bedfordshire with the support of a six-figure HSBC package. The family owned business, led by Raj and Neera Regmi, has bought Woodland Manor in Clapham, near Bedford. Raj Regmi told Insider Media: “The funding has allowed us to make subtle changes to the internal look and feel of the manor, improve the menu and build better links with the community. We’ve got 30 weddings booked so far and I anticipate these changes will enable us to more than triple that number in the next 12 months.” Meadow Brown Restaurants operates Lakeside Kitchen & Bar and Ferry Meadows Cafe in Peterborough.
Britvic in talks with Refresco over French sale: Britvic has entered into exclusive talks with fellow soft drinks company Refresco to sell three juice manufacturing sites in France, its private label juice business and its Fruité brand. The proposed sale is subject to a consultation with employee representatives and clearance from the French competition watchdog. Britvic would retain ownership of the Pressade and Fruit Shoot brands, which would be manufactured by Refresco as part of a long-term partner arrangement. The transaction wouldn’t affect the Teisseire and Moulin De Valdonne brands or the private label syrups business, which are all manufactured at the remaining site in Crolles. The deal is expected to close in spring 2020.
HGEM signs new concepts: A number of concepts have recently turned to HGEM for support in managing their guest experience. These include taqueria concept Santo Remedio; East Coast Concepts, which operates the Neighbourhood and Victor’s brands; and Planet Organic. A HGEM spokesman said: “These brands highlight HGEM’s commitment to supporting innovation in our sector and inspiring the next generation of guest experiences.”