TRG Concessions takes on three new Edinburgh airport sites: The Restaurant Group (TRG) Concessions has taken on three new airside sites at Edinburgh airport. The company is now operating champagne bar Flutes and Tails, The Gathering and The Gathering Deli at the airport, which is the sixth-largest in the UK. Flutes and Tails offers champagne, wine, beer, spirits and cocktails alongside a wide-ranging food menu. The Gathering has a menu based on local ingredients and traditional dishes, often with a contemporary and creative twist. The Gathering Deli serves filled croissants, baguettes and hoagie rolls, alongside salads and a selection of 100% organic Fairtrade coffee. The openings further strengthen TRG’s presence in the airport with the new sites joining Barburrito, which launched in January, and BrewDog’s recently announced first airport bar in its portfolio as it looks to increase its presence at UK airports. TRG Concessions managing director Nick Ayerst said: “We are delighted to have acquired further sites at Edinburgh airport and look forward to trading them over the summer with a view to developing further award-winning concessions at the airport in 2019 and beyond. We welcome our new team members into the business and will invest in them and their businesses to help support future growth in our Edinburgh business.”
Deliveroo ordered to close Editions kitchen in Hove: Deliveroo has been told to close its Editions kitchen in Hove, East Sussex, because it breaches planning regulations. The company opened the hub at Saxon Works in Olive Road in April last year. Restaurants in the city such as Vietnamese street food restaurant group Pho, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Indian restaurant The Chilli Pickle use the unit to provide delivery-only meals. Deliveroo claimed it didn’t fall under the same hot-food planning category as a high-street takeaway, arguing it should be considered industrial use for which the unit already has planning permission. But Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning department has served it with an enforcement notice, requiring it to cease operation by July, reports Brighton and Hove News. Deliveroo does have the option of appealing the decision, however, which would effectively put the notice on hold until a government planning inspector made the final decision.
PubLove opens first refurbished site under Ei Group managed joint venture: PubLove, the London-based pub company that houses backpacker hostels and serves its own “Burger Craft” food in each venue, has opened The Crown, Battersea, following a £400,000 investment. The Crown is the first fully refurbished site to open since PubLove became the seventh Ei Managed Investments partner, when Ei Group secured a majority stake in the company last year. The refurbishment includes the introduction of a new craft rum and gin wall. The upstairs has also undergone a full upgrade to its existing hostel rooms. The pub also features a large outdoor seating area with heated terrace. The drinks offer features a range of craft beer and cask ale with a prominent focus on sourcing local beers from across London. The rum and gin wall features a range of craft rum and more than 20 local and imported gins. The food offer follows the same “Burger Craft Kitchen” model, with an extensive menu of bespoke burgers served alongside a selection of sides. PubLove founder and chief executive Ben Stackhouse said: “It’s an opportunity for us to show Ei Managed Investments our vision for PubLove and for it to show us how it can be delivered. I’ve been very impressed with its overall approach to date and am certain the new look Crown will set the standard for our sites moving forward.” Nathan Wall, operations director for Ei Managed Investments, added: “It’s an exciting offer – a quality pub with backpacker accommodation, in a popular area of London, which I have no doubt will succeed.” There are currently nine Ei Managed Investments partnerships in operation.
Ballymoney-based Ground Espresso Bars signs £1m coffee partnership with Irish service station operator Maxol: Ground Espresso Bars, Northern Ireland’s largest independently-owned scaled artisan coffee chain, has signed a £1m partnership with service station operator The Maxol Group. The new commercial partnership will see a Ground Espresso Bar open towards the end of March in Maxol’s flagship site on the A26 at Tannaghmore, Co Antrim, which opened less than a year ago following an investment of more than £200,000. The site will be Ballymoney-based Ground Espresso Bar’s 24th site and will feature high-speed Wi-Fi, charging points, large community tables, and indoor and outdoor children’s play areas, a first for the brand. Ground Espresso Bars director Karen Gardiner told the Belfast Newsletter: “We are really looking forward to opening this store with Maxol and expanding our store network. The partnership represents a significant investment by both companies and we look forward to seeing this develop further.” Maxol chief executive Brian Donaldson added: “As a family-owned and operated business with a passion for quality and innovation, we have much in common with our new partners and look forward to developing several projects with Ground over the next three years.” The Maxol Group operates more than 230 service stations across Northern Ireland and the Republic.
Maxwell’s Restaurant Group to launch Old Compton Brasserie for tenth site: Maxwell’s Restaurant Group is to launch all-day British brasserie concept Old Compton Brasserie this summer. The company is opening the site in Old Compton Street in Soho, utilising the former Muriel’s Kitchen site. The 170-cover venue will offer fresh and seasonal British favourites and a significant number of vegan options. The space, which has been stripped back to expose its original features, will have an industrial bohemian feel, with interesting pieces and sculptures sourced from local markets and dealers alongside artwork from local artists. The restaurant will feature a floating mezzanine, outdoor street seating and a large horseshoe bar, which will serve bespoke craft cocktails. The new venue will take the group’s portfolio to ten sites in total, which also include Maxwell’s Bar and Grill, Joe’s Southern Table and Bar, and Tropicana Beach Club.
PizzaExpress to relaunch app: PizzaExpress is to relaunch its app this month following extensive consumer research. The app, which has been updated to “reflect customer needs and wants”, will also let users pay for their meal at the table. At launch, the app will allow customers to find their nearest restaurant, book a table and stay up to date on bespoke customer rewards. In late spring, a click-and-collect function will be introduced to let customers order and collect their pizzas on the go. PizzaExpress is planning to roll out new features throughout the year, including augmented-reality features in the summer. Senior marketing manager Timothy Love said: “We are always looking at ways we can improve our customers’ experiences and our new app will do just that. The ‘pay at table’ function is perfect for those who are short on time. By listening to our customers, we’ve understood what’s important to them and are introducing a more personalised service, including bespoke rewards.”
Filmore & Union reveals more Midlands debut details as it expands John Lewis partnership with Nottingham site: Healthy eating cafe and restaurant company Filmore & Union has revealed more details of its debut site in the Midlands as it strengthens its partnership with John Lewis. Filmore & Union will open the venue on the first floor of John Lewis at the Intu Victoria Centre in Nottingham. It will have 60 covers and follow openings with John Lewis in York last year and Newcastle in February. Filmore & Union founder and owner Adele Ashley told The Business Desk: “After spending the past six years establishing ourselves in Yorkshire and the north east, we’re now looking for unsung foodie capitals across the UK we can bring our ‘feel-good’ brand to. Nottingham and the East Midlands in general was the next obvious move for us. The region’s independent food and drink scene is seriously on the up and we want to be part of it! Our aim is to build a nationwide chain that retains its independent feel, with each restaurant having a strong local supply chain embedded into its local community. Our chilled-out, relaxed atmosphere with premium, cosy interiors and high-quality food fits perfectly within the John Lewis brand and we can’t wait to see what local customers think.” Filmore & Union, which is backed by the British Growth Fund, currently has 17 restaurants.
Five Points Brewing Company launches £750,000 crowdfunding campaign for expansion: Hackney-based Five Points Brewing Company has launched a £750,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to “expand its community”. The company, which is offering a 5.66% equity stake in return for the investment, will use the capital to open the first Five Points taproom at The Pembury Tavern in Hackney, which the company acquired last month. Funds will also be invested in new brewhouse equipment and fermentation tanks that would triple production in a bid to increase sales from two million to six million pints a year (34,000 hectolitres). A new research and development brew-kit at The Pembury would be used to develop new recipes and brewing processes. The company reached capacity in late 2016 and has been brewing some of its beer with a brewery in Belgium. The investment would enable Five Points to bring all production back to London. The fund-raise would also see the company invest in its team, expand UK distribution and develop its growing export business. Five Points Brewing Company, which has seen turnover increase from £173,000 in 2013 to £2.6m in 2017, was the first brewer in the UK to be an accredited Living Wage employer, sources electricity from 100% renewable sources and helped set up an apprenticeship scheme at Hackney Community College. Co-founder and managing director Ed Mason said: “We believe we have the potential not just to cement our position as one of London’s favourite brands but to become a truly national brand.”
Charles Wells to expand Pizza, Pots and Pints offering in Cambridge next month with second site, fifth in total: Bedford-based brewer and retailer Charles Wells is to open its second Pizza, Pots and Pints site in Cambridge next month – the fifth in total. The company launched the concept, based around artisan pizza and beer, at flagship site The Salisbury Arms in Cambridge in 2015. Now it is reopening the Carpenters Arms in Victoria Road as a Pizza, Pots and Pints on Thursday, 5 April. The pub closed in late January to undergo the rebrand. Operations director Benjamin Smith said: “We’ve extended the pub to allow us to welcome more guests and moved the bar to create a more welcoming atmosphere. Given the success of the Salisbury Arms, we can’t wait to breathe new life into the Carpenters Arms, which has had a tough few years.” The other Pizza, Pots and Pints sites are in Hitchin, Baldock and Peterborough. Earlier this month, Charles Wells commercial director Peter Wells told Propel the company was set to double the Pizza, Pots and Pints estate as well as add a site to its Apostrophe brand this year.
London-based operator acquires leasehold of Bayswater hotel off guide price of £750,000 for third site: London-based hotel operator Mohamed Usman has acquired the leasehold of Dean Court Hotel in Bayswater off a guide price of £750,000 for his third site. The 14-bedroom hotel in Inverness Terrace, which has been established for more than 50 years with the previous proprietor running it for 40 years, was marketed through agent Fleurets. It provides hostel accommodation, hotel rooms as well as a breakfast and kitchen area. Usman, who also owns Hartley Hotel in Forest Gate as well as Pasha Hotel in Camberwell Road, intends to carry out an ongoing refurbishment programme at Dean Court Hotel. Andy Frisby, of Fleurets, who brokered the deal, said: “Central London continues to prove a competitive market and it is therefore no surprise we received multiple offers for Dean Court Hotel. Subject to the relevant consents, this property has potential for the configuration of en-suite facilities so I am particularly excited to see the hotel evolve in the coming months.”
Peaberry Coffee House and Kitchen to start expansion with second Liverpool site: Peaberry Coffee House and Kitchen is to start expansion by opening a second site in Liverpool. The independent, vegan-friendly coffee shop concept has applied to open a venue at The Colonnades in Albert Dock in June or July. The family-run business offers all-day breakfast, fresh sandwiches and extravagant milkshakes. A spokeswoman told the Liverpool Echo: “Everything on our menu is freshly prepared in-house and cooked to order. We have a huge vegan and vegetarian offering and can usually tweak other items to make them plant-based or gluten-free. The new coffee house and kitchen will comprise two halves – one will be more laid-back and for takeaway, while the other side will offer a sit-down service and an evening restaurant menu.” The concept launched in St John’s Road last May and takes its name from the Brazilian “peaberry” coffee it serves.
Nottinghamshire-based operator to open second site for Italian takeaway meal and artisan ice-cream concept: Nottinghamshire-based operator Franco Concilio is to open a second site for his Italian takeaway meal and artisan ice-cream concept Pastability. Concilio launched Pastability in Newark three years ago. Now he will open the new venue on Monday, 26 March in Melton Road, West Bridgford, on the site of former Italian restaurant Pranzo. As well as fresh authentic Italian food, Pastability offers ten flavours of gelato along with a range of desserts, reports the West Bridgford Wire.
Glamorgan-based operator opens seafront restaurant and Pink Floyd bar: Vale of Glamorgan-based Gordon Hadfield, who operates Seashore Grill restaurant and Island View Caravan Park, has opened a seafront bar restaurant built using pebbles from the beach. The venue overlooking Swanbridge Bay consists of 56-cover restaurant On The Rocks and the Pink Floyd bar, named after Hadfield’s favourite band. The project, supported by £200,000 of funding from Barclays, was three years in development and has created 20 jobs. Hadfield told Wales Online: “I started reclamation of the beach and removed more than 10,000 tonnes of debris before obtaining planning permission to build the restaurant and bar. This venture was a three-year project but I am delighted with the result. Every day when I come to the restaurant and look out over the Bristol Channel, I think I am on holiday.”
JD Wetherspoon opens Norfolk pub: JD Wetherspoon has opened its latest pub, in Downham Market in Norfolk (population: 9,994). The company acquired the grade II-listed White Hart in Bridge Street from Oak Taverns in June 2016 and has reopened it as The Whalebone following a £2.5m investment, creating 65 jobs. The White Hart was known as The Whalebone between 1748 and 1791, a name that derives from the whaling trade that flourished in the area at that time. The new-look pub features a single bar, a garden with a courtyard accessed through a traditional cart access, and a turfed garden to the rear. Meanwhile, Wetherspoon is looking to open a site in the Surrey town of Dorking (population: 11,185). The company has submitted plans to turn five town centre shops in St Martin’s Walk into a 230-seat venue. Last week, Wetherspoon reported like-for-like sales increased 3.8% in the six weeks to 11 March 2018, with total sales up 2.6%. The company also reported sales for the 26 weeks to 28 January 2018 rose 3.6% to £830.4m – like-for-like sales were up 6.1%.
Surrey-based craft beer bar and shop lodges plans for second site: Surrey-based craft beer bar and shop Hop Stop has lodged plans for its second site, in Reigate. The company opened the first outlet in Station Road East, Oxted, two years ago. Now it has applied to Reigate and Banstead Borough Council to convert the former La Lanterna restaurant in Bell Street, reports Get Surrey. In its application, Hop Stop stated: “We wish to expand our offering to Reigate by opening a second premises. This will be a combined specialist beer bar and retail shop focused on serving quality beer for drinking on-site or taking away. In addition, we would serve a selection of wine, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks. To complement the drinks we would offer a small and tailored grazing menu of prepared food. We would also like to hold special events such as bottle-share evenings, tutored tastings and beer-related talks.” Reigate has other independents specialising in beer. Last year, Four Hops opened a shop in West Street, while Pilgrim Brewery launched a taproom.
Blackburn-based operator to open second Caribbean restaurant: Blackburn-based operator David Wilson is to open his second Caribbean restaurant. Wilson launched Calypso in Preston New Road ten years ago before relocating to larger premises two years later in The Wharf in Eanam. Now he is preparing to open Sista Calypso in Croft Street, Darwen. Scheduled to open in April, it will take over the premises of Pamela’s cafe following owner Pamela Hacking’s decision to retire. Wilson will serve a selection of classic calypso dishes to eat in during the day and to take away on Friday and Saturday nights. He told the Lancashire Telegraph: “We will be offering a reduced menu, which will include all the favourites such as curried goat and, of course, jerk chicken.”
Whitbread gets go-ahead for second Premier Inn site in Hereford: Whitbread has been given the go-ahead for a second Premier Inn in Hereford. The company has been granted permission by Herefordshire Council for the 65-bedroom hotel and restaurant in Blackfriars Street, creating 25 jobs. The other Premier Inn in the city is in Holmer Road, reports the Hereford Times.
Tyrrells set for another sale: Herefordshire-based crisp-maker Tyrrells is set to be sold only months after it became part of US giant Hershey. Tyrrells was wrapped up in Hershey’s $1.6bn (£1.2bn) purchase of Amplify, which had itself paid £300m for Tyrrells in 2016. Although the Hershey deal was only agreed in December, The Business Desk reports the US firm is already considering a sale of the £60m-turnover crisp business. Tyrrells was founded in 2002 by William Chase at Tyrrells Court Farm, Herefordshire. It has grown through international acquisitions, including Australian business Yarra Valley Snack Foods and German producer Aroma Snacks. It has also diversified its product lines into other snacks, including popcorn, tortilla chips and vegetable crisps.