Coffeesmiths Collective appoints Willson-Rymer as chairman: Coffeesmiths Collective, the parent company of Department of Coffee and Social Affairs (DoCaSA), has appointed Darcy Willson-Rymer, former managing director of Starbucks UK and Ireland and current chief executive of convenience store chain Costcutter, as non-executive chairman, Propel has learned. Willson-Rymer, who spent more than four years as head of Starbucks UK and Ireland, was previously chief executive of Clinton Cards. Professor Stefan Allesch-Taylor, group chairman of Coffeesmiths Collective, said: “With his extensive experience in the coffee and retail sectors coupled with a passion for coffee, Darcy understands the opportunity the sector represents. Having Darcy as non-executive chairman of Coffeesmiths Collective, our rapidly growing UK retail business, means we’ll benefit from his expertise and guidance at this exciting time in our business’ development.” Willson-Rymer said: “The consumer love affair with coffee continues to grow. I see that every day from our retailers at Costcutter and I’m excited by the considerable opportunity for Coffeesmiths Collective to service the growing trend for speciality coffee shops. I look forward to working with the board at Coffeesmiths Collective as we look to build the business further in the UK and beyond.” Coffeesmiths Collective has made a number of appointments to its senior management team since the start of the year after going on an acquisition spree during the last 12 months. Earlier this month the company appointed Toby Smith, who recently stepped down as chief executive of Novus and served as chief executive of Stonegate Pub Company, as its UK chief executive. Earlier this year, Coffeesmiths Collective appointed chief operating officer Mark Ellis, who spent more than ten years at Starbucks and more than five years at McDonald’s. Ellis’ appointment was followed by the hiring of Bharti Radix, formerly of Draft House and Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, as group finance director. It further strengthened its management team recently by appointing two directors focused on acquisitions. David Bateman, previously managing director of Wimbledon Brewery, became managing director of mergers and acquisitions and integration, while Pru Smithson, formerly finance director at Grace Belgravia, became mergers and acquisitions director. The business operates more than 130 outlets in the UK including its own bakery and roastery. The company’s flagship brand, DoCaSA, has coffee shops in the UK and US. During the past six months the business has been strengthening its presence in London and the rest of the UK through a number of acquisitions, including acquiring Brighton-based, seven-strong Small Batch Coffee.
Chucs to launch casual dining concept for fifth London site: Italian restaurant and cafe Chucs is to launch a casual dining concept for its fifth London site. The cafe concept will open in Old Brompton Road, Kensington, on Monday, 10 June under the direction of Graziano Arricale. The move coincides with the appointment of executive chef director Simon Henbery, who joins the group following leading roles at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen London and Barbecoa as well as Ace Hotel Shoreditch. Chucs Cafe Kensington will offer an all-day, full-service cafe menu including paninis, salads, smoothies and coffee alongside the Chucs Burger and burrata with flat peaches, chilli and mint. The introduction of the cafe concept also means the majority of dishes are available to take away. Interiors, which in part evoke Chucs’ other London sites, have been reimagined and inspired by 1950s Italy and the Côte d’Azur. The site will also feature a large, wraparound terrace. Chucs Restaurant & Cafe is the sister concept to the 1950s swimwear and men’s fashion label. Its other sites are in Dover Street, Westbourne Grove, inside Harrods department store in Knightsbridge and at The Magazine, the extension to the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in Kensington Gardens.
Inglenook Inns & Taverns reopens Robinsons pub in Cheadle Village: North west-based pub operator Inglenook Inns & Taverns has reopened Robinsons Brewery pub the Royal Oak on the outskirts of Cheadle Village, Greater Manchester, following a £200,000 renovation. Robinsons bought the pub in 1891 and it now features new oak-framed windows, while internal walls have been removed to make it more open plan. The pub also features a new bar, while the menu includes pies from Bristol-based Pieminister. Two smaller areas branch off the main seating area, creating snug spaces, while the new beer garden includes a covered, all-weather area. Inglenook Inns & Taverns managing director James Waddington said: “The Royal Oak has most definitely been put back on the map. It is a stylish and on-trend venue but with a traditional welcome.” Robinsons Brewery business development manager Tony Massey added: “With the evolution of the village shops and eating and drinking offers, we felt the time was right to revisit the Royal Oak and enhance the offer in Cheadle. We are all pleased with the new look.” Inglenook Inns & Taverns operates more than 50 managed and tenanted pubs throughout the north west, Greater Manchester, Midlands and Yorkshire.
Gourmet sausage concept X-Upper ceases trading two months after launch as investors withdraw support: X-Upper, the London-based concept dedicated to gourmet sausages, has ceased trading only two months on from its launch after investors withdrew their support. Francesco di Marzio, former executive chef of two Michelin-starred restaurant The Greenhouse, led the kitchen of X-Upper, which opened at a site formerly occupied by tapas and paella restaurant Jamon Jamon in Upper Street, Islington, in February. An X-Upper spokesman said: “We closed due to investors having to divert funds to other activities. We chose to open in Upper Street because of its strong residential demographics, community appeal, vibrant high street and cheaper rents compared with central London but unfortunately a sausage-only restaurant proved too narrow an offering to generate wide appeal and the investors didn’t want to support a redefinition of the concept or a widening of the menu.” Daniel Rogers and Danielle Agami, of Restaurant Property, are marketing the 40-cover unit, which features a terrace and has a licence until 2am.
Coppa Club secures Brighton site: Coppa Club, the Hugh Osmond-backed concept, is set to open in Brighton this summer. The company has agreed a lease on almost 6,000 square feet of restaurant space over two floors in Brighton Square. Coppa opened its debut site in Sonning-on-Thames in Berkshire in 2015 and also operates two London sites and one each in Maidenhead and Henley-on-Thames. Total investment in the new site will be more than £1.5m, creating 50 jobs. The site will also offer alfresco dining in Brighton Square with plans to cover the area. Coppa Club has taken a long-term lease on the site at a six-figure annual rent. John Gripton, of Coppa Club, said: “As a Brighton resident I’ve been keen to bring Coppa Club here since we launched our first venue. Brighton is such a vibrant city with a great community and I think our relaxed ‘make yourself at home’ style will be appreciated by my fellow Brightonians. Coppa Club is an open, inclusive space that offers something for everyone, from commuters and shoppers wanting to put their feet up to people needing somewhere to work or hold meetings or unwind over drinks and dinner at the end of the day. I can’t wait for Coppa Club to come to Brighton. I think it will provide a great hub for the community.” Coppa Club is also set to open a 350-cover restaurant and bar at The Swan in Streatley on the banks of the Thames. The Swan is owned by Various Eateries backer Osmond, who acquired the country hotel in 2012 under the Rare Birds vehicle. Graves Jenkins acted on the Brighton deal.
Peyton sisters launch cheese toastie and coffee concept in Chalk Farm: Peyton & Byrne’s Siobhan, Marie and Caitriona Peyton, sisters of Great British Menu judge Oliver Peyton, have launched a toasted cheese sandwich and coffee concept in Chalk Farm, north London. Roastery and Toastery has opened in Adelaide Road close to Chalk Farm station, Hot Dinners reports. Toasted cheese sandwiches are made using Peyton & Byrne sourdough and come as a “pocket”, made in a sandwich toaster, or a toastie from the grill. Options include The Classic (house cheese blend, plum tomatoes and spring onion) and The Frenchie (gruyere, thyme and caramelised onions). Coffee is made using 100% arabica beans from Brazil, Columbia and Honduras, with a special coffee blend on rotation. Roastery and Toastery also offers pastries, bread, viennoiserie and cakes from the bakery. Siobhan Peyton is managing director of Peyton & Byrne, while Marie is business development director and Caitriona commercial director of the company’s bakery division.
The Snug sells lease of Bury St Edmunds site: South of England bar group The Snug has sold the lease of its site in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, to a new independent operator. The venue in St John’s Street will relaunch as The Tavern On St John’s on Friday (24 May) following a refurbishment. The lease was sold for an undisclosed sum having been marketed off a guide price of £150,000 plus VAT by agent Fleurets. The ground-floor space spans about 3,000 square feet with room for 100 covers. Craig Nichols, co-owner of The Tavern On St John’s, said: “We wanted to create a relaxed, friendly, classic pub atmosphere so we felt the ideal food offering would be a fun and informal menu that encouraged sharing – small plates of home-cooked dishes perfect for mixing and matching between friends.” The Snug, which opened in Bury St Edmunds in 2016, currently operates seven sites.
Cocktail Trading Company to start expansion with Fitzrovia launch next month:The Cocktail Trading Company is to start expansion by launching a bar in Fitzrovia, central London, early next month. The 60-capacity Murder Inc will open in Hanway Street inspired by gangster noir of the 1940s and 1950s. The decor and style will be “industrial New York meets mid-century glamour”, with oak panelling and dark brick walls lit by red neon signs and industrial pendants. Launched four years by Andy Mil, Olly Brading and Elliot Ball, The Cocktail Trading Company followed a pop-up in Carnaby Street by launching an eponymous bricks-and-mortar site in Shoreditch a year later. Murder Inc will offer cocktails such as Death In The Afternoon (Pernod Absinthe, agave-ginger sherbet and Moët Champagne) and Diablo II (Patron Silver, salted galangal, cassis and rooibos beer).
Truman’s to launch Walthamstow brewery featuring street food market: East London-based brewer Truman’s is to open a brewery in Walthamstow. The site, which is set to open in spring 2020, will host a taproom, street food market, live music space and artists’ studios. It will also host brewery tours and a brewing school and mark a major expansion of the revived brand, which opened its current Hackney Wick brewery in 2013 almost 25 years after it first went out of business. Truman’s began brewing in Brick Lane in 1666 as Black Eagle Brewery and, by the end of the 19th century, had become the largest brewer in history. It remained a powerhouse of the British brewing scene for much of the 20th century but was forced to shut in 1989 after sustained financial woes. Truman’s relaunched in 2010 and its new site will cover 50,000 square feet with production capacity of 25 million litres. Its Hackney Wick brewery will close as part of the move. Truman’s chief executive James Morgan told the Evening Standard: “Having maxed-out capacity at Hackney Wick, our new brewery gives us a springboard to grow for many years to come while flying the flag for east London brewing. We’re delighted to bring Truman’s to Walthamstow and join its vibrant and growing craft beer community.”
Deckers completes repositioning to focus on wholesale drinks arm as it reports turnover boost: Deckers Hospitality Group has finished repositioning the business to focus on its wholesale drinks arm as the company reported a turnover boost. Deckers sold Pennine Manor Hotel in Huddersfield in January to Northern Powerhouse Developments, leaving it with the Royal Toby Hotel near Rochdale. Deckers said plans to further invest in the Royal Toby include upgrading the bedrooms and refurbishing the function room. The announcement comes as accounts filed at Companies House showed turnover rose 8% to £44,651,467 for the year ending 30 September 2018, compared with £41,331,538 the previous year. Operating profit from continued operations increased to £866,858, compared with £448,828 the year before, while pre-tax profit from continued operations was up to £677,954, compared with £260,454 the previous year. In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “The group had a strong trading performance driven by a 10% sales increase in the wholesale business and a 5% increase at the Royal Toby Hotel. The unusually warm weather and the influence of the World Cup helped drive wholesale sales, while the extensive refurbishment at the Royal Toby enhanced performance. The sale of Pennine Manor Hotel completed the planned reshaping of Deckers. The directors are focused on driving the performances of the wholesale drinks business, the butchery and the Royal Toby Hotel.” The group had cash and cash equivalents of £3,523,524, compared with £1,654,035 the year before. Net assets increased to £5,448,343, compared with £5,418,061 the year before.
Kitty Cafe opens third site, in Birmingham: Cat cafe concept Kitty Cafe has opened its third site, in Birmingham. Owner Kate Charles-Richards has opened the venue at the Grand Central shopping centre having previously agreed a deal with landlord Hammerson. The venue features 30 rescued cats, which roam free among guests and are available for adoption. The food menu includes pizza, paninis, wraps and salads alongside mocktails, tea and coffee. Charles-Richards said: “We have been embraced with open arms by the people of Birmingham – it’s been amazing to have such a warm welcome! We are dedicated to providing a safe space that brings the rescue cats back to full health and happiness and we believe Kitty Cafe adds something special to Grand Central while also helping our rehabilitated cats find their forever home.” Iain Mitchell, UK commercial director at Hammerson, added: “Kitty Cafe brings something fun and unique to Grand Central and I know it’s already proving exceptionally popular with local shoppers.” Charles-Richards launched the concept in Nottingham in 2015 before adding a second site, in Leeds, two years later.
BrewDog submits plans for St Andrews site: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has submitted plans to open a bar in St Andrews. The company wants to transform a unit in South Street formerly occupied by restaurant and ice cream parlour Nardini. A spokesman for consultants Firstplan said BrewDog was seeking planning consent for the ground floor of 157 South Street, while the upper floors would continue to be used for residential accommodation. BrewDog founders James Watt and Martin Dickie confirmed the company’s ambitions for St Andrews at its AGM in Aberdeen in April 2018, identifying Rascals Bar in North Street as its preferred location. However, Rascals’ then owner Colin Donaldson denied a deal had been struck and branded BrewDog “arrogant” for making a premature announcement. He then sold the pub to rival St Andrews Brewing Company and joined the firm in a senior role, The Courier reports. Earlier this week BrewDog opened its latest bar, in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, while it unveiled a new-look taproom for Hawkes Cider at its home in Druid Street in Southwark, London.
Marylebone-based Indian restaurant Ooty to launch cafe and cocktail bar: Ooty, the south Indian restaurant that launched at the former Galvin brothers’ Galvin Bistro de Luxe site in Marylebone in February, will open a cafe and cocktail bar next month. Ooty Station will open next to its sister site in Baker Street offering counter bar dining and a menu of Indian-inspired bar snacks through to more substantial mains alongside cocktails and bottled beer. The concept is the brainchild of Aseela Goenka and Pooja Nayak. The 40-cover Ooty Station will feature navy blue corrugated metal wall coverings, deep red and mustard tiling, leather seating and dark wood tables. A terrace will provide a further 15 covers. Head chef Manmeet Singh Bali said: “We have taken inspiration from the street food of our childhoods in India and the comforting pub food we know in the UK to create a unique offering.”
Former Savoy bartender launches debut solo venture: Erik Lorincz, former bartender at The American Bar at The Savoy in London, has launched his first solo venture. Lorincz, who was at The Savoy for eight years, has partnered with Mourad Mazouz to open Kwant in Mayfair. Located below Moroccan restaurant Momo, the 19th century-style cocktail bar and lounge is reminiscent of an eccentric gentleman’s drawing room, furnished with Chesterfield sofas and wooden panelling. A wooden cabinet hosts a rare and vintage spirit and champagne selection from Lorincz’s personal collection. Kwant’s menu features 24 alcoholic and five non-alcoholic serves. Lorincz was crowned world’s best bartender in 2010.
Marston’s strengthens Edenhouse partnership to drive digital transformation:Marston’s has strengthened its partnership with software company Edenhouse Solutions as it looks to drive continued innovation across key business areas. Edenhouse has been Marston’s systems, applications and products (SAP) support partner since 2011 and is now identifying how Marston’s can leverage new technology to better serve its customers. Business areas set for transformation include warehouse management, analytics and distribution, as well as Marston’s finance operations. The new SAP solution will allow Marston’s to gather real-time insights on data and deliver a personalised, responsive user experience. Phil Court, head of tech delivery at Marston’s, said: “With such a large and diverse customer network, it’s essential we continue to innovate to keep up with demand. The roadmap we’ve been building together is helping us understand how operations are running and where we can drive efficiencies.” Edenhouse chief executive Paul Solomon added: “We are incredibly proud to help guide Marston’s through this exciting period and look forward to seeing it benefit from future digital innovation.”
Levy UK extends Chelsea contract: Levy UK has extended its catering partnership with Chelsea Football Club until 2023. The company will cater to more than one million fans a year at the 41,000-capacity Stamford Bridge stadium, which includes on-site venues Under The Bridge, Frankie’s Sports Bar & Grill and Chelsea Health Club & Spa. On match days the stadium offers 43 outlets, 58 executive boxes and 23 suites, while fans can use the CFC Express pre-order app. The club recently rebranded its hospitality and events business as Club Chelsea, the first phase of a project that will “explore a world of culture, art and entertainment beyond football”. Levy UK also caters for more than 1,000 corporate and private events held at Stamford Bridge each year and works at Chelsea’s training ground in Cobham, Surrey. Levy UK managing director Jonathan Davies said: “We have always been encouraged by the club to push for inclusive and forward-thinking catering and hospitality options that will appeal to the diverse fan base and international visitors who come to Stamford Bridge.” Levy UK also operates at Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium in north London as well as the O2 arena and Twickenham.
Papa John’s partners with Heinz for hotdog pizza: Papa John’s has partnered with Heinz to use its renowned tomato ketchup on its latest offering, the Hot Dog pizza. The pizza features a Heinz Tomato Ketchup base and is topped with smoky frankfurters, soft white onions, mozzarella and Heinz Yellow Mustard. The pizza will also be available as a vegan option, the Vegan Hotdog. Papa John’s UK marketing director Giles Codd said: “We are excited to launch our latest partnership with one of the nation’s best-loved brands. Ingredient innovation is at the heart of our menu. Audrey Dilmi, UK foodservice marketing lead at Kraft Heinz, said: “Heinz Tomato Ketchup has always been a staple for pizza and hotdog lovers.” Papa John’s has more than 400 sites across the UK