Patty & Bun to open two sites before year-end: Patty & Bun, the better burger concept led by Joe Grossman, plans to open two sites in London by the end of the year. The group, which operates eight venues under its core brand, is set to take over the Breddos Tacos site in Kingly Street, Soho, with an opening planned for late November. The move will be followed by a return to Liverpool Street. The company opened its second site in Liverpool Street but had to close it for more than a year because of a redevelopment. It now plans to reopen at a larger site in Liverpool Street in December. The company also operates concessions in the two London-based Swingers sites, plus three with Incipio Group. The sale of the Kingly Street site would leave Ennismore-backed Breddos Tacos with one venue – in Goswell Road, Clerkenwell.
Stack & Still opens third site as it marks first anniversary: Glasgow-based operators Paul Reynolds and Graham Swankie have opened a third site for their pancake house concept Stack & Still. The venue has opened at the Glasgow Fort shopping centre – a year after the debut site launched. Having opened the inaugural outlet in West George Street in October 2018, a second was added at the Silverburn shopping centre in July. Reynolds said: “It has been a crazy year for Stack & Still and we’re delighted to open our third branch as we celebrate the anniversary of our first flagship city centre restaurant. We are excited to open our latest branch in the east of the city. It’s safe to say Glaswegians have embraced Stack & Still and we hope to continue our expansion across Scotland.” Phil Goodman, centre director at Glasgow Fort, added: “Stack & Still will be a welcome addition to the growing range of brands at Glasgow Fort. It offers a great menu, with something a little different to the dining options we have here already.”
Bottles & Battles founders to open second site for Italian wine bar concept, in Chelsea: Franco Mancini and Daniele Marano, founders of wine merchant Bottles & Battles in Mercato Metropolitano in Borough, are to launch a second site for their Italian wine bar concept, Bottles. The pair, who have teamed up with pop-up restaurant Sood for the venture, will open the venue in Chelsea early next month. The venue in Draycott Avenue will add to the debut site in Spitalfields Market, which opened in July 2018. The Bottles concept focuses on regional Italian wine made by independent producers and small farms alongside Italian small plates. The Chelsea site will also offer fresh juice, light lunches and an aperitivo menu influenced by “classic Italian tipples”. The glass-fronted, 50-cover wine bar will feature a timber wine wall with guests able to buy their favourite bottles, while the dining room will be downstairs.
Sir Terence Conran to launch British restaurant and bar in Shoreditch next week:Sir Terence Conran is to launch a contemporary British restaurant and bar in Shoreditch, east London. Sir Terence and Richard McLellan, former chef at the Typing Room and Michelin-starred Alyn Williams’ restaurant in Mayfair, will open Wilder Restaurant & Bar next Wednesday (16 October) at Boundary London in Redchurch Street. There will be a 60-cover restaurant with an additional 40 covers in the bar and a private dining room for 12. Wilder will utilise the flavours from “natural and considered British ingredients” to create “elegant dishes and a relaxed dining experience for guests”. McLellan’s menu will evolve in line with the seasons and focus on sustainability. He regularly visits Barton Court, Sir Terence’s Georgian retreat in the English countryside, to source ingredients from the 145-acre estate, including trout, crayfish and watercress. Sir Terence founded Conran Restaurants, which is now known as D&D London following a management buyout in 2006 by Des Gunewardena and David Loewi. Sir Terence subsequently founded Prescott & Conran with Peter Prescott, while his other ventures include Bibendum in South Kensington with Claude Bosi.
Welcome Break appoints commercial director: Welcome Break, the roadside services operator owned by Applegreen, has appointed Martyn Brett-Lee, formerly of Merlin Entertainments and Odeon Cinemas, as commercial director. Brett-Lee joins Welcome Break after more than two years as commercial director at Merlin. Before that he was group head of operational transformation at Odeon Cinemas for a year. The Welcome Break portfolio comprises 34 motorway service areas, three trunk road service areas and 29 hotels (23 at service areas and six standalone). In June, Applegreen said trading for the overall group had been in line with expectations for the first five months of 2019. It said the performance of Welcome Break had been “satisfactory” despite more challenging trading conditions in 2019 as “ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit had an impact on consumer sentiment”.
Wells & Co to open second Pizza, Pots & Pints in Oxford this month: Bedford-based brewer and retailer Wells & Co will open a second site in Oxford for its Pizza, Pots & Pints managed pub concept this month. The company will launch The Holly Bush in Bridge Street on Thursday, 24 October having acquired the site last year. The pub, which had been closed since 2013, is nearing the end of its refurbishment after the city council approved the plans earlier this year, reports The Oxford Times. Pizza, Pots & Pints offers smaller, community-based pubs with informal dining. The concept was introduced by Charles Wells in 2015 at The Salisbury Arms in Cambridge and expanded to include The Oxford Blue in Oxford, which opened last year. It currently has ten sites with plans to grow to 25 in the next two to three years. Last month Wells & Co announced Justin Phillimore would step down as chief executive at the end of the year. Peter Wells will step into the new role of group managing director in January 2020, making him the fifth generation of the Wells family to lead the company.
Peter Sanchez-Iglesias opens debut London restaurant: Michelin-starred chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias has opened his debut London restaurant. Sanchez-Iglesias has launched Decimo on the tenth floor of The Standard London hotel in King’s Cross offering 114 covers and panoramic views of the capital. The restaurant is accessible via an elevator in Euston Road and includes a standalone bar offering food and two private dining rooms. The menu features ceviche, tacos, and meat and seafood cooked over open fire. Dishes include jamon croquetas, caviar-topped tortilla, and rib of beef. There is an a la carte service and two chef’s tasting menus, while the drinks list includes agave, mescal, raicilla and low-intervention wine from Spain and Latin America. Sanchez-Iglesias said: “Decimo is all about bringing Spanish and Mexican food together – the combination of my Spanish roots and fascination with Mexico.” The hotel in Argyle Street is Standard International’s first outside the US and sixth in total. It also features two restaurants by executive chef Adam Rawson. Standard International chief executive Amar Lalvani added: “Peter is one of the most talented young chefs. We immediately saw eye to eye on how we could create something genuine, welcoming, social and fun.” Sanchez-Iglesias achieved Michelin stars for both his Bristol restaurants – Casamia and Paco Tapas.
Independent dessert shop opens second site: Independent dessert shop Melt Desserts has opened its second site. The company has added to its outlet in Blackburn with a venue in Thornaby-on-Tees in North Yorkshire. Melt Desserts has opened in The Pavilion Shopping Centre after agreeing a five-year lease with landlord LCP. Melt Desserts offers ice cream, waffles and seasonal treats. Julian Diamond, retail director at LCP, said: “Since we acquired The Pavilion Shopping Centre earlier this year, we’ve been working hard to invest in what is an important retail offer for shoppers. Welcoming a new, independent retailer is good news because it adds to the vibrancy and diversity of the centre.”
TRG and Chipotle sign European chicken welfare commitment: The Restaurant Group and Chipotle have signed the European Chicken Commitment (ECC) as they look to apply higher animal welfare standards to its European supply chain by 2026. The ECC requires companies to commit to a range of key standards by 2026, including using higher welfare chicken breeds, reducing stock density, enriching the environments birds live in, providing natural light and using more humane processes. Both companies will see their supply chains audited by an independent body to ensure they are meeting requirements.
Greene King rejoins BBPA after ten-year hiatus: Brewer and retailer Greene King has rejoined the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) after a ten-year hiatus. As part of its membership to the BBPA, Greene King chief executive Nick Mackenzie will sit on the board of the trade association. The BBPA’s members account for about 90% of beer brewed in Britain and own about 20,000 of the nation’s pubs. BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “We are delighted to have Greene King back on board as a member and for Nick Mackenzie to be joining our board. As passionate supporters of the beer and pub trade, I know Greene King will play a key role in helping us campaign for the well-being of the sector.” Mackenzie added: “We look forward to working with the BBPA and its members to support its important work on the many challenges the sector faces and to ensure it has a bright future.”
The Lowry invests in restaurant and bar as it updates on progress since £53m acquisition: The Lowry Hotel, a five-star hotel in Salford, Greater Manchester, revealed it has almost completed the refurbishment of its restaurant and bar as part of an update of its progress since being acquired for £53m. In its first full year since being bought by Singapore-based CDL Hospitality Trusts, the hotel saw £13.0m turnover for the year ending 31 December 2018, compared with £9.1m for the previous eight months. Ebitda in the period was £1.6m, compared with £1.9m in the previous eight months. Operating profit was £1.6m compared with £1.9m in the eight months before, while pre-tax profit was £759,000 compared with £1.1m in the previous eight months. Occupancy decreased from the prior period by 3%, while the average daily rate also fell 3%. Revpar decreased 6% compared with the prior period. In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “The hotel experienced growth in the corporate sector and group leisure business and general transient leisure continued with a strong pace of demand despite the challenges faced by the city following the Manchester bombing in May 2017. There’s now a comprehensive programme to refurbish the restaurant and bar space on the first floor, which will be complete by the end of autumn.” The 165-bedroom hotel opened in Dearmans Place in 2001. CDL Hospitality Trusts acquired the hotel in May 2017.
Drinks brand Asterley Bros closes crowdfunding campaign after raising £143,000: London-based drinks brand Asterley Bros has closed its campaign on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube after raising more than £143,000. Asterley Bros, which was founded by brothers Rob and Jim Berry, was initially looking to raise £100,000 and offered 9.09% equity in return for the investment, giving the company a pre-money valuation of £1m. It has now closed the campaign with 350 investors pledging £143,290. The funds will be used to upgrade facilities, increase capacity, develop products, and support sales and marketing. Founder Rob Berry said: “Sourcing opinion from our supporters has always been key to our development process through beta testing so turning to our fans to help us reach the next stage of our journey seemed the obvious choice. We’re delighted to welcome new members into our family to help us take the brand to the next level.”
Wagamama to double size of restaurant at London Designer Outlet: The Restaurant Group-owned brand Wagamama is to effectively double the size of its restaurant at the London Designer Outlet in Wembley, north west London. Wagamama will expand its outlet by 92% to 4,600 square feet and invest in a rebuild and refit of the restaurant. Nigel Sherwood, managing director UK of Wagamama, said: “We opened our doors at London Designer Outlet in 2013 and have traded strongly since. When the opportunity came to expand, we jumped at it.” Sue Shepherd, general manager at London Designer Outlet, added: “The expansion of Wagamama is testament to the continued success of our restaurants. The casual dining operators here are a real asset and key to the positive guest experience.” London Designer Outlet is managed by Realm and is owned by Quintain, developer of Wembley Park.
Former Petersham Nurseries chef director and gastro-pub owner team up for Shoreditch venture: Former Petersham Nurseries chef director Damian Clisby and Nick Gibson, owner of Islington gastro-pub The Drapers Arms, have launched a joint venture in Shoreditch. Their new concept, Emile, focuses on “robust, rewarding food with a Mediterranean influence accompanied by great wine”. The 40-cover venue, named after Clisby’s grandfather, has launched a six-month residency at 26 Curtain Road, which formerly housed the debut site for Scandinavian restaurant chain Rök. The menu changes daily, while the wine list focuses on old-world varieties.
Fledgling escape rooms business secures debut site: Fledgling escape rooms business Escape Stations has secured its debut site, in Nottingham. Founder Tom Armstrong has signed for the 2,453 square foot basement of Gothic House in Barker Gate in a deal brokered by NG Chartered Surveyors. The space was formerly used as a restaurant. Armstrong told The Business Desk: “We will complement Nottingham’s thriving escape room industry, offering themes, puzzles and adventures for players to enjoy. The initial two rooms will be based around a trial of the Greek gods and a jungle expedition, with more rooms scheduled to open in summer 2020.”
Levy UK extends Northampton Saints catering contract: Catering company Levy UK has extended its contract with Gallagher Premiership rugby club Northampton Saints. Levy UK will now be the official food and hospitality partner at Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens stadium until 2025. Levy UK plans to develop new culinary styles, including more plant-based menus, at concessions and hospitality areas as well as for non-match day events. There will also be an increased choice of food and drinks in the Supporter Village’s newly refurbished food court. Three new converted shipping containers will increase bar and service capacity in the village. Levy UK managing director Jonathan Davies said: “The relationship we have built with Northampton Saints over the past three years has grown significantly and to be able to develop this offer further is an exciting prospect.”
Whitbread agrees deal for Premier Inn in Romford: Whitbread has agreed a deal for a new Premier Inn in Romford, east London. The move is part of a trio of long-let, index-linked acquisitions by real estate investment trust company LXi for £23m in total. LXi has exchanged contracts by way of pre-let forward funding for the acquisition of the Premier Inn. The 85-bedroom hotel has been pre-let to Whitbread on a new unbroken 25-year lease from completion of construction, with five-yearly rental uplifts in line with the Consumer Price Index. LXi has also agreed to acquire a commercial vehicle centre in Birmingham and an Aldi store in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire. Meanwhile, Whitbread has had plans for a Premier Inn at a former HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) office in Porthmadog given the go-ahead. The 80-bedroom hotel in Britannia Terrace will cover 32,054 square feet, with HMRC relocating to another part of the town. Gwynedd Council has approved the plans, which will create 30 jobs, reports Insider Media.
Poppleston Allen holds top spot in latest legal rankings: The depth of licensing expertise offered by national solicitor Poppleston Allen has been recognised by two legal directories, The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners. In The Legal 500, Poppleston Allen was ranked tier one for licensing in both the East Midlands and London. The directory also showed Poppleston Allen had more of its solicitors ranked than any other licensing firm, with a record five of its partners classed in the elite “leading individual” category. Meanwhile, the firm’s gambling team was ranked tier two in London. It is a similar story in Chambers and Partners, which also lists Poppleston Allen as band one for licensing in London and the regions. The company now has eight solicitors ranked in the guide.