Shonhan to open second Flesh & Buns site, in Fitzrovia: Ross Shonhan, founder of Japanese ramen bar concept Bone Daddies, is to open the second site of his bao bun restaurant Flesh & Buns, in Fitzrovia. Shonhan is opening the new venue in the Copyright development in Berners Street in late June. It will differ from the original Flesh & Buns, which was launched in Covent Garden nearly five years ago, in that it will also explore Nikkei Peruvian cuisine and drinks. The menu will feature a new ceviche and tiradito offering, and hot dishes. Flesh & Buns’ signature frozen yuzu margaritas will remain on the menu, with an expansion into the Peruvian Pisco Sour, which guests can push a button at their table to order. The 170-cover restaurant will sit across one floor and will be divided in to three sections. Through the centre of the site, raised booths will divide the bar and the two parts of the restaurant. At the back of the site, there is additional seating leading to an open kitchen, with counter dining. There will also be a secluded semi-private dining room. Shonhan said: “Almost five years ago, we were the first dedicated bao restaurant to open in London. It was met with mixture of surprise, intrigue and interest, and I vowed I would never open another one! Half a decade later, we have a fantastically loyal following and my wounds have healed! We refurbished Flesh & Buns Covent Garden last year to improve the izakaya look, in the aim to begin to separate the Flesh & Buns brand from the ramen bars – and the new launch in Fitzrovia will be its flagship.” Shonhan operates six Bone Daddies as well as Asian fusion restaurant Shackfuyu in Soho.
Hart brothers to bring Barrafina and two new sites to King’s Cross: Brothers Sam and James Hart are bringing their Barrafina concept to King’s Cross along with new two new openings. The Harts have agreed a deal to become the first restaurant at the Coal Drops Yard development. With 34 seats at the bar, a private dining room for 20 and an outdoor terrace, it will be the biggest Barrafina yet. The Harts said they are planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign for the project. Meanwhile, the brothers said in addition to Barrafina they will be opening another branch of their Borough taqueria El Pastor – called Casa Pastor – and a new concept wine bar and restaurant called The Drop. will have room for 80 diners plus a further 80 on the terrace, while The Drop will have 55 spaces inside and 24 outside, reports Hot Dinners. The Harts have three other Barrafina sites as well as restaurant and members’ club Quo Vadis. They will also launch tortilla factory and taco bar concept Tortilleria El Pastor near Bermondsey’s Maltby Street Market next month.
Grind mulls another City opening as expansion ramps up: London-based Grind, the independent coffee and cocktail bar, is mulling opening another site in the City. Chief executive and founder David Abrahamovitch said the company would like to open a restaurant in the Square Mile in addition to its current grab-and-go coffee shop in the Royal Exchange. But he said he was sceptical the City would ever be a weekend hotspot for leisure and hospitality businesses. He told City AM: “It’s still many years away, it may never get there because it’s so dominated by offices.” It comes as the group enters a new phase of expansion following its partnership with transport hub foodservice specialist SSP and a second fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube last year. Abrahamovitch said the partnership with SSP would help to grow Grind’s coffee and cocktail offering at a time when expansion is challenging. He added: “We love cafe bars, but it’s just getting harder and harder to do a model where you’ve got an average transaction of £5 or £6. We want to do the cafe bar thing but we realise it’s an increasingly difficult model to make a return out of.” Grind’s first train station location will open this summer, followed by more in travel hubs across the UK and potentially overseas. Meanwhile, Abrahamovitch said the core business would focus on opening one or two new restaurants a year in central London. King’s Cross, Canary Wharf and Victoria are all being targeted by the group. Earlier this month, Grind sold its Holborn site back to the landlord, the Hoxton Hotel, which Abrahamovitch told Propel at the time was a “one-off, opportunistic sale” as it moved away from small A1 cafe bar sites.
Loungers agree deal for first Cosy Club in Surrey with Guildford site: Cafe bar brand Loungers, which is backed by Lion Capital, has signed to bring its Cosy Club brand to Guildford. The company will open the site in June at Tunsgate Quarter, the new 80,000 square foot retail and leisure development in the town centre, after agreeing a deal with owner Queensbury. Loungers has taken a 7,935 square foot unit for its first Cosy Club in Surrey. The company already operates Lounges in the county. As well as the restaurant, the venue will have a private dining room and a feature balcony, overlooking Guildford High Street and the Clock Tower. Cosy Club managing director Amber Wood said: “We’re delighted to have signed at Tunsgate Quarter and can’t wait for the restaurant to open in June. Queensberry’s vision has really come to life now the centre is open and visitors can experience the fantastic space that has been created. Cosy Club will really add something new to the centre, complementing the food and beverage offer due to open over the coming weeks and months.” Cosy Club will join Vietnamese street food restaurant group Pho and a brasserie from The Ivy Collection at the development.
Stonegate lines up Yates’s site in Bangor: Stonegate Pub Company is lining up a site in Bangor in north west Wales for its Yates’s brand. The company has lodged plans with the city council to convert the former C & A Motors premises in Farrar Road. The application also includes alterations to the external elevations, demolition of two outbuildings and the creation of a car park. The former garage was originally for sale by auction in August last year with a guide price of £175,000, reports the Bangor Aye. In a tweet to the publication, Yates’s said: “We are putting a new Yates’s there hopefully. You saw it here first.” Stonegate operates more than 690 pubs split into two divisions – Branded (Slug and Lettuce, Yates’s, Walkabout, Common Room and Venues, which includes Popworld) and Traditional (Proper Pubs, Town Pub & Kitchen, and Classic Inns).
Curious Restaurants to open debut Jones Family Kitchen, in Belgravia: Curious Restaurants, which operates The Jones Family Project in Shoreditch, is to open its first Jones Family Kitchen site, in Belgravia. The company is opening in Eccleston Yards in May. The venue will have 90 covers inside as well as a 60-cover terrace. Signature steak dishes and the truffled macaroni cheese will make the journey from Shoreditch to Belgravia while there will be new additions to the lunch menu such as seared scallops with cauliflower and wild garlic gremolata. The wine list will have more than 25 by the glass, sourced from places such as Lebanon and the slopes of Mount Etna. There will also be barrel-aged cocktails and a range of gin ‘n’ tonics. Developed by Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, Eccleston Yards, which will also be home to Tart London’s debut restaurant, Eccleston Place, is a new destination for creative enterprise and co-working with 19 units for food, fashion, retail, co-working and well-being. Curious Restaurants co-founder Duncan Watts said: “We are thrilled to be part of the regeneration of this historic area and to be part of Grosvenor’s vision for a destination which showcases and champions creative, independent talent.” Last year, Curious Restaurants launched a £600,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to open its first two Jones Family Kitchen sites. It ended the campaign after realising it would not secure the investment it was looking for but said at the time it would still open the first site as the funds were in place to do so.
Icestone Gelato signs for St Helens site, 17th in total: Dessert restaurant operator Icestone Gelato has agreed a deal for a site in St Helens, Merseyside, for its 17th site. The company will occupy the ground floor and basement levels of the former Tyrers department store, which is undergoing a £1m refurbishment for mixed use. Icestone Gelato has agreed the 4,200 square foot space, which will open in May with capacity for 150 customers. The company makes its own fresh gelato every day and serves a selection of waffles, cookie dough, crepes, fondue, profiteroles, cheesecakes alongside milkshakes, smoothies and mocktails. The menu also has a “back to school” section that features traditional hot dinner-style school puddings with custard. Operations director Paul Nicholson told Your Move: “Icestone Gelato is the fastest growing dessert chain in the north, so its arrival in St Helens is a real scoop. It strengthens the town centre’s offer considerably while also creating a number of new jobs for the town.” Icestone Gelato has 16 sites across the north and Midlands.
Three Michelin-starred chef Heinz Beck to open debut UK site: Heinz Beck, who operates three Michelin-starred restaurant La Pergola in Rome, is to open his debut UK site. Beck is launching Beck at Brown’s at Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair in the space previously occupied by Mark Hix. The Italian casual dining restaurant, which opens on Monday, 16 April, will have its own separate entrance in Albemarle Street. Dishes will take inspiration from all parts of Italy, but will use British produce and feature Burrata di Andria with marinated courgette, and red mullet “sandwich” with black olive and tarragon., reports Hot Dinners. Beck previously operated a six-week pop-up in the space in the run up to Christmas.
Fever-Tree co-founder to sell 1.5 million shares: Charles Rolls, co-founder and non-executive deputy chairman of Fever-Tree, the world’s leading supplier of premium carbonated mixers, has revealed plans to sell 1.5 million shares in the company. Rolls intends to sell the shares via an accelerated bookbuild placing to institutional investors, representing about 1.3% of the issued share capital of Fever-Tree. If all the shares are sold, Rolls would have 11,427,505 ordinary shares in the company, representing about 9.9% of the company’s issued share capital. The placing is being managed by Investec Bank. Fever-Tree is not a party to the placing and will not receive any proceeds.
D&D London to open second Bluebird site, at former BBC home next month: Restaurant operator D&D London is to start expansion of its Bluebird brand in April by opening a second site, at the Television Centre development in White City. Bluebird has been a popular restaurant in Chelsea’s King’s Road for the past 20 years, with the opening at the former home of the BBC the first of a planned expansion of Bluebird cafes, including one in New York. The 5,000 square foot site will include a cafe, bar, deli and outdoor terrace. The interior will incorporate a mix of British styling from the 1960s and “modern Bluebird Chelsea glamour”. The artwork will include pieces by young British artists as well as designs inspired by Bridget Riley and Celia Birtwell. The modern European menu will include dishes such as Calabrian nduja crusted yellow fin tuna with grilled onion and green sauce, and crispy Goosnargh duck and watercress salad. The venue will join other brands at the development including Indian small plates concept Kricket, pizza company Homeslice and better burger brand Patty & Bun, alongside a Soho House members’ club, hotel and an Electric cinema. D&D London was founded by Des Gunewardena and David Loewi in 2006 following a buyout of Conran Restaurants.
Lunya eyes former Costa Coffee site for second Liverpool restaurant: Liverpool-based Lunya, the family-owned Catalunyan restaurant bar and deli, has lodged plans for its second site in the city. The company, which launched in 2010, has submitted plans to the city council to launch Lunya Lita at Albert Dock in a former Whitbread-owned Costa Coffee unit. Lunya Lita would cover the coffee shop on the ground floor as well as former office space on the mezzanine level above, reports Your Move. Founded by Peter and Elaine Kinsella, Lunya is the couple’s homage to Catalunya and Spain. According to its website, it’s the UK’s largest online Spanish deli with more than 1,300 products. Originally based in College Lane, the restaurant, bar and deli relocated to a larger unit at Liverpool ONE in October last year, replacing a former Busaba Eathai restaurant. Lunya’s new home allowed it to expand its deli and hold more food and wine-tasting evenings.
Searcys puts sustainability at heart of business with new pledges: Searcys is putting sustainability at the heart of its business with a series of new pledges. The company said having introduced a new waste management system at the end of 2017, it was confident it could reduce its food waste by 20% by early 2019. Together with its parent company WSH, Searcys has pledged to procure 100% of its directly purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2020. By the end of this month, Searcys will have eliminated the use of plastic straws across all their venues and events. It has also pledged to work with British farmers to ensure up to 90% of all seasonal fruit and vegetables used in its menus is grown in the UK. Managing director Matthew Thomas said: “Creating a sustainable business is one of today’s greatest challenges, but it is essential to doing business the right way in today’s market. It is something we are all responsible for and we hope the implementation of our pledges will not only show our dedication, but encourage others in the sector to do the same.”
M&B reopens Northampton pub under new model following £500,000 refurbishment: Mitchells & Butlers has reopened a pub in Northampton town centre under a new model following a £500,000 refurbishment. The company has revamped the former Fox & Quill in St Giles Street and relaunched it as The Optimist. The new food menu features stone-baked pizzas, 21-day aged steaks, “low and slow” meat and rib options, as well as mix and match tapas. Drinks feature a selection of craft beers, ales and ciders. Live sport is shown and there are regular entertainment nights. General manager Gareth Smith said: “It’s been fantastic seeing the pub come together over the past couple of weeks. There have been some big changes and we’re confident they’ll go down well.”
Fledgling north east operator eyes expansion following launch of Durham venture: Fledgling north east-based Ouseburn Leisure Group is looking to add more real ale venues in the region following the launch of its first venture. The group is behind The Waiting Room, a micro-pub in Durham railway station, which gave purpose to the derelict grade II-listed former ladies’ first-class waiting room, dating to 1872. The venue was refurbished with a six-figure investment – including a significant grant from the Railway Heritage Trust. Now the group is eyeing expansion, with a number of new potential sites in the north east under consideration for its next venue. Graeme Robinson, managing director of Ouseburn Leisure Group, left his job as head of facilities at the University of Sunderland to establish his new venture, and is looking to press on with growing his new brand. He told BDaily: “The decision to open The Waiting Room was something totally new for me – I had reached a crossroads in my life and decided I wanted to start my own business. I have always had a passion for real ale, but beyond that probably didn’t really appreciate the full extent of what I was getting into, given that I didn’t have a background in leisure. However, since we opened, we have totally smashed our targets.”
Lincoln Travelodge sells for £13m: A new Travelodge hotel in Lincoln city centre has been sold to the council for £13m. York-based development company S Harrison sold the hotel, which will be operated by Travelodge on a 25-year lease. The Lincoln Travelodge, which is due to open later this year, is in Tentercroft Street. It includes 127 bedrooms and “super rooms”, 60 of which are doubles and 61 of which are family rooms. After 25 years, Travelodge will also have the option to extend the lease for a further 25 years. S Harrison development director David Clancy told Insider Media: “This year-long construction programme to create a much-needed new hotel in Lincoln city centre is the fifth hotel we have completed in recent years, and there are a similar number already in our development pipeline.” The council has said it will use the returns from the investment to maintain key services.
Young’s completes refurbishment of rooms at Wandsworth pub: London pub retailer Young’s has completed the refurbishments of its bedrooms at The Brewers Inn in Wandsworth. Following the refurbishment of the pub in 2015, the bedrooms have now been transformed into 16 boutique-style rooms. The rooms have been updated to reflect the history and heritage of the pub. There are 11 boutique doubles, three boutique twins and two feature rooms complete with their own sofa beds. Each room has a colour palette of blues, greens and creams with natural wood and vibrant furniture and soft furnishings. Young’s product marketing manager Tom Elliott-Frey said: “We are committed to developing and investing in our hotel estate and are delighted The Brewers Inn can now offer, alongside our other properties, a boutique hotel experience.”
Odeon chooses Manchester’s 8 First Street scheme for new premises: Cinema operator Odeon is set to take 26,000 square feet of office space at 8 First Street, a 170,000 square foot grade A office development in Manchester city centre. Odeon will relocate from Churchgate and Lee House, a grade II-listed building owned by Helical in Oxford Street. Energy company GazProm has agreed a pre-let to take the top two floors totalling 64,000 square feet and engineering consultancy WSP is in negotiations to take a further two floors. Work on the building stalled at the start of the year when Carillion, the contractor appointed to the scheme, went into liquidation. The scheme is now expected to be completed in the next two months, reports Property Week. Patrizia UK formed a joint venture with Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund to forward-fund the construction of the building. Ask Real Estate is development manager for the scheme.