Tom Aikens to launch two new sites: Tom’s Kitchen, the group of restaurants and delis founded by chef Tom Aikens, is to launch Tom’s Kitchen in Birmingham as well as a first international deli at Dubai Parks and Resorts, Riverland. Tom’s Kitchen Birmingham will open in December, as a restaurant, bar and deli located at The Mailbox, with the design overseen by B3 designers. It is the first UK Tom’s Kitchen venture outside London. Aikens said: “Birmingham is a vibrant and bustling city with a thriving food scene. There is already a wonderful array of restaurants in the city, and I believe Tom’s Kitchen will offer an exciting new option for diners in The Mailbox development.” Simon Samuels, partner at Brockton Capital, said: “We’re hugely excited to welcome Tom’s Kitchen to the Mailbox later this year. The Mailbox is home to a number of ‘firsts’ and, being the first venture for Tom Aikens outside London, this latest opening is no exception.” Tom’s Kitchen will also launch its first deli outside the UK – at Dubai Parks and Resorts, Riverland. In keeping with the Dubai Parks location, the deli will offer a “fun, stylish design and lively atmosphere, incorporating an abundance of colours and materials that have been inspired by the Riverland resort, resulting in a unique and exciting concept which differs from the existing delis”. Tom’s Kitchen Deli Dubai is set to launch on Saturday, 1 October.
PizzaExpress to launch first restaurant in Singapore this month: PizzaExpress will launch its first restaurant in Singapore this month. The venue will open at Scotts Square Basement 1 on Friday, 29 July. The head chef will be Fey Foo Yung Wei, 36, who started working in the foodservice sector aged only 14. Continually rising up the industry ladder, he has prepared dishes for Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong and local celebrities. PizzaExpress has circa 460 sites in the UK, as well as venues in mainland Europe, Hong Kong and the Middle East. Private equity firm Cinven sold PizzaExpress for £900m to Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital two years ago. In October, PizzaExpress reported it had passed through the Ebitda barrier of £100m for the first time. The group reported a 9.5% increase in turnover to £427.7m, with like-for-like UK sales up by 5.6% for the year ended 28 June 2015. Ebitda increased by 12.9% to £100.2m.
Casual Dining Group hires Célia Pronto as chief digital officer: Casual Dining Group (CDG), which operates Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Las Iguanas, has appointed Célia Pronto to the newly-created role of chief digital officer. A highly experienced change specialist, Pronto joins CDG from Ford Retail Group, where she was marketing and e-commerce director. In addition, during a consumer-focused business career that spans 20 years, Pronto has held senior positions at a host of blue-chip companies, including InterContinental Hotels Group, Rank Group, STA Travel, and Unilever. CDG chief executive Steve Richards said: “We are delighted to have secured an individual of Célia’s calibre and experience to this new role. The board has given Célia a mandate to define and deliver a strategy that will establish CDG as the clear leader for integrated digital technologies in leisure and hospitality. This work will deliver competitive advantage to the group, enhanced communication and cohesion to our teams, and best-in-class experiences for our guests.” Born in Mozambique, educated in South Africa, and a founding member and mentor of London’s Two Percent club, Pronto said: “I’ll be looking to translate innovative digital trends and ideas into tangible products and processes for the group, and each of our businesses, as we drive digital adoption and change across both business functions and guest touch points. It’s an exciting, challenging brief, and one I’m already enjoying immensely.”
Know Hospitality opens £1m bar, restaurant and event space in Liverpool city centre: Liverpool-based Know Hospitality, founded by Steven Hesketh, has opened a £1m bar, restaurant and event space in the city centre, creating 60 jobs. District House, which is in Water Street on the former site of Asian fusion restaurant Amanzi, has capacity for up to 600 people as an event space or 350 diners across a restaurant, cocktail lounge and private mezzanine. Hesketh told BDaily: “We’re immensely proud of this new venue, which has brought a beautiful space back to life. District House is unique in its offering for this part of the city and we have been overwhelmed by the support shown by local businesses and guests during our soft launch.” Established in 2013, Know Hospitality has a turnover in excess of £6m and employs more than 120 staff. Know’s portfolio also includes The Richmond Aparthotel and coffee shop Ameriesko, all in Liverpool. Know Hospitality director Andy Duckworth added: “This is the start of an exciting period of growth for Know, and we hope to bring several new concepts to the city during the coming months.”
Killer Tomato to launch cashless permanent restaurant in Shepherd’s Bush next week: Former street food trader Killer Tomato, founded by Matt Paice, will launch a permanent site in Shepherd’s Bush next week. The 35-cover restaurant in Goldhawk Road will be cashless, instead using iZettle paired with Lightspeed EPOS. Dishes will focus on Killer Tomato’s trademark burritos, with unique hot sauces and a rotating menu of tacos. The compact drinks menu will feature canned beer, four wines by the glass, three cocktails, and a short list of tequila and mezcal. The restaurant will open for a soft launch on Friday, 22 July, with the formal opening on Wednesday, 3 August. It will operate a no-reservations policy and open from midday until late, Wednesday to Sunday. Killer Tomato has traded at many London markets, including Street Feast at Dalston Yard and Model Market. Metro newspaper branded its burrito the “best in London”, while the company won the “tastiest startup” category at Virgin FoodFest in 2014. Financing for the deal was arranged through GSM Finance, combined with friends and family investment under SEIS. The agent acting for the landlord was Andrew Simons at SPC. Paice acted for himself. Legals were from Lisa Inzani at Poppleston Allen (licensing), and Leigh Rawlins at Bracher Rawlins (property).
Liverpool restaurateur to open Asian restaurant in Southport hotel: Paul Adams, who operates a number of venues in and around Liverpool, will open an Asian restaurant in September at his hotel – The Vincent in Southport. The new Vincent Pacific restaurant will open in September at the hotel in Lord Street, which also houses the award-winning V Café. The new restaurant will offer an affordable menu, with dishes such as chicken and pork dim sum, miso black cod, and seared wagyu beef. Adams told the Southport Visiter: “I have a particular passion for Pacific Rim food and, after many months of menu testing with our chefs, I am excited we have created a menu which we hope will be well received by our diners.” In June last year, Adams opened The Vincent Cafe with co-owner and former Liverpool and England footballer Steven Gerrard. The 190-cover, all-day dining restaurant is in Exchange Flags in the heart of Liverpool’s city centre business district, offering a mix of British and international dishes.
Telepizza eyes 300 UK stores: Telepizza, the Madrid-based pizza restaurant brand, is gearing up to open 300 sites in the UK within ten years, with Karali Ventures as its first key master franchisee. Telepizza, perhaps the largest non US-based pizza delivery company in the world (based on number of stores), foresees opening at least 300 stores with between 20 and 30 franchisees, and hopes to develop 30 regional markets in the UK during the next ten years. Currently, Telepizza has 1,311 restaurants in 15 countries in Europe, Latin America and the Middle East – 850 outlets are franchised.
Revolution Bars Group names Jimmy Del Giudice as chief operating officer: Revolution Bars Group has promoted Jimmy Del Giudice to the role of chief operating officer for Revolution Bars Group. Chief executive Mark McQuater said: “Jimmy has made a brilliant and inspiring contribution in the 25 years he has been in our business. This appointment recognises the high level of professionalism, the extent of his current day-to-day operational role, and the success Jimmy has achieved in the operational management of Revolution, particularly in the past three years. This is a remarkable achievement in one business.
Nando’s teams up with Example and Little Simz for Music Exchange project: Nando’s has teamed up with UK rappers Example and Little Simz, and South African artist Toya Delazy for its Nando’s Music Exchange initiative. The project, which launched last year, mentors young musicians from the UK and South Africa via workshops and collaborative recording sessions at Camden’s Roundhouse studios. Twenty aspiring young musicians from the Roundhouse studios, which provide space for young people to compose and record music at subsidised rates, will collaborate with five students from the Campus of Performing Arts in South Africa. Nando’s sponsors a studio at the Roundhouse, which young members can access at any time. Nando’s head of music Keri Perkins said: “Music is at the heart of Nando’s and we’re proud to continue supporting artists through Nando’s Music Exchange. Our South African heritage is really important to us, so bringing over South African students felt like a natural and exciting evolvement of our music programme, and highlights our commitment to continue growing it.”
Chicken, burger and shake concept Koop to open second Liverpool site: Chicken, burger and shake concept Koop will open a second site in Liverpool next month. The original Koop only opened in Bold Street this year but work is already under way on the new site in Aigburth in the south of the city. The New York-style restaurant will offer a sit-in, takeaway and delivery service. Koop offers a selection of buffalo-style chicken wings, made fresh to order and tossed in a choice of eight flavours. Wings are available in servings of five (two flavours), ten (two flavours) or 20 (four flavours). Rotisserie chicken is also on the menu, with a choice of three sauces, while sides range from peri-peri fries to hot jalapeno bites. There are also flame-grilled chicken and steak options, hand-breaded chicken fillets, vegetarian options, and homemade puddings. Freshly made shakes range from The Naughty Nutella to the protein-packed Go Nuts, which includes peanut butter, banana and ice cream. Koop co-owner Otto Mellouki told the Liverpool Echo: “We’ve been packed with customers saying they love our grilled chicken dishes, burgers, buffalo wings and especially our shakes, so it seemed only logical to open another restaurant to cater for those in south Liverpool.”
Foodstock and Kafoodle unite to launch UK’s first allergen-friendly food festival: Restaurant locator app Kafoodle has teamed up with the organisers of new London event Foodstock to create the UK’s first allergen-friendly food festival. At the first Foodstock, which takes place in Battersea Park on 30 and 31 July, Kafoodle will document and distribute allergy information to every festival-goer via its free app, which allows users to search for restaurants based on food allergies and dietary requirements. Kafoodle has added all the festival’s food outlets, including Fundi Pizza, Spice Box, YakiMaki Sushi Burritos, Hao Hao Chi, and Liberty Cheesesteak Co, to its app for the weekend. Visitors can download the free app and see all the dishes on offer and what they contain, from dairy and gluten to calories, making it easy to choose where to eat without the hassle of having to ask what each dish contains. Foodstock will feature food and drink producers from across south west London, including Sambrook’s Brewery, Boqueria, The Butcher and Grill, and Graveney Gin. There will be gourmet food, artisan stalls, a farmers’ market, creative cocktails, workshops, cooking demonstrations, tasting sessions and book signings.
Famous Brands eyes further UK growth: South Africa’s Famous Brands is planning further expansion in the UK for its Debonairs Pizza and Steers quick-service chains. The company is seeking increased revenue from currencies other than the South African rand, while reviewing its licensing agreement in the Middle East as growth in the region has slowed. The South African rand has weakened almost 30% against the US dollar in the past 12 months. The Johannesburg-based restaurant operator has had its best-ever year in the UK, with total sales up 31%. Prior to the UK’s Brexit vote, the company announced plans to add five more Wimpy outlets in the country this year and one Steers restaurant as part of a wider, 292-store opening plan across international and domestic markets. Famous Brands owns 25 restaurant chains, represented by a franchise network of 2,545 restaurants across South Africa, Africa, the UK and the Middle East.
Former Scottish & Newcastle executive becomes Useyourlocal.com chairman: Useyourlocal.com, the UK’s leading website for pubs, has appointed Willie Crawshay as chairman. Crawshay’s entire career has been spent in the beer, pub and cider industry with Scottish & Newcastle and Heineken UK, where he held numerous board-level roles, including managing director of Scottish & Newcastle’s Pubco, On Trade and Newcastle Breweries businesses. Useyourlocal.com lists every pub in Britain and currently attracts more than 400,000 visitors every month, connecting pubs, consumers and brands. Stuart Mills, founder and managing director of Useyourlocal.com, said: “I am delighted Willie has come on board as our chairman to help guide us through this exciting period of growth. He brings a lifetime of experience in the UK pub business and we have worked successfully together many times before over the years. Willie is already helping us develop new strategic partnerships and we are in early-stage conversations with new potential investors.” Crawshay added: “I am fantastically excited to be joining Useyourlocal.com. The business has made huge progress already and has enormous potential, which I am looking forward to help bring to fruition. It is fitting the business looks out over the site of the old Newcastle brewery, where we used to work, as we look to the future to help pubs thrive in the digital age.” The appointment follows Useyourlocal.com’s recent expansion into new premises in the i6 Business Centre in Charlotte Square, Newcastle. The business is also actively recruiting new employees in web development, customer services and digital marketing – all of whom are responsible for getting more people into pubs more often.
Plans submitted to convert one of Belfast Cathedral Quarter’s finest buildings into restaurant: Plans have been submitted to turn “one of the finest buildings” in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter into a restaurant. In April, Commercial Court Inns purchased a portfolio of four properties in the capital, one of which was 5-23 Hill Street. The buyer has applied to transform the vacant building into a restaurant. In a planning statement supporting the application, Commercial Court Inns said the property was “arguably one of the finest” in the Cathedral Quarter. However, the applicant said the potential for the building to have a publicly-oriented use were “more than compromised” by the “maze of relatively recently formed office compartments” and a “seemingly random arrangement of access stairways and ramps”. The proposed designs are set to resolve this. “While the designs submitted for planning approval essentially illustrate a shell ready for fit-out by a restaurateur-tenant, design studies have been conducted which show conversion to a restaurant can be made without any alterations to three of the facades including that facing Hill Street,” the planning statement read. “The purchase of these properties and the associated redevelopment proposals arguably represent one of the most effective, appropriate and comprehensive urban regeneration interventions experienced since the inception of the concept of the Cathedral Quarter.” No tenant has been earmarked for the restaurant.
Chef to launch ‘hyper-seasonal’ concept Jöro at Sheffield shipping container complex: Chef Matt Bigland, who operates a number of venues around Sheffield, will launch new “hyper-seasonal” restaurant Jöro in the city next month. The 40 to 50-cover restaurant will be part of the new Krynkl recycled shipping container complex in Shalesmoor. Bigland, whose businesses include gastro-pub The Milestone and artisan pizza and craft beer concept Craft & Dough, which has three sites in the city, has launched Jöro as a partnership with head chef Luke French and their other halves. Jöro – which means “earth” – will have a “hyper seasonal” focus, with dishes using ingredients grown or foraged nearby and changing with the seasons. Desserts will include sorrel and cream-cheese ice cream, and sweet apple, dill and apple meringue. The shipping containers will also house a separate rooftop bar run by the group. French told the Sheffield Telegraph: “It will be British cooking with a Nordic approach. The main menu will be tapas style so people can try everything. There will be 20 to 30 dishes, ranging from £5 to £25, so it will be accessible to everyone. We don’t want it to be just a special occasion restaurant, but also a neighbourhood destination as well.”
Fleurets offers Hotel Inspector hotel for £5.5m guide price: Agent Fleurets is marketing the Mansion Lions Hotel in Eastbourne, which featured on Channel 5’s The Hotel Inspector. The hotel is both a prominent and substantial property, boasting 108 bedrooms spread across six floors. Located on Eastbourne’s popular seafront, in a prime position between the bandstand and pier, Mansion Lions Hotel also includes the Devonshire Ballroom accommodating up to 150 covers, the 180-cover Harlington Restaurant, as well as a bar and lounge for 70 covers. Nick Earee, from Fleurets’ Brighton office, said: “Our client, Sheikh-Abid Gulzar, is slowly withdrawing from the hotel market to concentrate his efforts on restoring his latest acquisition, Eastbourne Pier, back to its former glory. A spacious private suite of eight offices on the lower ground floor provides opportunity for more letting rooms or others uses.” The freehold is available off a guide price of £5.5m, with strong accounts and proven profits.
Camerons opens ninth Head of Steam pub: Brewer and retailer Camerons has opened its ninth Head of Steam pub after converting a site in Old Town, Hull, which formerly housed gourmet burger restaurant The Purple Pig. Camerons has carried out an extensive internal refurbishment and external decoration at the listed property in King Street. Hull-based burger company KerbEdge is running the kitchen. Camerons chief executive Chris Soley said: “As we look to grow our Head of Steam brand nationwide, we will look for local new-start companies in the area to tender to run our kitchens. We were really impressed with the team from KerbEdge. They understood and were passionate about our business and, more importantly, their range of burgers were truly fantastic.” The Head of Steam brand specialises in craft, cask and world beers, speciality ciders and spirits, alongside regular live music. Before operating as The Purple Pig, the pub was known as the King’s Ale House. The seventh and eighth Head of Steam sites opened in April in Headlingley and Sheffield city centre. The tenth is due to open on Newcastle Quayside next month.
Rock ‘n’ roll chef transforms Enterprise pub: Sam Scott, who spent the past 15 years catering for performers such as Eric Clapton, Elton John, Jon Bon Jovi and The Beach Boys, has given up touring to become an Enterprise publican. Scott has turned The Swan in Kibworth, Leicestershire, into Scotts at The Swan. Her diverse menu, which includes a lunchtime tapas offering, has been inspired by her experience catering for bands from different cultural backgrounds. Everything from chutneys to sauces is homemade, with dishes including braised ox cheek, and coriander-roasted baby monkfish tail. She said: “I wanted to find a permanent property where I could focus on developing and innovating my food offer. When I saw the opportunity at The Swan, I jumped at it.” Enterprise regional manager Stefan Nycz added: “Sam had very little experience running a pub and managing a cellar, which goes to show if you have a strong vision for how a pub should be and the ability to make it happen, we can help train you.”
Remedy Cafe Bar brand looks to double up: Owners of Remedy Cafe Bar in Southport are looking to double up, this time in the nearby village of Churchtown. Sarah Simcock and Susannah Porter opened Remedy Cafe Bar in Lord Street last summer. Now they are getting ready to expand their business to a new premises in Botanic Road, Churchtown. Sarah Simcock said: “We’ve had lots of people beg us to find a location in Churchtown so it was just a case of finding the right location.” A planning application has been submitted to Sefton Council ahead of the pair’s plans to combine three empty units across Botanic Road and Manor Road. Remedy opened in the old Tourist Information Centre in Lord Street in July 2015, and the two businesswomen said they felt Churchtown would be an ideal location to recreate their stylish cafe that serves specialist coffees, homemade cakes and lunches, fine malt whiskeys and artisan gins.
Hammerson secures Le Pain Quotidien for Leeds site: Landlord Hammerson has secured Le Pain Quotidien to join the dining offer at its £165m Victoria Gate development in Leeds. This move to the north marks an important step for the brand outside London and into its first major regional city. Popular for its bakery and communal table-style dining, Le Pain Quotidien is set to open a 487 square metre unit split over two floors at the entrance to the Victoria Gate arcades. Serving its simple and elegant boulangerie fare, the new restaurant will be one of the company’s largest outside London and an all-important first for the brand in the north of England. Anchored by a flagship John Lewis, the new 53,400 square metre (575,000 square foot) Victoria Estate, which encompasses both the adjacent Victoria Quarter and Victoria Gate, will bring a new and vibrant mix of restaurants and retail brands to Leeds, including fine dining international restaurant group D&D as well as Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, GANT, Hackett, Anthropologie, and Cos. Robin Dobson, director of retail development at Hammerson, said: “Le Pain Quotidien is a fantastic brand to welcome to Victoria Gate and to Leeds. Like many of the brands already signed up to launch in the city, Le Pain Quotidien deciding to debut at Victoria Gate reinforces the appeal of the scheme as the north’s new leading luxury retail, leisure and dining destination when it opens later this year.” Peter Jenkins, managing director of Le Pain Quotidien, added: “We are very excited to be opening the first Le Pain Quotidien in the north of the UK. Leeds was an obvious choice as we continue with our UK expansion due to its wide regional and national appeal. The city continues to expand, both in its reputation as well as its food offering, and we can’t wait to share our seasonal, fresh and organic food with the local Leeds community and beyond.”