Redcomb Pubs launches casual dining venture Lockhouse: Redcomb Pubs, led by Dan Shotton, has launched its new casual dining venture – Lockhouse –at the heart of the Paddington Basin redevelopment in London. The company has opened the site on the ground floor of waterside development 3 Merchants Square. Redcomb has invested more than £1.3m developing the 3,700 square foot site to create a “casual, all-day dining and bar offering”. The venue has a 180-cover bar, restaurant and mezzanine, with an extended 70-cover exterior dining space. It features a polished concrete bar, distressed leather seating, a graffiti wall depicting the local area and a large, theatrical, open working kitchen. The menu, developed by executive head chef Chris Spencer, features street food-inspired dishes, burgers, freshly made sandwiches and pastries, as well as a selection of puddings with a Lockhouse twist, alongside craft beer, cocktails, fine wine and premium roasted coffee. Shotton said: “The opening of Lockhouse marks the start of an exciting new chapter for Redcomb and our already strong portfolio of hospitality businesses as we expand into the burgeoning casual dining sector. The concept has been close to a year in development and we are delighted to be able to bring this new fast-casual dining brand to market. It’s a simple offering centring on great beer and equally great burgers, underpinned with great hospitality, a mantra that runs deep at the heart of all Redcomb sites. We look forward to introducing Lockhouse to Paddington and will continue to explore new areas of growth for the brand in the future to further develop our business.” Redcomb has 16 pubs across London and surrounding counties in its portfolio having acquired The Old Manor in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, in November.
Cinnamon Collection launches Bazaar concept with Covent Garden opening: The Cinnamon Collection, which was acquired by Boparan Restaurants earlier this year, has launched its new concept Cinnamon Bazaar. The concept offers an “accessible and relaxed all-day concept, serving modern Indian food with global influences”. The 90-cover, 3,100 square foot restaurant is in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden. It spans two floors and has a much larger bar operation than its sister restaurants The Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Kitchen and Cinnamon Soho. It includes a feature bar on the ground floor and a 30-cover private dining room on the first floor. The restaurant is adorned in royal hues of brass, deep blue and fresh greens. Organic, natural materials, reflective of historical India, feature throughout the dining rooms alongside painted walls, Indian patterned wallpapers and hanging lanterns. Dishes such as Chicken Haleem feature alongside executive chef and chief executive Vivek Singh’s quirky take on afternoon tea – High Chai. The bar offers infused cocktails with a focus on gin and botanicals alongside non-alcoholic options such as lassis. The Cinnamon Collection previously said it has ambitious plans to roll-out the Cinnamon Kitchen and Cinnamon Bazaar brands in London and the south east.
Papa John’s franchisees launch fifth Welsh site: School friends turned franchisees John O’Brien and brothers Clif and Dale Roberson have opened their fifth Papa John’s site in Wales, this time in Barry. The team also runs Papa John’s sites in Pontypridd, Cwmbran, Caerphilly and Merthyr Tydfil. Clif Roberson said: “We all have a personal connection with the region as it’s where we enjoyed our holidays when growing up. It’s great to be back – we can market to a whole new customer base. From a financial point of view we have been able to take advantage of Papa John’s special incentive scheme for franchisees, which gave us help with marketing plus some free equipment. We have already employed 15 local people and are recruiting for more.” Papa John’s was founded in the US in 1984 and there are almost 350 stores in the UK, with more than 4,900 stores in 40-plus international markets and territories.
Albion and East Group launches debut bar aimed at London’s millennials: Albion and East Group, formerly known as Ruth & Robinson, has opened its first bar – Martello Hall – in Hackney, aimed at the “millennial working generation”. The Imbiba Partnership-backed pubco, led by Sarah Weir, has launched the cocktail bar and “banquet hall of reclaimed decadence” in Mare Street. The venue offers coffee and hot-desking by day, cocktails and pizza by night, an Italian feast for weekend brunch, and takeaway pizza and coffee through The Hatch. Martello Hall is set over three floors, with the bar offering 12 wines on tap, the largest selection of wine on tap in the UK. An on-site gin distillery has also been set up to produce small batches of Martello Gin, while limoncello, syrups, sherbets and cordials are made on-site. Martello Hall also offers cocktails, barrel-aged whiskey and a range of miniatures. A late licence allows DJs and live bands to perform from 9pm to 3am at weekends, with day passes and monthly membership available for remote workers to access hot-desking space and bottomless coffee. The food menu focuses on good-quality simple food with everything made from scratch on-site and cooked on a wood-fired oven and charcoal grill. Weir said: “We try to source as much as possible from Hackney and east London. That can be anything from our beer and charcuterie to live entertainment.”
Deliveroo to roll-out 150 Roobox kitchens across the UK: Deliveroo is gearing up for a massive roll-out of its Roobox stand-alone kitchens to meet soaring demand for takeaway orders from upmarket local restaurants, according to documents seen by the Sunday Telegraph. The food delivery firm is negotiating with property agents to launch 150 bricks and mortar sites across the country by the end of 2017. Roobox was launched earlier this year to help smaller restaurants expand and to alleviate demand on others struggling with a flood of takeaway orders while having to accommodate the needs of diners. The company plans to take the number of Roobox sites from three to 20 by the end of this year. It is understood Deliveroo is in talks with a number of chains, including Wagamama and Mexican restaurant brand Wahaca. The new kitchens could heap pressure on rivals Uber Eats and Just Eat as Deliveroo is aiming to fulfil orders within 30 minutes. Founded three years ago by former investment banker William Shu, Deliveroo raised £208m in August, which gave it the highly feted “unicorn” valuation of $1bn. It has expanded to 100 cities across 12 countries since its launch in 2013 and employs about 20,000 contract delivery staff. UK and Ireland managing director Dan Warne said: “Bespoke, delivery-only kitchens are the perfect example of innovation at Deliveroo – it lets our restaurant partners scale to new sites at low risk, while creating amazing new choices for customers.”
Canadian private equity firm acquires Parkdean Resorts for £1.35bn: Parkdean Resorts has been acquired by Canadian private equity house Onex for £1.35bn amid rising demand for UK-based “staycations” driven by the fall in sterling. Parkdean Resorts owners Alchemy and Epiris, formerly Electra, shelved plans to pursue a stock market flotation after a number of London listings were cancelled in October. Toronto-based Onex plans to invest about £600m in Parkdean Resorts, which operates 73 holiday parks and attracts 1.8 million visitors a year, to fund expansion. Onex said it would grow Parkdean’s UK holiday offering through organic growth and acquisition. Parkdean Resorts chief executive John Waterworth told The Sunday Telegraph: “This is an exciting opportunity for Parkdean Resorts. We look forward to working with Onex to further enhance our parks and leisure facilities during our next phase of growth.” Parkdean’s owners hired investment bank Rothschild to run an auction in August. It is chaired by Alan Parker, the former Whitbread chief executive, who now chairs Mothercare, and made an underlying profit of about £90m last year.
Gary Neville confirms lease deal to open Manchester Mahiki club in spring: Gary Neville, who co-owns GG Hospitality with fellow former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs and Singaporean backer Peter Lim, has confirmed he will bring the popular Mahiki nightclub franchise to Manchester in the spring. GG Hospitality has signed a 20-year lease on a site in the city’s Albert Estate business community. Mahiki will be housed in a 4,437 square foot space as part of the estate’s expansion scheme, which has been boosted with a £28m investment from landlord LJ Partnership. The Polynesian and tiki-themed London venue is a favoured nightspot of celebrities and was launched in 2005 by Piers Adam, David Phelps and Nick House, with a Dubai branch opening in 2011. GG Hospitality’s venture will be the third in the chain. Neville told the North-West Evening Mail: “Mahiki already has fantastic venues in world-class cities so we are delighted to bring a club of this calibre to Manchester in a great location.” GG Hospitality will open a Cafe Football site in Singapore next year as part of its Far East expansion plans. Cafe Football has branches in London and Manchester and more sites are planned for China, Thailand and India. GG Hospitality also operates a hotel close to Manchester United’s Old Trafford football ground, with a second site planned for the city’s old stock exchange. Neville and Giggs are also set to open a trio of Manchester restaurants with Michelin-starred chef Michael O’Hare.
Cornwall-based Rebel Brewing Co goes into administration: Cornwall-based Rebel Brewing Co has gone into administration after six years in business. Rob Lowe, who founded the company with Henry Austwick in 2010, told Propel he is hoping a buyer will be found to keep the brand alive. Chris Parkman and Alessandro Sidoli have been appointed as joint administrators. They said: “Brewhouse Brewery trading as Rebel Brewing Co has been placed into administration. The administrators of the company are looking to sell the whole business as a going concern.” Rebel Brewing Co’s shop in Penryn will remain open until Wednesday (21 December) with a 10% discount on all stock. It will also continue delivering beer to pubs, restaurants and shops until that date.
Michelin-trained chef to run food offer at Sunderland’s Dun Cow: David Gill, who owns Sunderland restaurant Juniper’s Pantry at The Cavalier, will run the food offer at the Dun Cow pub in the city following the venue’s acquisition by Pub Culture from Camerons Brewery earlier this month. Gill, who will replace barbecue smokehouse brand Longhorns at the city centre venue, worked at Marco Pierre White’s Canteen in Chelsea and two-Michelin starred Hotel Eden in Rome. Camerons will continue to provide beer for the Dun Cow, which won two CAMRA National Pub Design Awards under its management and is seen as a key element of the music, arts and culture quarter being created as part of Sunderland’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2021. Gill told the Sunderland Echo: “The Chop House at the Dun Cow is going to be predominantly a steakhouse with other locally sourced meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes. We will offer classic-style pub food and bar snacks such as sausage rolls, scotch eggs and pork pies. We’ll also be doing Sunday lunches and provide an a la carte menu. This is a new and exciting venture for us and we’re confident of bringing the success we’ve had at The Cavalier to what has quickly become one of the city’s most well-respected pubs.”
Coyote Ugly opens first UK site, in Cardiff: Coyote Ugly, the Western-themed bar that inspired a Hollywood movie, has opened its first UK site – in Cardiff. The 900-capacity venue in St Mary Street is at a site formerly occupied by The Square nightclub and is operated by Steve Lewis, who runs two bars – Jack Murphy’s and The Adelphi – in Swansea and signed a franchise agreement with Coyote Ugly earlier this year. The venue features a craft beer bar with 24 different types of draught beer and also offers American barbecue food. It has a VIP section and booths, while a television screen covers the entire back wall showing live sport. There is also a live music stage and bucking bronco. Coyote Ugly founder Liliana “Lil” Lovell told Wales Online: “We are so excited to be in Wales and bringing all of the fun of Coyote Ugly here. Wales already has got lots of fun but this will bring lots more. We are here because Coyote Ugly is so famous at this point and because the Welsh people actually wanted us here.” Coyote Ugly currently has 21 sites in four countries – the US, Russia, Ukraine and Germany.
Cote to open Weybridge brasserie: Cote Restaurants, which is owned by private equity firm BC Partners, will open a French brasserie in Weybridge, Surrey, in early February. The new restaurant in Church Street will join the company’s other Surrey branches, which include Cobham, Guildford, Woking, Farnham and its most recent opening in the county, Godalming. The company also opened a venue in Guildford last week for its American-style food brand Jackson & Rye, the first site for the concept outside London. A Cote spokesman told Get Surrey: “We are currently working on-site and looking forward to opening in early February. We will be serving our a la carte menu, a weekday lunch and early evening menu and a specials menu, the latter two will change at the beginning of each month to make the most of seasonal ingredients.” Earlier this month, the company submitted a planning application to Shropshire Council to open a venue in Shrewsbury town centre. Cote currently operates 80 sites in the UK.
Chipotle names four new board members including former McDonald’s chief financial officer: Chipotle Mexican Grill has named four new board members in an agreement with Pershing Square Capital Management that gives the activist investor and its chief executive, Bill Ackman, substantial influence over the future of the company. Chipotle named Paul Cappuccio, general counsel at Time Warner; Robin Hickenlooper, senior vice-president of corporate development at Liberty Global; Ali Namvar, partner with Pershing Square; and Matthew Paull, former chief financial officer at McDonald’s. The new directors will make up one-third of the 12-person board. Chipotle chief executive Steve Ells said: “Chipotle has enjoyed extraordinary success for most of our 23-year history, and it is important to us that we structure the company to enjoy similar success in the future. The addition of these new directors strengthens our board of directors and gives us the oversight, accountability and leadership we need as we continue our efforts to re-establish Chipotle as the leader we have been for much of our history.” The appointments came days after Monty Moran stepped down as co-chief executive and Ells took sole reins at the company he founded. A series of foodborne illness outbreaks last year dramatically hurt like-for-like sales at the company, which has struggled to lure back customers ever since despite numerous efforts. Pershing Square and Ackman stepped in this summer and own nearly 10% of the company’s shares, and at an investor meeting last week Ells promised a shake-up. Ackman said. “We look forward to working with the board and management to create sustained value for all shareholders for many years to come.”
Rosa’s Thai founders launch permanent site for Lao Café concept: Rosa’s Thai Cafe founders Alex and Saiphin Moore have launched a permanent home for their Lao Café concept, in central London. Following a Pimlico pop-up last year, Lao Café has opened in Chandos Place, near Covent Garden. Born to a native Lao family in Thailand’s Phetchabun province, Saiphin Moore has drawn on her upbringing to offer a range of traditional Lao salads, curries and char-grilled dishes at the new restaurant. She said: “These recipes have been in my family as long as I can remember. This restaurant will celebrate my love for Laotian cuisine, with every dish reflecting a specific memory from growing up in the countryside – from cooking meat over a charcoal grill to mixing salads with a wooden pestle and mortar.” The 60-cover venue is spread across two floors and has been designed in collaboration with agency Rebel Hospitality. The centrepiece is a mural based on an old family photograph from Moore’s childhood as interpreted by London-based graffiti artist Mr Cenz. The Moores founded Rosa’s Thai Cafe in Brick Lane in 2006. In July, the company secured a site in Brixton for its eighth venue.
BrewDog passes halfway mark in £10m mini-bond raise: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has passed the halfway mark in its £10m mini-bond campaign on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. The mini-bond will pay 7.5% interest per annum over four years, with the move funding the company’s further expansion. The minimum investment for the BrewDog Bond was £500 – and it will be paying out the return bi-annually. In total, 1,641 investors have pledged £ 5,173,500 with 29 days remaining. The pitch stated: “BrewDog has retained a strong financial record in its first nine years of trading. The company has been profitable every year since 2008, and reported UK sales growth of 131% in 2015. Over the past five years, the craft brewery’s average annual operating profit growth has been 109%, and the projected turnover for 2016 is set to reach in excess of £70m. The BrewDog Bond will help us to expand into more international markets, as well as invest in the Aberdeenshire brewery to help keep up with ever-increasing demand from European markets. BrewDog will also be investing in its new American facility in Columbus Ohio, harnessing the burgeoning US craft beer market. BrewDog’s growing bar division will also benefit from this raise, as it continues to offer more people the opportunity to explore amazing craft beer in more cities around the globe. BrewDog is one of the world’s most successful crowdfunded businesses. Since launching the first ever round of Equity for Punks in 2009, BrewDog has accrued a 50,000-strong army of craft beer crusaders, who have collectively invested more than £26m to date. Having such an engaged community means BrewDog has not only generated significant investment for the business, but has also fostered a community of people who care about its future.” The company added: “We will dispatch to bondholders an exclusive BrewDog ID card that can be used to secure a 10% discount in all BrewDog bars, whether in the UK or overseas. Plus the cardholder will receive a free beer on their birthday, on us, and £10 of BrewDog beer bucks to redeem in one of our bars. Each and every BrewDog Bondholder will also receive a discount on their online purchases of 20%!” It is the second time BrewDog has launched a mini-bond on Crowdcube, with its first in September last year raising nearly £2.5m.
Rockfish opens Exmouth restaurant, fifth site: Rockfish, the seafood restaurant group founded and run by restaurateurs Mitch Tonks and Mat Prowse, has opened its Exmouth site. The new venue is on the seafront next to the marina, keeping true to the Rockfish values of siting its restaurants close to a town’s fishing activity. The other Rockfish sites are in Brixham, Plymouth, Torquay and Dartmouth. Tonks told the Express & Echo: “I am really excited about being in Exmouth, it is another of the places I holidayed as a child. I think Exmouth is the perfect location for a fish restaurant and we look forward to making the restaurant a big part of the community, drawing more visitors to the town.” Rockfish recently appointed Hawksmoor Group co-founder and chief executive Will Beckett to the role of non-executive chairman. Beckett was part of a private group that supported the business in a fund-raise in 2014 alongside other food and restaurant industry leaders John Barnes, Steve Leadbeater (chief financial officer at Two Sisters group) and Henry Dimbleby (Leon, Street Feast/London Union). The investor group also included food critic Giles Coren, who became a fan after eating at The Seahorse in Dartmouth, Tonks’ seafood institution that regularly features among the best restaurants in the UK.
Cornish boutique hotel on market for £1.5m: The Cormorant Hotel in Cornwall has been brought to market by agent Savills on behalf of a private client at a guide price of £1.5m. The 14-bedroom, boutique hotel is two miles from Fowey, near St Austell, with all rooms, the restaurant and public areas overlooking the River Fowey. The hotel also has a lounge with seating for 20 and a cocktail bar, while a separate building houses a swimming pool and Jacuzzi with external sun deck. Savills head of UK hotel transactions Martin Rogers said: “The Cormorant Hotel’s location is exceptional, with the property geared towards making the most of the views across the estuary. The current owner has run the business very successfully for the past nine years and now wishes to retire. The property has great potential for development.”
Innis & Gunn wins trio of awards at World Beer Championships: Scottish brewer and retailer Innis & Gunn has won a trio of awards at the World Beer Championships in the US. The independent brewer’s Rum Finish was awarded a gold medal, its Original received a silver medal and its Bourbon Dark Ale a bronze. The World Beer Championships is America’s oldest annual international beer competition. It is a blind tasting, medal-based competition that awards based on a 100-point scale. The Rum Finish scored 92 points, while Original was awarded 87 points and Bourbon Dark Ale 81 points. The awards follow on from gold and bronze medal wins for Innis & Gunn’s Bourbon Cask Dark Ale and Rum Aged at the US Open Beer Championship in July this year. Earlier this month, Innis & Gunn completed a campaign on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube where it raised nearly £2.5m to fund the roll-out its The Beer Kitchen brand.