Veeno to open second Leeds site next month, tenth in total: Italian wine cafe Veeno will open its second site in Leeds – and tenth to date – next month. The company, led by Nino Caruso and Andrea Zecchino, will open the new venue in the Wellington Place development on Thursday, 8 December. The new cafe, which will seat 100 customers, follows the success of its first site in Leeds, which opened in July 2014. As well as wine, cocktails and Italian beers, there will be a food menu with platters of Italian meat, cheese and bread, and desserts. Veeno sources its wine from Caruso’s family vineyard in Marsala, Sicily. It has been growing vines there since the 19th century. Zecchino told BDaily: “We are looking forward to opening our second wine cafe in Leeds, especially in such a fast-growing area of the city. It will be a fantastic addition to our brand.” Veeno opened its first venue in Manchester in 2013 and also has sites in Bristol, Edinburgh, Harrogate, Liverpool, Nottingham and York. It has also been given the go-ahead for a cafe in Warrington. Last year, the company revealed it plans to expand to 80 sites by 2020.
Revolution Bars Group opens first Revolución de Cuba site in Scotland: Revolution Bars Group has opened a first site in Scotland under its Revolución de Cuba brand. The new venue in Aberdeen is at the Academy Shopping Centre, housed within a 5,200 square foot listed building, and is the 11th Revolución de Cuba site in total. With Cuban-inspired interiors, the 130-cover site includes an outdoor bandstand with 40 covers, a Havana bar and a live music stage. On Thursday (24 November), the group will open the next Revolución de Cuba, this time in Reading. The venue will be spread across two floors and feature a retractable roof, which will be used year-round to accommodate 40 additional covers with a heated terrace. Revolution Bars Group chief executive Mark McQuater said: “We’re incredibly excited to bring the Revolución de Cuba experience to Aberdeen. Our passion is to spread Cuba’s rich culture nationwide and we are pleased that vision continues to grow as we open more venues.”
Giggling Squid opens Warwick restaurant, 18th site: Thai brand Giggling Squid has opened its 18th site, this time in Warwick. The 120-cover restaurant offers lunchtime tapas through to curries, street food, salads, rice and noodles based on the sharing culture of Thailand. Like all Giggling Squid venues, the Warwick restaurant has its own character and charm, with open fireplaces shaping the centre of the restaurant and antique beams throughout. Wooden floors and exposed brickwork, combined with a variety of reclaimed mirrors, create a warm ambience. In keeping with the upcycled theme, the space showcases hand-made driftwood artwork and a hand-woven web of flowers made by Giggling Squid co-founder Pranee Laurillard. The downstairs room is decorated with trellises covered in foliage. Founded by Thai-born Pranee and husband Andrew, Giggling Squid opened its first site in Hove in 2009.
Manchester-based Damson Restaurant Group to start expanding new tapas bar concept with Didsbury site: Manchester-based Damson Restaurant Group is set to start expansion of its tapas bar concept La Cantina with a second site, in Didsbury. The company, owned by Steve Pilling and chef Simon Stanley, launched the concept in Heaton Moor in September after taking over the bar area at Damson. Now it has lodged a licensing application with Manchester City Council to open La Cantina in Wilmslow Road, inside the former Sanctuary unit. La Cantina offers tapas and a selection of Spanish gin, beer, wine and sherry. The rest of Damson in Heaton Moor is also set for a major revamp and rebrand in the new year following the closure of its MediaCity outpost in September. Pelling told the Manchester Evening News: “We are going to be deformalising it and hopefully making it more casual but (retaining) a real focus on quality food.”
Hart Brothers reopen Barrafina at Quo Vadis site: Barrafina, the Michelin-starred tapas bar run by Sam and Eddie Hart, has relocated from Soho to its new location inside the brothers’ Quo Vadis venue. A redevelopment plan led the Harts to relocate Barrafina from Frith Street to occupy the ground floor of Quo Vadis, which itself relocated to the basement of the Dean Street venue following a refurbishment in September. The new Barrafina will offer 29 covers, with an outdoor terrace for a further 12. The transformation of Quo Vadis, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this month, includes a new members’ restaurant on the first floor and a library bar on the floor above. Sam Hart, who took over Quo Vadis with his brother in 2008, said: “Bringing Barrafina into the building as well as giving the whole building a well-deserved makeover has been nearly two years in the planning.” Barrafina has two sister sites – in Drury Lane, Covent Garden, and Adelaide Street. Barrafina Soho opened in 2007 and was awarded a Michelin star in 2014. The Harts will launch Mexican taqueira concept El Pastór in Southwark next month.
Enterprise Inns gets go-ahead to build and operate fish and chip shop at Yorkshire pub: Enterprise Inns has been given the go-ahead to build and run a fish and chip shop connected to one of its pubs in Yorkshire. Kirklees Council’s planning department has granted permission for the company to create the chippy at the Westfield pub in Whitehall Road in Wyke, near Bradford. The building will be extended to make room for the shop, which will serve pub customers and takeaway clients, the Spenborough Guardian reports. Planning documents submitted by the applicant read: “The proposed layout has been designed to achieve an increase in trading area by providing an ancilliary fish and chip shop with a combined commercial kitchen serving both the existing public house and proposed shop. Shop access will be carried out safely, directly from the on-site car park. Minimal internal alterations are proposed to the existing public house.” The development is subject to planning conditions stating the shop can only open between midday and 9pm daily.
London-based Angel Comedy Club reopens at new home following crowdfunding campaign: London-based Angel Comedy Club has reopened at its new permanent home following a successful £46,000 crowdfunding campaign. The club, which operated in a small room above the Camden Head in Islington for six years, secured the lease on a nearby Victorian pub, formerly known as The Mucky Pup, earlier this year. It launched the fund-raise on Kickstarter to fit out the site, aiming to raise £20,000. It closed the campaign having raised £46,643 from 1,049 investors. The team behind Angel Comedy – Barry Ferns, Sarah Pearce, Dec Munro and Rachel Warnes – has christened the pub The Bill Murray after the American actor and comedian. It retains the feel of a backstreet pub, with an 80-seater room for comedy, seven nights a week.
Itsu to debut in Bristol next month: Itsu, the healthy Asian food chain created by Pret A Manger co-founder Julian Metcalfe, will make its debut in Bristol next month. The company is opening a site at the Broadmead shopping centre on Wednesday, 14 December in the former Apricot clothes store. It will offer salads, noodle soups, miso soups, sushi and “yoga” pots, as well as puddings. There will also be a bar serving soft drinks, wine, beer and prosecco. In keeping with Bristol’s green credentials, Itsu will try its best to prevent food going to waste by reducing all sushi and salad boxes to half price half an hour before closing. Itsu head of regions Agne Kazberaite told the Bristol Post: “We’re excited to be introducing our eat beautiful concept to Bristol as it is vibrant, relaxed and quirky, just like Itsu. Add to that the thriving food scene and desire for healthy, tasty food, and it’s a perfect fit for us.”
Gordon Ramsay-trained chef opens British-cooking concept Harborne Kitchen in Birmingham: Gordon Ramsay-trained chef Jamie Desogus, co-owner of Birmingham pop-up The Butchers Social, has launched his own venture in the city – Harborne Kitchen – following a £900,000 investment. The restaurant has opened in the former Walter Smith’s butchers in High Street, Harborne, which was home to The Butchers Social – a pop-up by Desogus and Mike Bullard that closed late last year. Following extension and renovation of the property, Harborne Kitchen features a 50-cover restaurant with 30 further covers in the bar. The tasting menu includes langoustine, and pig’s ear and venison loin with arabica coffee and butter sauce. Snacks include cod quavers with rosemary vinegar and piccalilli pakora. Desogus told the Birmingham Mail: “The kitchen is very much the focal point for the whole restaurant – we have a kitchen table we can seat ten people around where they can watch their food being prepared. I wanted something very informal – top food in a totally relaxed atmosphere. People can come in for one course and a glass of wine or just order drinks at the bar.”
Hotcha continues expansion with 12th site, in Exeter: Hotcha, the Chinese takeaway franchise, has continued its growth in the south west of England by opening a site in Exeter. The company, founded in 2011 by James Liang and Andy Chan, has opened the outlet in Sidwell Street – its 12th to date. It said Exeter presented a new opportunity for Hotcha as one of the largest urban centres in the west of England, along with a significant student population – a key target demographic for the company. To standardise product quality all core ingredients, including meat, fish, marinades and sauces, are prepared by Hotcha’s central production facility before being sent to stores where they are used to prepare dishes in line with Hotcha’s house recipes and presentation styles. Liang said: “We are delighted to be opening our first store in Exeter, enabling us to cook for customers in this thriving city. Our ambition is to become the first national Chinese takeaway chain in the UK and we feel opening our 12th store in Exeter is a natural step as we continue our rapid growth from our beginnings in Bristol five years ago. Following our recent £7.5m funding round, we are well positioned to deliver our pipeline of a further 20 openings across the UK in 2017.”
Parkdean Resorts set for £1.4bn sale: Parkdean Resorts has attracted attention from a trio of US and Canadian private equity giants are locked in a £1.4bn battle for Britain’s biggest holiday park operator. Onex, Advent International and Centerbridge are in detailed talks with Parkdean as they hope to cash in on a boom in “staycations”. Parkdean’s owners, buyout firms Electra Partners and Alchemy Partners, are set for a windfall after a rise this year in the number of Britons holidaying in this country. Overnight holidays in England rose 10% in the first quarter, according to tourism site VisitBritain. Travel companies expect more Britons to take their holidays in the UK after the sharp fall in the value of sterling since June’s EU referendum. Parkdean’s owners hired investment bank Rothschild to run an auction in August. The business’ 73 parks attract more than 1.8 million visitors a year. It is chaired by Alan Parker, the former chief executive of Whitbread, who now chairs Mothercare, and made an underlying profit of about £90m last year. The interest is expected to see the business fetch about £200m more than originally expected and a buyer will be picked in the next month, reports The Sunday Times. Deal makers at Electra are ready to sell Parkdean as they prepare for a parting of the ways with the FTSE 250 investment trust Electra Private Equity.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen to open third Bristol site next month: Gourmet Burger Kitchen will open its third Bristol restaurant next month. The company is opening the site at The Mall shopping centre in Cribbs Causeway on Monday, 12 December, creating 30 jobs. It has taken a 3,135 square foot unit at the complex having previously agreed a 15-year lease. Gourmet Burger Kitchen marketing manager Laura Pettingale told the Bristol Post: “We’re really excited to be opening our third restaurant in the Bristol area. We know locals love our burgers so we look forward to welcoming them through our doors at Cribbs Causeway. We’ll be joining a great line-up of restaurants and shops and we can’t wait to be part of the buzz, especially as Christmas approaches.”
Wood-fired pizza and craft beer concept Tank & Paddle to open in the City this month: Wood-fired pizza and craft beer concept Tank & Paddle is set to launch in the City of London this month. The restaurant will open at Minster Court in Mincing Lane on Monday, 28 November, with pizzas including Holy Smokes (pulled chicken and smoked bacon) and Veg Your Bets (sun-dried tomatoes, olives, artichoke and mushroom). The venue will also specialise in mac ‘n’ cheese dishes, with added pulled chicken and barbecue sauce (The Mac Attack) and another with pepperoni and chilli. There will also be a good selection of salads, as well as the naughtier Nutella dough balls with maple cinnamon syrup and chocolate dipping sauce, Hot Dinners reports. Craft beer will include offerings from Meantime Brewery and BrewDog, with complimentary draught beer tastings throughout the week. Tank & Paddle will run daily offers, including on Tuesdays, when the first 100 pints served will cost £2 each. On Thursdays, Tank & Paddle will hold bottled beer tastings.
Merseyside-based Costa Coffee franchisee sees future in desserts following Kaspa’s opening: Merseyside-based Optimum Group, which operates 23 Costa Coffee franchises in the region, has said it sees a booming future in desserts following its launch of a site for US-style dessert parlour brand Kaspa’s Desserts in Liverpool city centre. The new venue has opened in Crosshall Street, creating 30 jobs, with help from a funding package from Yorkshire Bank. Optimum Group said it decided to launch the Kaspa’s venue after identifying prepared dessert restaurants as a growing UK market. Optimum Group managing director Mark Bryan told BDaily: “We think dessert houses are going to boom in the UK over the coming years and saw this as a complement to our already successful Costa Coffee-focused franchises. Kaspa’s is an exceptional brand and we’re excited to see it going so well, with very positive feedback from staff and customers. However, entering into a new franchise and market sector is always an intense undertaking and we were grateful to our relationship manager Mike Scott (of Yorkshire Bank) for taking the time to understand our vision and find a way to help us fulfil it.” Scott added: “Optimum Group has been extremely successful in developing its various Costa Coffee franchises, and the board spent over two years surveying the market for the right opportunity.” Kaspa’s offers waffles, speciality ice creams, sorbet, frozen yogurt, sundaes, milkshakes, smoothies and crepes. The company has 31 sites in the UK with another 18 listed on its website as “coming soon”.
New Cheshire-based hotel management company acquires first site: A new hotel management company has launched in Cheshire and made its first acquisition. Taylormade Hotel Management has been founded by Carole Taylor, Tony Biddlecombe and John Maskell to support independent three and four-star venues that have the potential to grow and develop. The team, who have more than 85 years of hospitality sector experience between them, have acquired the 59-bedroom Hollin Hall Country House Hotel in Bollington, near Macclesfield. The hotel was built in 1856 and also houses conference and banqueting facilities. Taylor told BDaily: “Our strategy will be based on taking mid-to-upper-service independent hotels and using our extensive experience to further develop, improve and grow their hotel operations and profitability. We are assessing all current management opportunities presented to us in a bid to grow our portfolio.”
Devon-based operators acquire second site: Devon-based deli operators Chris Povey and Kelly Greene have acquired their second site, in Totnes. They have taken over the lease of the Thrive Cafe in High Street for an undisclosed price in a deal brokered by agent Stonesmith. Povey and Greene, who also run the Mange Tout Delicatessen in Kingsbridge, plan to add a deli to their new venture. Mike Phillips, of Stonesmith, told the Exeter Express & Echo: “We would like to take this opportunity to wish Chris and Kelly the very best of luck with their new business venture. The addition of a deli will no doubt be a huge success, given its location in the town, and complement the cafe side of the business.”
Multi-site operator opens third Nepalese restaurant: Multi-site operator Radna Rana has opened his third Nepalese restaurant in the UK, this time in the village of Hilperton, near Trowbridge, Wiltshire. The restaurant has opened within The Lion and Fiddle pub, which Rana took over in June. It offers authentic Nepalese cuisine, including curries ranging in heat. Nepalese food will be served daily between 6pm and 10pm, with traditional pub food on offer at lunchtimes. The venue also offers bed and breakfast. Rana told the Wiltshire Times: “I’m really excited to serve more customers and hearing more feedback over the coming months. I think the area has been crying out for a restaurant like this.” Ernie Clark, chairman of Hilperton Parish Council, added: “It’s great they are going to keep the pub going as there had been talk in the past from previous owners it might get turned into something else, which would be a great shame. The building was packed for the opening so we hope people continue to support it.”
Cheshire-based operator opens second craft beer bar: Cheshire-based operator Real Ale Bars, led by Mike Wilkinson, has opened its second craft beer bar in Warrington. Hop Co specialises in emerging beer varieties from the UK and around the world and has opened in Bold Street in the town’s Cultural Quarter at the former Hoi Tin restaurant. Real Ale Bars also owns 9 Gallon in Sankey Street, while Hop Co is a joint venture with its former manager Andrew Bellis. Hop Co will offer ten rotating beers on tap, and almost 40 bottles and cans, including ten varieties from Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog. The venue also offers growlers for takeaway draught beer. The food menu consists of snacks, small plates and pub favourites, including vegan options, while the bar has a saloon feel, with a Day of the Dead theme in the upstairs Oast Room. Wilkinson plans to host meet the brewer sessions, BrewDog beer schools and open an on-site micro-brewery early next year, with help from 4Ts brewery in Latchford. Manager Ryan Mercer told the Warrington Guardian: “The craft beer scene is what this town needs. Those who go to Manchester or Liverpool for those kinds of bars have it on their doorstep now.”
Greek-inspired mezze concept Cuzina to launch near Trent Bridge cricket ground: Greek-inspired mezze concept Cuzina is set to launch in West Bridgford, near Nottingham, an overthrow from Trent Bridge cricket ground. Offering mezze with a modern twist, Cuzina is owned by Nicholas Procopiou, the son of Maria and Chris Procopiou, who ran Greek restaurant Pappas on the site for 30 years. Pappas closed in 2013 and was replaced by Indian restaurant Slumdog Kitchen and Bar, owned by former Notts and England batsman Usman Afzaal, which closed two years later. Cuzina, Greek for “kitchen”, will offer dishes such as marinated chick gyros wrapped in flat bread, and honey feta coated in sesame seeds with honey orange and thyme sauce. The drinks menu will include cocktails, wine from Greece, Cyprus and Italy, and Greek craft beer. The venue is scheduled to open in mid-December following a £150,000 investment. Procopiou told the Nottingham Post: “A lot of people in the area still talk about Pappas and it’s great people remember it. Cuzina is going to serve Greek-inspired cuisine but it’s not going to be traditional, it is going to be a new concept with fresh ideas inspired by restaurants in London. It’s going to add something new to the area.”
Dundee hotelier submits pizza and barbecue restaurant plans: Richie Hawkins, who owns four-star boutique hotel Taypark House in Dundee, has submitted plans to open a wood-fired pizza and barbecue restaurant in the city. Hawkins wants to renovate a 150-year-old stable to create the new venue, which he hopes to open in the spring. He told The Courier: “The building has been derelict for a long time so this will be an opportunity to bring it back to life. It will offer something unique to Dundee and will be the city’s first authentic wood-fired pizza and barbecue restaurant. Lots of the old stable buildings have been sold off or turned into flats, so this will let people see what they were like. With everything else going on in Dundee, hopefully we can do something totally different.”
Former Claridge’s and River Cafe chef to open Newcastle restaurant: Former Claridge’s and River Cafe chef Nick Grieves is set to open a restaurant in Newcastle. The Durham-born restaurateur will open The Patricia in Jesmond Road in time for Christmas. It will feature a menu with British cuisine at its heart, while embracing European influences and offering natural and biodynamic fine wine. Grieves formerly owned The Garden House in Durham before moving to work in London. He told Jesmond Local: “Working at different restaurants has allowed me to hone my own tastes and skills while learning about the industry. I spent seven years living here around the time of my studies and, since my time away, the food scene in Newcastle is definitely on the up. It’s a great place filled with great people.” The Patricia is named after Grieves’ grandmother, who has supported him in his new business venture that will seat about 30 diners.
Plans lodged for new gourmet burger bar concept in Huddersfield: Plans have been lodged for a new gourmet burger bar in Huddersfield. Zaen Younus and Tom Howe are looking to branch out from the clothing industry into the foodservice trade with their new venture. The duo, who run Charles Wilson Fashion Empire, have applied to Kirklees Council to open the restaurant in Lockwood Road, creating 20 jobs. Howe told the Huddersfield Examiner: “We were becoming increasingly frustrated at the price and service of local gourmet and supposedly fast food restaurants. Having a passion for good food we were convinced the high costs and long wait times could be reduced without sacrificing on satisfaction. Our vision is to truly fashion a venue specialising in burgers that provides great-tasting food without the tedious wait times. Quality and service is paramount.”
New Italian restaurant concept Piccola Italia launches in Liverpool: New Italian restaurant concept Piccola Italia has opened on the site of a former Liverpool bank. Businessmen Tony Chambers, Lee Morley and Tom Williams have invested several hundred thousand pounds to transform the former NatWest site in Sefton Road, with the vault now storing cold food rather than cash. The interior has been replaced by a large bar and dining room. The menu offers a hearty roster of popular Italian dishes, including seafood, pasta and steak, while the drinks menu focuses on Italian wine and beer. Chambers told the Liverpool Echo: “We were in New York a few years ago and ate at Carmine’s. We liked the family focus and honest menu. We wanted to open an unpretentious Italian restaurant for all the family in our home town. We also liked the American approach to customer service. We know the business will be based on repeat customers.” Chambers said the team would also open a bar close to the restaurant next year. He said: “We want our customers to have a drink there first and we will give them a call when their table is ready.”