Gail’s parent company appoints advisors to consider options: Gail’s Bakery’s parent company Bread Holdings has appointed KPMG to advise on options for the company. A sale of the group, which also comprises Bread Factory, is not thought to be imminent, but sources in the private equity industry expect an auction to get underway next year. Some industry-watchers said Bread Holdings could command a price tag as high as £200m, reports Sky News If a sale occurs it would be the latest in a long line of paydays for sector investor Luke Johnson from hospitality businesses. He made a fortune from the expansion of PizzaExpress, and has owned casual dining chains such as Strada and Patisserie Valerie, which he floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2014. Risk Capital Partners, Johnson’s private equity vehicle, holds a big stake in Bread Holdings, alongside the bakery group’s management, including chief executive Tom Molnar. Molnar founded the business with Ran Avidan, naming it after Gail Mejia, who was a supplier of premium bread to restaurants. Its first site opened in Hampstead, north London, in 2005. The company, which now trades from nearly 40 Gail’s-branded outlets, has grown significantly since Johnson invested in 2011. Its retail operations are concentrated in affluent London locations with high footfall, and it has further plans to expand both retail and wholesale operations. It is unclear whether Johnson will consider floating Bread Holdings or intends to pursue a private sale following KPMG’s review. In its latest accounts, Bread Holdings reported turnover increased 42% to £63,750,696 for the year ending February 29 2016, compared with £45,048,214 the year before. Sales at Gail’s rose 32% to £23.9m, while wholesale revenues were up 16% to £46.7m. Pre-tax profit for the company increased to £4,806,670, compared with £2,826,343 the year before. Reports in 2014 said the company explored, and rejected, a London listing.
CG Restaurants reports turnover increases 3.6%: CG Restaurants Holdings, which owns the Dirty Martini chain of bars, has reported turnover increased 3.6% to £19,931,151 for the year ending 31 December 2016 compared with £19,226,998 the year before. Ebitda fell 54% to £876,081 compared with £1,914,659. The company said this was a result of two new sites opening late in the year with significant pre-opening costs that outstripped the profitability for the remaining part of the year that both sites were open for, and the group continued to invest in its infrastructure to deliver its future growth strategy. The company saw a pre-tax loss of £648,605 compared with a profit of £509,195 the year before. Gross profit margin decreased slightly to 56.1% from 56.5% the previous year. The company stated: “The business has continued to concentrate on offering a unique experience to the customer both in terms of product offer and customer service which is reflected in the level of customer feedback received. The group has also continued with its advertising and promotional campaign to maintain its existing clientele and also to attract new clientele. The directors aim to improve and maintain the management policies resulting in the group’s growth, and aim to continue the plans of expansion where opportunities arise, providing superior quality food and service in order to maintain a strong relationship with regular customers. The directors regard these as prerequisite for success in the long term.” CG Restaurants will open a Dirty Martini site in Manchester next month as it continues its regional expansion. It is the ninth Dirty Martini to open following venues in London in Bishopsgate, Covent Garden, Hanover Square, Islington, Monument, Minories and St Paul’s as well as a bar in Cardiff. It has also secured sites in Birmingham and Leeds.
Property investor acquires Altrincham leisure site home to The Restaurant Group brands for £4.4m: Property investor AEW UK Real Return Fund has acquired a leisure site in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, which features restaurants and a cinema for £4.4m. The 23,282 square foot complex is home to The Restaurant Group brands Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito as well as a six-screen cinema operated by Vue. The purchase is the 30th made by AEW’s fund. AEW UK Real Return Fund portfolio manager Ian Mason told Insider Media: “This acquisition provides an attractive income profile which is accretive to the current portfolio yield. In addition to the strong income return, the investment benefits from being located in a prosperous catchment that provides an opportunity to reposition the offer through various asset management opportunities.”
Cinnamon Collection to open debut restaurant outside of London, in Oxford next month: The Cinnamon Collection, which is owned by Boparan Restaurants, will open its first restaurant outside of London next month when it brings its Cinnamon Kitchen concept to Oxford. The company, which also operates The Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Soho and Cinnamon Bazaar, will open the venue at the new Westgate Centre on Wednesday, 1 November. The 110-cover, 4,000 square foot, restaurant will include a large destination bar on the ground floor, an open-plan kitchen, chef’s table and a semi-private “Pagoda” room. A rooftop terrace seats an additional 40 diners with views of the Oxford spires. The bar will serve spice-infused cocktails, local craft beers and a selection of wines, including some locally sourced.
KFC franchisee adds two Essex restaurants to portfolio, plans four more in region: KFC franchisee J&J Restaurants has expanded by adding two restaurants in Essex to its portfolio and has further sites in the pipeline. Already the operator of multiple KFC stores throughout the region via a subsidiary company Kefco Sales, J&J Restaurants has added the outlets in High Street, Colchester, and Broomfield Road, Chelmsford, to its estate. Plans to open a further four outlets in the same area over the next three years have also been revealed with Kefco Sales entering into a development agreement with KFC UK, reports Insider Media. Last month, KFC UK reported turnover rose to £479.8m in the year to 4 December 2016, up from £465.3m the year before. Pre-tax profit rose to £58.9m from £55.9m the year before. Like-for-like sales rose 1.4%. Gross profit margin was 12.6% compared with 12.2% the year before. The company has a strategy of turning 94% of stores to franchise by the end of 2018.
London-based steakhouse and beer restaurant concept Beef & Brew passes 50% mark in £250,000 crowdfunding campaign to open second site: London-based steakhouse and beer restaurant concept Beef & Brew has passed the 50% mark in its £250,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Seedrs as it looks to open its second site. The concept was launched by Michelin-trained Jessica Simmonds and Daniel Nathan in September 2015 in Kentish Town and hit its revenue target in its first year. Now it is raising funds to open its second site and is offering a 24.94% equity stake in return for the investment. So far, 57 investors have pledged £125,746 with 56 days remaining. The pitch states: “Beef & Brew was established with a multi-site plan in mind. We focus on quality but also simplicity, ensuring what we do is replicable while maintaining the quality required to be successful in the competitive UK dining scene. We’re now looking to open our second site, building on our success to date. We’ve identified various locations, with a shortlist of sites we are actively pursuing. The funds raised in this campaign will be used to support the opening of our next site. We have identified a number of possibilities, with two primary sites we are pursuing. Locations we are pursuing include strong Zone 2 locations, akin to Kentish Town but with higher footfall. These include West Hampstead, Brixton, Dalston and various other London neighbourhoods. We would also consider central districts such as London Bridge, Hoxton, Shoreditch and Soho, depending on affordability and deliverability. Primarily, the strategy is to roll out a coherent brand, with shareholder exit achieved via a business sale.”
St Austell Brewery submits plans for 33-bedroom hotel as part of Devon village pub proposals: Cornwall-based St Austell Brewery has submitted plans for a 33-bedroom hotel as part of its redevelopment proposals for a Devon village pub. The company has submitted an application to East Devon District Council for the two-storey hotel in the western car park of the Cat and Fiddle in Clyst St Mary. It is part of its plans for the Sidmouth Road pub, which includes extending the restaurant dining area to 240 covers, adding a carvery and creating a new children’s play area. The application stated: “There is a need for a small hotel at this location and such a development would be successful given the need to serve nearby attractions such as Westpoint and Crealy Adventure Park, as well as the wider tourism market of east Devon and the business traveller market in nearby Exeter. To ensure a successful operation of the development, it is proposed the pub and the new hotel would operate in conjunction with one another.” There would still be 154 parking spaces next to the hotel and the pub, reports Devon Live.
Heavenly Desserts to open Liverpool city centre site next month for sixth venue: Artisan dessert restaurant Heavenly Desserts is to open a venue in Liverpool city centre next month, its sixth site. The new restaurant will open on Thursday, 2 November in Strand Street, close to Albert Dock and Liverpool ONE, creating 22 jobs. Desserts will include Ferrero Rocher cookie dough and the signature I’ll Have What She’s Having (ice cream, waffles, strawberries, chocolate and strawberry sauce). The concept also offers pancakes, fondant, cheesecake, cakes and indulgent milkshakes, the Liverpool Echo reports. Heavenly Desserts was founded in 2008 and has stores in Nottingham, Birmingham, Leicester, Preston, and Derby. In May, the company launched a franchise concept with plans to open 200 sites across the UK. Heavenly Desserts franchise director Paul Davies said at the time: “We anticipate another five stores will come on board in 2017, followed by strong but steady growth throughout the UK.” The other sites listed on its website as “coming soon” are in Bradford, Cardiff, Chester, Coventry, Lincoln, Manchester, Northampton, Norwich and Oxford.
ASK Italian puts purple basil pesto at heart of new autumn menu: Azzurri Group-owned ASK Italian has launched an autumn menu that sees it become the first restaurant chain in the UK to offer purple basil pesto. The company is working closely with a small, family-run farm near Verona to produce more than three tonnes of purple basil for the menu. Customers who order one of two new purple basil dishes will also get a free packet of seeds to grow their own. Other new dishes on the menu include pumpkin arancini, spinach and ricotta girasole, and yogurt panna cotta topped with a seasonal edible flower. ASK Italian head of food Jeena Rodrigues said: “We’re always looking for ways to elevate our most-loved dishes and purple basil pesto is the perfect combination of classic Italian flavours and Instagram-worthy presentation.” ASK Italian operates more than 110 restaurants throughout the UK.
South west London-based By The Horns Brewing Co fails in £350,000 crowdfunding campaign to expand capacity: South west London-based By The Horns Brewing Co has failed in its £350,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to expand capacity. The craft brewer, founded in 2011 by Alex Bull and Chris Mills, was offering a 12% equity stake in return for the investment. Crowdcube stated: “Unfortunately By The Horns Brewing Co did not reach its funding target before the closing date.” As well as increasing capacity, By The Horns Brewing Co planned to install its own canning and bottling lines and enhance the taproom bar. The pitch stated: “Organic growth since launch has seen us enlarge our brewing capacity eight-fold with turnover hitting £354,000 (brewery) and £155,000 (taproom bar) for FY2016. We are currently operating at capacity but by raising the necessary investment we can install a much larger brewery in new bigger off-site premises, allowing for seamless future scalability when launching our beer in cans. The funds will be used to acquire the lease of off-site premises on the outskirts of London (about 8,000 square feet in size), to install our new brewery; purchase a new brewhouse capable of brewing 3,500 litres per batch, three times per day; purchase five 3,500-litre fermentation vessels; and purchase canning and bottling lines (a finance agreement for these assets has already been confirmed). We will enhance the brewery taproom – install a 200-litre experimental brew-kit, open our ‘food hall’ with a street food-esque offering and launch our beer, brewing and tasting school.”
North east-based multi-site operator acquires former Greene King site: North east-based multi-site operator Tony Singh has acquired The Sundial pub in South Shields off an asking price of £725,000. The seafront site, which formerly traded under Greene King’s Hungry Horse concept, will undergo a significant refurbishment. The venue offers a children’s soft play area, an open-plan lounge and bar that can accommodate up to 185 guests, and a substantial patio seating another 132. The venue, which will be rebranded as The New Sundial, also has a 170-capacity function room with a balcony offering sea views. David Cash, business agent at Christie & Co, which brokered the deal, said: “The Sundial is a well-known pub in the area and we immediately received interest from a number of local and regional multi-site operators. It is always satisfying to see pubs sold for ongoing use.” Singh also owns and operates Hedworth Hall in South Shields and has a portfolio of tenanted pubs across the region.
Ayr-based restaurateur to turn closed pub into third site: Ayr-based restaurateur Chris Steele has acquired the West Of The Moon pub, which closed suddenly last month, for his third venue in the Scottish town. Steele, who also operates the Stage Door Cafe and the Hollybush Inn bar restaurant, will relaunch the venue as Arthur Street Kitchen in time for Christmas, creating 16 jobs. Steele told the Daily Record: “It’s good news for the town at a time when people are gaining confidence again in Ayr. West Of The Moon would have been a huge loss to the town. I and many others spent a lot of time in there over the years so it’s great we’ve been able to save it. What we want to do is a bit different from our other venues but the place has so much potential. Money will be spent on the bar and kitchen and we’ll get the place rocking again. There is lots to be positive about in Ayr and we’ll play our part in that. This will take us past 50 employees so it’s a huge step – but one we’re ready for.”
Tokyo-style noodle cafe Koya to open second London site, in City next month: Tokyo-style noodle cafe Koya is to open its second London site next month, in the new Bloomberg Arcade in the City. Koya is renowned for its affordable, authentic approach to Japanese udon noodles but closed its Soho restaurant in May 2015, leaving only its adjacent Koya Bar open. Now it will open Koya In The City in late November at Bloomberg’s new headquarters, offering new dishes, a breakfast menu and a saké bar. Breakfast will be on offer from 7am on weekdays and slightly later on weekends. The main seasonal menu will feature rotating specials such as sardine tempura, with new dishes including breaded, aged pork loin with cabbage and fruit miso sauce, and crispy fried prawn heads. The bar will also offer wine and seasonal cocktails created by the Drinks Factory. Koya In The City will join other restaurants at the new dining destination, including Brigadiers, a new concept by JKS Restaurants, Hawaiian poké specialist Ahi Poké, Bleecker Burger, restaurant, bar and coffee roasting concept Caravan, better pizza brand Homeslice, and wine bar, restaurant and wine shop Vinoteca.
Nespresso launches debut UK new concept store, in Liverpool: Nespresso has launched its debut new concept store in the UK, in Liverpool. The company has opened the site at Liverpool ONE in Peter’s Lane after agreeing a deal with Grosvenor Europe, which manages the complex. The 1,600 square foot Nespresso is an immersive boutique and only its third globally, following trials in Cannes and New York. The main focus of the concept is to celebrate coffee moments through experiential tastings and workshops with the brand’s team of experts. The Liverpool ONE boutique hosts bespoke and interactive classes for customers, comparing the brand’s Grand Crus and Limited Edition releases, alongside demonstrations of Nespresso machines and accessories and how to master the art of coffee making. Nespresso has a strong emphasis on sustainability and the store features tabletops made of used coffee grounds from the Nespresso factory in Switzerland, and wood sourced from Nespresso reforestation programmes on coffee farms. Nespresso UK and Ireland managing director Francisco Nogueira said: “It is an exciting step for us to introduce our new boutique concept to the UK and Peter’s Lane at Liverpool ONE is the perfect setting to do so. It is a stylish, modern location at the heart of the city and the premium brands alongside us add to a wonderful shopping experience.”
Boteco de Brazil owner acquires lease of Edinburgh city centre site for Italian concept: Luigi Aseni, owner of Brazilian-themed bar and grill Boteco de Brazil, has acquired a site in Edinburgh city centre to launch an Italian concept. Aseni, who operates Boteco sites in Glasgow and Edinburgh, has acquired a site in Lothian Road that formerly housed Bruno’s American Diner. He will rebrand the restaurant as Picollino, which will offer authentic Italian food. Tony Spence, business agent at Christie & Co, which handled the sale, said: “Lothian Road doesn’t offer many options for authentic Italian dining and Picollino will work well in this area of Edinburgh, which is always busy with locals and tourists. The market is very strong in Edinburgh. Investors are willing to consider leaseholds because they understand there are limited opportunities for freeholds in the market. Depending on location and current goodwill, buyers are currently offering high premiums for the right business.”
Deltic Group reopens Wrexham nightclub under Atik brand: The Deltic Group, the UK’s largest operator of premium late-night bars and clubs, has converted its Liquid & Envy nightclub in Wrexham into its Atik brand. The venue in Brook Street has undergone a £600,000 refurbishment and now offers three rooms – main dance room Atik focusing on the “best in light and sound technology”, Vinyl offering an illuminated dance floor and pop classics, and Curve playing the latest R&B hits. Table service at the 1,600-capacity venue has been increased, with 11 VIP booths added to take the total to 19. General manager Mat Evans told the Daily Post: “Wrexham needed some investment and I think the opening of Atik will really push it forward. A lot of people still choose to visit towns outside Wrexham for a night out, such as Chester. So what we have done is brought this venue to a standard where Chester can now come to us. People will be able to enjoy a proper clubbing experience in Wrexham.” The Deltic Group has tabled its proposal for a merger with Revolution Bars Group. However, chief executive Peter Marks told Propel the company was still working on a potential cash deal, which it has until Tuesday (10 October) to table.
Warrington-based micro-pub lodges plans for second site, in Northwich: Warrington-based micro-pub The Real Ale Shack has lodged plans to open its second site, in Northwich. The company, founded by Andy McKnight and Alison Ramsden, has applied to Cheshire West and Chester Council to open the new venue in an empty unit in Witton Street. The Real Ale Shack has a constantly rotating selection of seasonal ale and craft beer on draught as well as craft cider and lager. It also stocks up to 30 different varieties of bottles and cans with an emphasis on Warrington and Cheshire breweries, reports the Northwich Guardian. McKnight and Ramsden launched The Real Ale Shack in New Market, Warrington, in May.
Cygnus to reopen £1.5m Swansea redevelopment featuring restaurants and gin distillery: Cygnus Investments will reopen its £1.5m Swansea redevelopment featuring two restaurants and a gin distillery within the next month. The company has been converting the site in York Street that used to house its rum bar concept Fancy a Rum? The complex will feature 96-cover “relaxed fine dining” bar and restaurant Juniper Place on the ground floor and Cuban-themed eaterie Old Havana on the first floor. The site will also feature the Cygnet Distillery, which will be on view to diners and produce its own gin and rum from a hand-made copper still. Juniper Place will open on Friday, 27 October, while Old Havana will launch a week later. Cygnus Investments director David Bellis told Wales Online: “It has been almost three years since we began this journey and it’s great to see everything come to fruition. We cannot wait to share it with the public.” One-fifth of the development was funded by the Swansea city centre regeneration programme. Council leader Rob Stewart said: “It’s another example of the Team Swansea approach, where the public and private sectors are working closely together than ever before for the benefit of the city.”
Harbour Hotels opens £25m site in Southampton featuring city’s first destination rooftop bar: Harbour Hotels, which operates boutique hotels across the south of England, has opened a £25m venue in Southampton. The company has launched the yacht-inspired Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa at Ocean Village Marina. Alongside the Harbour Hotels’ restaurant and spa brands, the venue features the city’s first destination rooftop bar, 85 bedrooms and has created more than 120 jobs. Managing director Mike Warren told Insider Media: “Attracting tourism and providing a number of fantastic dining experiences, an indulgent spa and Southampton’s first destination rooftop bar for locals to enjoy, we are excited to officially open our doors.” Harbour Hotels currently operates 14 sites.
Dorset-based micro-pub lodges plans for second site, in Exeter: Dorset-based micro-pub The Pursuit of Hoppiness has lodged plans to open a second site, in Exeter. The company, based in Bridport, has applied to the city council to bring its Ale & Wine House concept to Longbrook Street by converting the former ARA Languages school site. The micro-pub sources from micro-breweries and cider-makers in the south west, as well as wine and spirits from further afield. The venue would serve six local beers at any time and would open daily from lunchtime until midnight, reports Devon Live. The Pursuit of Hoppiness’ existing Ale & Wine House is in West Street, Bridport.
Mayfair restaurant Mnky Hse extends offer with standalone lounge bar and events space: Mayfair restaurant Mnky Hse has extended its offer by opening standalone bar and events space Mnky Lnge. The venue has opened next to the Latin American restaurant in Dover Street and offers an “intimate, living room-style space”. Mnky Lnge can be accessed via a separate entrance as well as through the restaurant and features a bespoke collection of contemporary art. Music plays an integral part of the new venue, with Mnky Hse musical director Francesco Mami curating a programme of live performers and resident and international DJs. The bar offers rare tequilas and mescals alongside signature cocktails and botanicals. The bar menu has been created by Mnky Hse’s Michelin-trained head chef Pablo Peñalosa-Nájera, including sharing-style tapas plates and several Mnky Hse signature dishes. Its capacity is 40 seated or 100 standing.
Hook Norton Brewery signs racecourse deal: Hook Norton Brewery has launched a partnership with Warwick Racecourse, with race-goers able to enjoy a range of ales from the family-owned brewer. The company will also host meet the brewer, product launches and hospitality functions at the racecourse. Hook Norton Brewery managing director James Clarke said: “It is the first time we have been associated with horse racing and Warwick Racecourse is exactly the right fit. We look forward to bringing the best-quality ales to its race-goers throughout the season.” Warwick Racecourse general manager Andre Klein added: “Like Warwick Racecourse, Hook Norton Brewery has a rich tradition and heritage and is a progressive, forward-thinking organisation so we are delighted to join forces.” Hook Norton Brewery has been brewing since 1849 and operates almost 40 pubs, while Warwick Racecourse staged its first jump race in 1831.
Chalk Valley Farm & Kitchen reopens after major refurbishment: Chalk Valley Farm & Kitchen in Southampton has reopened following a major refurbishment. The new look includes reclaimed wood tables and butchers’ blocks as waiting stations. Owners Will Buckley and Sarah Jane Fairey have redefined the venue as a “premium casual dining experience” with a new menu combining American flavours and British classics, with new sharing and grazing dishes and meat such as brisket, pulled pork and steak supplied by the restaurant’s own farm. The menu will change regularly according to availability and seasonality, with dishes such as pulled brisket on Staffordshire oatcakes with beer-pickled shallots. Vegetarian dishes include grilled cauliflower steaks, while the new bar features leather club chairs and a selection craft beer, cocktails and spirits. Operations director Iris Stoltenberg said: “We know where our meat comes from and you won’t taste our beef or pork anywhere else, because the meat is only produced for this restaurant. It is the ultimate way of controlling what we deliver on the plate in terms of quality and flavour.”
Old Spitalfields Market reveals new ‘kitchens’ line-up: East London’s Old Spitalfields Market is to launch ten new “kitchens” on to the market floor this week. The revamp of the market’s food offering is being overseen by Ten Ten, which has been set up by chef Nuno Mendes, who operates Taberna Do Mercado in the market, and hospitality consultant Stephen Macintosh. They plan to have 114 traders in total across the kitchens, with lots more to be announced, Hot Dinners reports. The ten traders who will launch at the market on Friday (13 October) are Berber & Q, the Middle Eastern and North African grillhouse from Josh Katz; Ennismore’s Mexican street food concept Breddos Tacos; Barbarian, a new Asian concept from Hugh Thorn and Luke Clarkson; Chinese street food brand Dumpling Shack; Brighton-based nose-to-tail concept Flank; cake and desserts brand Happy Endings; Nordic-inspired Rök; Thousand Knives, a Japanese concept from the team behind Dalston-based Brilliant Corners; fresh pasta concept Sood Family; and bao bun specialists Yum Bun. The market is also due to increase the amount of seating for people to bring their food back to.