Gresham Collective starts expansion of Cork & Bottle wine bar with second London site: London-based multiple operator Gresham Collective, led by Will Clayton, has started expansion of the Cork & Bottle wine bar concept by opening a second site in the capital, this time in Paddington. The first Cork & Bottle was launched in 1971 in Leicester Square by Don Hewitson, renowned as the “founding father of British wine bars”. Now owned by Gresham Collective, the Cork & Bottle’s second site has opened at a former bank in Spring Street offering more than 300 wines from around the world alongside pairing dishes from executive chef Anthony Greenan. Clayton said: “We know we will bring the same passion to Cork & Bottle Paddington that we excel in at our West End venue.” General manager Vash Sedlak added: “These are exciting times for this brand and perfect timing for expansion. Alongside the in-house offer we are introducing a takeaway wine and cheese shop to our customers in Paddington. We are currently ranked in the top 200 restaurants featured on TripAdvisor for our West End branch.” Gresham Collective also operates two London pubs – the nearby Pride of Paddington and The Load Of Hay Tavern in Camden.
Chimaek-inspired restaurant Wing Wing to open debut site next week, in London: Wing Wing, a restaurant inspired by “chimaek” (Korean chicken-and-beer joints), will open its debut site, in London next week. The venue will launch on Wednesday, 17 May in Woburn Place, Tavistock Square. Chimaek is a compound word formed from chicken and maekju – the Korean word for beer – and the restaurant will serve fresh, free-range birds, double-fried Korean-style and individually brushed with the diner’s choice of soy garlic, hot or liquorice glazes. The menu will also feature Asian-inspired comfort food such as katsu bao, seaweed fries and kimchi coleslaw. The 100-cover restaurant will have a modern interior design, featuring playful, provocative signage and subtle nods to its Asian roots. There will also be a private dining room for up to 30 people (20 seated) that will offer a self-service beer station, state-of-the-art sound system and 60-inch television screen. A 500 square foot outside terrace with a further 30 covers will overlook Tavistock Square. Wing Wing claims it will be the first restaurant in the UK to use the “bottom-up” beer system, offering ice-cold pints in four to seven seconds. As the name suggests, the beer is self-served from the bottom up through the base of the glass, minimising spillage and pouring time.
Whitbread switches to 100% renewable power across UK estate: Whitbread is now sourcing 100% of electricity for its UK operations from renewable energy projects. The initiative means power used in 68,000 Premier Inn rooms and 2,200 Costa Coffee stores is sourced from domestic renewable sources. Whitbread director of sustainability James Pitcher told Business Green: “As the UK’s largest hospitality brand, we have a responsibility and an opportunity to drive change within the industry, which is why we have made this decision for the business. Whitbread is committed to minimising its environmental impact and operating in a way that respects people and the planet. We hope this will be a landmark step in helping to set the industry standard.” Last month, the company made a raft of environmental commitments. It selected Swansea as the site for a second Costa Coffee “eco pod”, signed with the Marine Stewardship Council for its “blue tick” to appear on menus at 635 sites certifying seafood had been responsibly caught, and applied for a licence to supply its own water retail services for all its brands in England.
D&D London to launch Leeds rooftop restaurant next month: Restaurant operator D&D London will launch Japanese concept Issho in Leeds next month. The 7,807 square foot restaurant with bar and terrace will open on Wednesday, 21 June on the rooftop of the £165m Victoria Gate development. Issho is one of two concepts D&D London is launching in the rooftop space, alongside Manhattan-style bar and grill East 59th, for which a launch date has yet to be revealed. Issho, which means “together” in Japanese, will offer authentic Asian dishes with an emphasis on sharing. The menu has been created by executive chef Ben Orpwood, who has held the same position at Zuma in Knightsbridge and Sexy Fish in Mayfair. He told BDaily: “It’s been a long time in the making but all the hard work is paying off and we can’t wait to give food fans in Leeds the chance to try it for themselves.” D&D London owns and operates restaurants in London, Paris, New York and Tokyo and the 80-bedroom South Place Hotel in London. Its other venues in Leeds are fine-dining restaurant Crafthouse and adjoining bar restaurant Angelica.
Camino to open Spanish tapas restaurant in Shoreditch, fifth London site: Camino, the London operator led by Richard Bigg, is to open its fifth Spanish tapas restaurant in the capital, this time in Shoreditch. The venue will open at Principal Place in Curtain Road in September featuring an 80-cover restaurant, with room for a further 75 customers in the tapas bar and 40 more on a heated terrace. The decor will be inspired by northern Spain, while the menu will feature regular Camino tapas favourites with a few additions. The new venue will be a return home for the group as Bigg opened the now-closed Cantaloupe restaurant in Shoreditch many years ago before the area was transformed. Bigg told Hot Dinners: “Shoreditch was a very different neighbourhood, completely unknown to the rest of London, and all my friends thought I was mad. But I had a good feeling in my bones about it and it turned out to be the right thing at the right time. The DNA sparked off then, lived on in all the bars we opened since and very much so now at each Camino.” The other Camino sites are in King’s Cross, Monument, Bankside and Blackfriars, while the company also operates Bar Pepito in King’s Cross.
Lytham St Anne’s-based operators acquire third site: Lytham St Anne’s-based operators Tony and Helen Vavosa have secured their third site in the Lancashire seaside resort. The Vavosas, who own Spago and Java, have acquired the lease of the former Jack’s restaurant in Wood Street. The Scandinavian-inspired restaurant will be renamed Fifty Four. It is set to reopen this month serving a European menu including breakfast, lunch and dinner with fondue and healthy options. The venue is undergoing a major refit including building work to alter the layout, which has seen it stripped back to its brickwork before being redecorated. On completion, it will include a traditional fire and heated outdoor terrace, reports Insider Media.
Jason Wills leaves Charles Wells after year as marketing director for position at diabetes research charity: Jason Wills, who joined Bedford-based brewer and retailer Charles Wells a year ago, has left to take up a role at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF UK). Wills joined Charles Wells in May 2016. Before joining the company, Wills was interim head of marketing at Cineworld for nine months, joining from Merlin Entertainments, where he was marketing director at Thorpe Park resort for more than two years. He has also worked as a senior brand manager at Heineken UK. Operating independently in nine countries including the UK and America, JDRF has invested £1bn to fund research into curing, treating and preventing type 1 diabetes. JDRF operates in the UK as an independent charity and is currently funding more than 20 research projects.
Scotch Malt Whisky Society to launch second London bar, first open to non-members: The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) is to launch its second bar in London next month – but this time it will be open to non-members. The SMWS will open Kaleidoscope in Devonshire Square beneath Scottish restaurant Mac & Wild. It will stock more than 200 of the society’s single-cask whiskies when it opens on Friday, 2 June. Housed in a converted warehouse, the bar will offer a menu of whisky cocktails, including the Bloody Scotsman, Blood and Sand, and Old-Fashioned. Wine, champagne and draught beer from Edinburgh will also be available, alongside bottled craft beer and light snacks featuring food from Mac & Wild. Kaleidoscope is the society’s first London bar to be open to the general public, following the launch of a similar venture, also called Kaleidoscope, in Queen Street, Edinburgh. The SMWS will also continue to operate its London members-only venue in Greville Street, Farringdon. UK operations director Jan Damen told Scotch Whisky.com: “With Kaleidoscope in Devonshire Square we want to open up our amazing selection of bottlings to a new audience of whisky fans so they can discover this fascinating world of single-cask single malts.”
Managing director of online retailer opens sharing plates concept in Huddersfield: Nick Glynne, managing director of online retailer Buy It Direct, has opened a sharing plates restaurant concept in Huddersfield. Glynne has invested £200,000 to transform the former Lindley’s No 10 Kitchen in Lidget Street into Home – Food For Sharing. He is joined in the venture by Jo Graham, who was head chef of the restaurant at Hinchliffe’s Farm Shop in Netherton. The restaurant, which has seating for 55 diners, is based on home-style bistro cooking served on sharing plates. Glynne told the Huddersfield Examiner: “It is a new concept for Huddersfield – think paella, think Chinese and you have the concept, only the food is very good traditional British/French full-size dishes.”
Diageo to challenge £107m ‘diverted tax’ payment to HMRC: Diageo has reported it will have to pay £107m in additional tax and interest for its 2015 and 2016 financial years under HMRC’s diverted tax regime but said it would challenge the assessment. HMRC’s diverted profits tax regime, which came into effect in April 2015, is a tax charged at 25% on profits that are considered to be artificially diverted from the UK. Diageo has said HMRC intends to issue preliminary notices of assessment, which would require Diageo to pay additional tax and interest of £107m for its financial 2015 and 2016 years. However, Diageo said it did not believe it fell into the scope of the regime and would challenge the assessment. To do this, it would have to pay the full amount up front and then continue to work to resolve the matter with HMRC. Diageo stated: “The payment of this sum is not a reflection of Diageo’s view on the merits of the case and, based on its current assessment, Diageo considers no provision is required in relation to diverted profits tax. This issue does not change Diageo’s expectation that the tax rate before exceptional items for the year ending 30 June 2017 will be about 21%.”
Ross-on-Wye restaurateur gets go-ahead to open second site: Ross-on-Wye restaurateur Darren Leonard has been given the go-ahead to open his second site in the Herefordshire town – a tapas and cocktail lounge. Leonard, who launched No 3 in Gloucester Road in 2015, has been granted permission by Herefordshire Council to open the venue in the former YMCA charity shop in High Street. Leonard said he wants to open the venue, entitled Leonards at 39, after having to turn away customers who wanted to simply enjoy a cocktail at his debut restaurant. The new venue will feature an extensive cocktail list and tapas menu with about 30 to 40 dishes, reports the Hereford Times.
Multi-site operator twins resubmit plans for boutique hotel and restaurant in Newport: Multi-site operator twins Pasquale and Sergio Cinotti have resubmitted plans to convert a former nursing home into a boutique hotel with restaurant in Newport, South Wales. The Cinottis, who run two restaurants and an ice-cream parlour under the Gemelli’s name, have revised their plans for Rothbury House, a Victorian grade II-listed building in Stow Park Circle they acquired in 2014. Newport City Council turned down the brothers’ original plans in December 2015 because of parking concerns. The new scheme includes 20 parking spaces and improved access to the property, reports Insider Media. According to the plans, the proposed restaurant will cater for the top end of the culinary field, while the rear outbuildings will include an area for making cakes to be predominantly consumed in Gemelli’s restaurants. The upstairs would have seven letting bedrooms. The Cinottis opened their first restaurant in 1996 and expanded in 2013 with the addition of a large restaurant and ice-cream parlour at Spytty retail park.
Quarter of Dalata shareholders vote against executive pay rises: A quarter of shareholders at Ireland’s largest hotel operator Dalata voted against the directors’ remunerations report at the company’s annual general meeting. A total of 34,258,162 (25%) of votes were received against the resolution out of a total of 134,661,713 cast. The company said this was because of concerns in relation to salary increases for chief executive Pat McCann and two executive directors – deputy chief executive Stephen McNally and Dermot Crowley, deputy chief executive for business development and finance. According to the company’s annual report for 2016, McCann saw his salary increase by €100,000 to €575,000 on 1 January 2017. McNally and Crowley both saw their salaries rise at the start of the year from €275,000 to €335,000. The company stated: “The board is pleased with the very high levels of support for our remuneration policy, with 99% of votes in favour, and with the 97% of votes in support of the long-term incentive plan. However, the board is mindful of the concerns expressed by a number of shareholders in relation to executive remuneration, which is reflected in the 25% vote against the 2016 report on remuneration. The company has had extensive dialogue with a significant number of our shareholders leading up to the annual meeting, which has helped clarify the issues, which primarily relate to percentage increases in salaries for the chief executive and two executive directors. We value the open dialogue many of our shareholders had with us and look forward to continuing this very constructive and open engagement on governance and remuneration matters in the future.”
Marston’s to open new-build pub at Dalton Park shopping complex next month: Marston’s is to open a new-build pub at the Dalton Park shopping complex in Murton, County Durham, next month. The company will open The Dancing Betty in June, creating 40 jobs. The pub restaurant, which will have capacity for up to 180 diners, will feature an outdoor patio and seating area, pergola and children’s play area, with staff accommodation upstairs. The look of the building has been inspired by traditional coaching inns, taverns and pubs and takes its name from a vertical tensioning device for a haulage rope used during the mining era, with the pub on the site of the former Murton Colliery. Area operations manager Helen Weddle told the Sunderland Echo: “We’re extremely excited about The Dancing Betty and hope, when opened, it will build a great reputation locally.” The pub restaurant is part of the £45m phase-two expansion of the shopping outlet. It already features a Cineworld cinema, KFC, Prezzo, The Restaurant Group brand Frankie & Benny’s and PizzaExpress.
Dublin-based pub group Mercantile to split in two little more than a year after merger: The bitter dispute between shareholders of the Mercantile Group, one of the largest pub companies in Ireland, has been resolved, with the two factions agreeing to split the firm in two. The company was founded in February 2016 following the merger of Frank Gleeson-controlled Mercantile Group with Capital Bars to form a €50m revenue-generating business, with control of many of Dublin’s leading hospitality venues. The new group promised a significant capital expenditure programme to upgrade venues and add others to the portfolio. The group soon descended into in-fighting, culminating in three high-court battles, with Gleeson on one side and a consortium including Dublin-based private investment firm Danu Investment Partners (DIP) and US investor group EMI-MR Investment on the other. The two businesses bought Capital Bars for €15m in late 2014. Two of the high-court disputes have been resolved, while the third, a high-court order preventing the Mercantile Entertainment Group taking steps to dismiss Gleeson as chief executive, is expected to be resolved in the coming weeks. It is understood a framework has been agreed for the split, with finer details still to be worked out. Gleeson is believed to be retaining three properties, including high-end restaurant Marcel’s in Baggot Street, FFT.ie reports. DIP, headed by Setanta Sports founders Leonard Ryan and Michael O’Rourke, also owns UK franchise rights for Smith & Wollensky steakhouses.
Ei Publican Partnerships launches National Pub Fortnight: Ei Group’s leased and tenanted division Ei Publican Partnerships has launched National Pub Fortnight to raise awareness of the Great British pub. The initiative will take place from Saturday, 22 July to Sunday, 6 August encouraging publicans to run their own events, including beer festivals, gigs, family fun days and barbecues, not only during the fortnight but throughout the summer. Pubs taking part in the initiative will have access to point-of sale materials, including banners, bunting and digital assets. Ei Publican Partnerships will also promote participating pubs on Facebook, targeting local consumers. The company has partnered with Heineken UK for the fortnight, with a free pint of Heineken, Fosters, John Smiths, Kronenbourg 1664 or Strongbow available to the first 15,000 consumers who sign up to the event through the new National Pub Fortnight app. James Armitage, group services director of Ei Group, said: “We are confident the campaign will benefit many more pubs than the 1,000 taking part in the free pint promotion.” British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds added: “National Pub Fortnight is a great new way to celebrate the Great British Pub this summer, and we all need to support our locals. I hope pub-goers will get behind this initiative and make the most of the great promotions.”
Boutique hotel in Maidstone sold off guide price of £1.19m to experienced operator: The Townhouse Hotel, a boutique hotel and restaurant in Maidstone town centre, has been sold off a guide price of £1.19m to an unnamed experienced operator. Originally built in 1802 as a rectory, the grade II-listed 17-bedroom property was sold through agent Christie & Co. The previous owner, who extensively extended and refurbished the hotel, was looking to sell because of other business interests outside the hospitality industry. Andrew Moore, director of Christie & Co’s Maidstone office, who handled the sale, said: “This sale continues to demonstrate the high demand from buyers for good-quality hotels throughout the south east of England, with first-time and experienced purchasers showing interest in sites. We anticipate this demand to continue, making it a great time for hotel owners in the region that are considering a sale.”